Live review: ENTER SHIKARI at SWX Bristol – 19th February 2023

As part of their three month residency tour celebrating their new album A Kiss For The Whole World, British music icons Enter Shikari played their first of three Bristol shows over the next three months last night to a sold out SWX.

Shikari are one band who have been going for absolutely ages, and all that time churning out good music, and that was shown last night by the age range of the crowd. A testament to how good these guys really are.

After an 80s montage of music between the support, the lights went down and all around the LED strips started to come to life. The crowd was going wild and out came Rou and the band, to absolute insanity from everyone there.

(pls) Set Me On Fire, the first released single from the new album opened the show, and already the mosh pits opened and everyone who knew the words was singing along. Enter Shikari are always known for their immense and immersive light show, and last night was no exception, with lasers bouncing off in all directions and even the occasional confetti cannon.

From brand new to a song that’s nearly 10 years old, Radiate followed, and the crowd kept that energy going. Sparky made its first appearance of the night, and from what I’ve heard it was a testament that it lasted for the entire set.

A very quick breather for Rou and the band before firing into Juggernaughts, keeping up with the look back into the past that we were seeing so far. A proper welcome was given from the band, but not being ones for much talking it was straight into a quick fire succession of Anything Can Happen, Labyrinth and ZZZONKED.

Rou then suddenly disappeared off stage, and everyone was unsure what was going on. The band was still there and there was music still playing, then heads started turning to the balcony, and the intro to The Void Stares Back started up.

With just a handheld torch illuminating him, Rou did both his vocals and the ones provided by WARGASM on the recorded version simultaneously, while hanging over the edge of the balcony. And much to the worried eyes of the security guards, he clambered over and was almost dangling over for It Hurts, the second song released from their upcoming album.

Another quick fire round of songs saw Havoc B, Bull and The Last Garrison before the 2023 version of Sorry You’re Not A Winner, complete with all 1800 people in the venue doing the three claps. Every tour they seem to shake up this song, and for this show it was a lot more techno, a bit slower and still just as hard.

Undercover Agent kept everyone moving and there were more crowd surfers coming over the barrier, before the first big finish of the night. Live Outside, arguably one of the best song they have produced and certainly one of their most listening to tracks, closed up the main part of the set, with Rou once again running around the stage like a man on fire and more confetti cannons to close the song.

Normally I’m not one for encores, and if you’ve read my reviews before you’ll know why, but for Enter Shikari I’ll let them have it. After the absolute explosion of energy they show on stage and the show they put on, I think it’s fair for them to have a breather.

Coming back on to play their self-titled track, and the crowd went mad once more. The pits opened and for the rest of the set people kept surfing over the barrier. It was hot and sweaty inside the venue, but everyone was enjoying the show.

Taken from their 2020 album Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible, Satellites* * was next, with Rou proving his dance moves once again, before the big finish of the night coming from { The Dreamers Hotel }, with a sea of crowd surfers and one last lot of confetti cannons to finish the show.

To start off their three month residency, Enter Shikari proved that they are still at the best and that they are not planning on going away anytime soon. Tickets to the rest of their residency shows are now all sold out, but if you get the chance to see Enter Shikari live it is definitely one you do not want to miss out on.

The new album A Kiss For The Whole World is out April 21st.

Review and photos by Ted Stargatt

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