WAAX opened the show in a flurry of luscious locks to belt out a tight and tasteful set to a slowly, but surely filling Forum room. Marie, the five-piece’s vocalist, took complete command of the stage to absolutely pump out her powerful vocals to a relatively reserved, but responsive audience. Guitarists Chris and Ewan laid down the reverb-laden droning chords and highly complementary soaring leads to allow the expertly pitched melody of the vocals to shine through, giving excellent contrast to Marie’s harsher yells. A tight rhythm section comprised of Tom on drums and Griff on bass made the band a fitting support choice for the headline act, and succeeded in getting the crowd buzzing for the juggernaut of a band that was to follow.
It is very hard to capture in words the reality of the all-round experience that is Biffy Clyro, because they are truly unlike any other band. When the shirtless Scottish trio of guitarist and frontman Simon Neil and identical twin brothers Ben and James Johnston, on drums and bass respectively, took to the stage, they were truly a sight to behold. After a dramatic operatic intro, the tight-knit Scotsmen presented a meticulously well-crafted setlist of nineteen songs spanning their seven-album discography. The crowd rejoiced when the lads pumped out iconic track ‘57’ off their debut album, as well as older fan favourites like ‘Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies’ and ‘Who’s Got A Match?’. Nearly every audience member in the packed room was singing along to every song, and the energy and raw power coming from the stage was utterly infectious.
The band gave the crowd a thorough insight into everything this frenetic three-piece have to offer, while still highlighting the contrast their music has had since they released their debut Blackened Sky in 2002. However, instead of creating a jarring difference between old and new, the spread and variety of the set only served to convey just how much the band has grown and evolved over their sixteen -year career. From their heavier, grungier past to their poppier stadium rock anthems of today, the set showed how proficiently Biffy Clyro are able to draw from a plethora of influences and unify it into their own unique sound. Simon and James switched out their guitars after almost every song, which was probably for the best as they receive a monumental thrashing, especially in Simon’s case. The poor guitar tech probably had to re-intonate each guitar between songs as the rowdy singer absolutely churned through his impressive rack of Stratocasters.
After smashing out a few more of their popular singles, the band slipped in a run of tracks off their latest album Ellipsis to remind the crowd of where they are currently at on their onward and upward journey. This included acoustic piece ‘Medicine’, offering a brief reprieve from the onslaught. The Biff rounded off the night with an epic juxtaposition of dissonant and chaotic track ‘There’s No Such Thing As A Jaggy Snake’ followed by the near tear-inducing, hugely powerful ‘Many Of Horror’ to finish off the main set. From the ever-present three part vocal harmonies to the spectacular light show, everything about the production of the show was nailed to a tee, and the passionate crowd inside the Forum that night loved every second. This criminally underrated band can’t come back to Australia soon enough, and big things can be expected from whatever they put their minds to next.
Images via Digital Beard Photography.