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Enter Shikari + Milk Teeth @ Imperial – February 16th 2018

Rou Reynolds of Enter Shikari at Imperial in Vancouver, BC on February 16th 2018

British alternative rock band Enter Shikari came through Vancouver on Friday in support of their latest album, 2017’s The Spark.

Opening the night was British rock group Milk Teeth, who started things on a raucous note. They set the foundation for what would be a high-energy night of sweaty, primal rock. I had been waiting a while for this Gloucestershire fourpiece to come through our city, and I was not let down. Their set was wonderfully raw and emotional, and it left me satiated, even if I did selfishly want to see them perform ten times more. Great set from a talented group.

Prior to the main set, I chatted with a half dozen or so random attendees, each one from the UK and each one explained how if this show was back home it would have been sold-out, packed to the gills, and people would have been jockeying fiercely to get close to that stage. But this show crowd was laid back, there was space to walk between each other. It was strange, I wondered if the Vancouver contingent of the band’s fanbase was conserving their energy for chaos or just being a Canadian-cliche, overly polite.

Enter Shikari started their set off with an intro track playing over the house speakers. I couldn’t get the complete gist of it but it sounded like a government space programs countdown. It laid the foundation for an out-of-this-world experience, sorry for the pun.

The four members, Rou Reynolds, Chris Batten, Rob Rolfe, and Rory Clewlow, took the stage at the downtown club, and the up-until-that-very-moment calm crowd went into full punk mode. Everyone pressed up to the front of the stage as the band poured out pulsing synths and opened the night with “The Sights”. That was it, that was the moment of ignition. The audience began bouncing off one another and a decent-sized, punk-type mosh pit ensued.

The band and the crowd fed off another, lead singer, Rou, was possessed in his delivery. Dousing more fuel on the fire before him.

I became lost in the moment and just jumped with my peers. A couple songs in and I couldn’t tell what parts of my clothes were wet from my own sweat or what parts were soaked from my spastic neighbours. It was all-encompassing and beautifully overwhelming; sadly a rarity at many shows these days.

Enter Shikari had the fervour of a shiny new band, not one that was twelve, or so, years into their career. They were hungry, maybe even starving, performing with the passion many other bands could never even fathom.

I was actually kind of shocked by the whole thing.

I last saw Enter Shikari back in 2007, in that time they have finely tuned their performance into an anarchic perfection.

Thank you to the band for such an intense night, it was needed.

Hands down, the best concert of 2018 thus far.

Photos © Jamie Taylor // Cryptic Photography

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