Gig Review: Enter Shikari at Motorpoint Arena

Words: Izzy Morris
Photos: Louisa Mae Tomson
Tuesday 13 February 2024
reading time: min, words

Enter Shikari burst into life in the Motorpoint Arena earlier this month, for a night that combined vibrant visuals, sweaty bodies and pumping bass in the most spectacular way...

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Before British rock titans, Enter Shikari, were to take to the stage, we were treated to a set from a much younger, new kid on the block. Emo/pop-punk singer-songwriter Noahfinnce impressed the early crowd, seeming comfortable on the Motorpoint stage despite being so early on in his career. Noah has a raw, punchy energy which shows so much promise as he progresses further into his career. While he might be a child of the internet, he proved to the crowd that he is still able to combine chronically online themes with enough bite to back it up when it comes to live performance. Don’t count Noah out.

Our second support act was honestly like watching a headline set in and of itself. Fever 333 are an experience. They came running onto the stage, in matching patterned shirts and trousers ready to cause a ruckus. Fever 333 furiously waved the flag, both literally, and on a personal level, taking to the mic to celebrate POC in rock music. Frontman Jason Aalon-Butler ended up climbing on top of speakers, April Kae combined shredding the bass with a good old fashioned twerk, guitarist Brandon Davis swung his guitar like a human tornado during the appropriately named $wing! while drummer Thomas Pridgen absolutely tore it up on the drums. It was well worth heading down early to catch this band, and the stadium was already nearing capacity in time for them, which is entirely in line with the insane amount of buzz spreading for their performances. Tracks like Burn It and One of Us hit incredibly hard through the powerful arena speakers to fill the atmosphere with their incredible rap-metal energy. 

Where the last two support bands had brought along humble canvas flags for branding, two massive towers and a lower, slanted screen was brought onto the stage before the headliners would enter the ring. Frontman Rou Reynolds appeared under a harsh spotlight for …System – spoken word recited alongside most of the rest of the room, as an opening ritual, powering up the machine that is Enter Shikari. What followed, was half gig, half light show as the towers either side, their backdrop and the slanted screen in front of the drum kit came alive with colour, with visuals befitting every track. For example, SSSnakepit came accompanied with 8bit style snake motifs, goldfish ~ came with fishbowl theming and perhaps one of the highlights of the night, Anaesthetist was accompanied by medical vital meters, and bold lyrics on screen, creating an incredible sensory overload, in the best possible way.

Enter Shikari musically don’t do anything by halves, combining rock with dubstep, hardcore, techno and even trance to create their unique, colourful sound. It only makes sense that their production added to this atmosphere. This is a band that belongs in arenas – while Fever 333 would flourish, for example, in a small sweaty room where you feel like you’re as much part of the revolution as the band themselves, the Enter Shikari experience is bolstered by these immense visuals and reverberating soundsystem, which the band announced they were ‘putting to the test.’. 

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Jason from Fever 333 returned to the stage for Losing My Grip, which served as a masterclass in stage presence from both performers, who seemed to be having the time of their lives together on that stage. There’s clearly a lot of love between the two bands, both from tour and from collaboration, and it’s great to see.

Their setlist was masterfully crafted, with every song going beautifully into the next, using remix endings and outros to make transitions even smoother. It combined aspects of every Enter Shikari era – a band that have been around longer than you’d expect for a band carrying such youthful and current energy in what they’re doing. While there wasn’t a great deal of audience interaction throughout, as they kept the music coming, during The Sights, Rou ran around the seats to meet a whole host of fans, before joking with the crowd that it had perhaps been ambitious to try and get around the whole arena in the duration of one song.

Hopefully, this won’t be the last time Enter Shikari visit the Motorpoint Arena. Already a hot ticket gig, make sure to get yourselves down next time they’re in town. 

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