Enter Shikari: the genre-bending British experimental rock/indie/rap/dubstep outfit that’s been slaying the airwaves for over 20 years. They’re one of those bands who have well and truly nailed their craft and have a reputation for being an incredible live performance, and seeing them in an intimate venue like The Croxton Bandroom was an opportunity too good to be passed up.
The lads had Melbourne’s own Thornhill supporting, and with only two bands on the lineup, the energy was high from the get-go. Thornhill are a band I've been wanting to see live for a long time, but the stars never seemed to align, so I was stoked to see them on the bill for Enter Shikari.
Thornhill’s set included plenty of tracks from their recently released, highly regarded album The Dark Pool. Vocalist Jacob Charlton killed the clean melodies, and his low, rumbling growls were carried out flawlessly. I always give mad props to any vocalist who can nail both, and he certainly did.
For an album that hasn’t been out for a super long time, Thornhill played the tracks incredibly tight and it’s obvious that the hard work the boys put it is paying off. Dishing up singles ‘Nuture’ and ‘Coven’ got the crowd super hyped, and finishing with old favourite ‘Reptile’ ensured a mark was left on the stage from the band. Thornhill played a mad set and it was easy to see why they’ve been getting so much praise lately.
After Thornhill got the venue buzzing, it was time for the big dogs to take the stage. Enter Shikari made their initial presence known by spinning ‘The Spark’ before diving straight into their latest single ‘Stop The Clocks.’ When this track first came out, the radio-friendly pop vibe seemed pretty out of the ordinary for the band, until I remembered that this band is anything but ordinary. The crowd sang along to every single word, and the first song was a look at what was to come.
Enter Shikari mesmerised fans with heavy favourites ‘Destabilise’ and ‘Sssnakepit’ before switching it up with the rap heavy dubstep banger ‘Anesthetist’. The versatility of this band is incredible, switching up genres so flawlessly on stage was a delight to watch and listen to. The band brought a huge presence to the stage, between their British charm and genuine enjoyment of their craft, you couldn’t help but catch the contagious good vibes.
The track ‘Juggernauts’ always hits me right in the feels, so I was pretty chuffed to hear vocalist Rou Reynolds belt out the lyrics live. The band followed up with some more EDM-heavy tracks, and the crowd had a unique ability to go from mosh pit to dancefloor in a single song.
After the boogying went down, the room was filled with the slow-jam ballad ‘Airfield.’ This track was delivered flawlessly, the vocals carried through the venue with ease. After hitting us with some slower tracks, Enter Shikari dumped OG-fave ‘Mothership’ from back in their screamo days before diving into the “quickfire round,” where they play snippets of old, popular tracks that they’re probably sick of playing after so many years, but it would be extremely rude to deprive fans of the iconic songs.
The quickfire round started with the cult-banger ‘Sorry, You’re Not A Winner’, the track we’ve been rehearsing our claps along to since way back when. Not going to lie, the highlight of my whole night was seeing the entire crowd nail the timing of the claps. They finished up their set with ‘The Last Garrison’ and ‘Meltdown’.
The encore gave us ‘Slipshod,’ the angry, dubsteppy metal track (which includes my favourite lyrics - “your carpet is ugly and your veg ain’t in season”) followed by an epic sing-along to ‘Live Outside.’
Enter Shikari nailed their set. Their music is great, but they’re one of those bands that you need to see live to truly appreciate how insanely talented they are. The Croxton was sick too, shoutout to the lighting staff for doing justice to this amazing performance. Fence sitters, go buy a ticket to Good Things Festival, because this isn’t one to miss.
Want to catch Enter Shikari at Good Things Festival in Sydney or Brisbane? Grab your tickets here.