Opening the night was dynamic duo, Lake Malice. Hailing from Brighton, these two brought an incredible amount of energy, sound, and undeniable style to the stage. Despite being a fairly new band, their performance was nothing short of astonishing. Their musicianship was top-notch, and the way they effortlessly engaged with the crowd was incredible. Lake Malice is a band that you do not want to miss live, and I can’t wait for them to put out some more music.
Up next was masked UK nu-metal band, BLACKGOLD, I can’t wait to see where these guys are this time next year because I have a feeling they’re going to be huge. From the moment they hit the stage, their catchy tunes had the crowd hooked, and their energy was simply infectious. What made their set even more memorable was their killer cover of ‘I Ain’t Goin Out Like That‘ by Cypress Hill. If you haven’t had the chance to see them live, I highly recommend it – their talent and stage presence are truly unmatched.
As the crowd reached their peak of anticipation, their voices echoed through the venue, singing along passionately to the pre-show tunes. Finally it was time for Skindred, coming out to the iconic Imperial March from Star Wars with a twist, then breaking into ‘Set Fazers’, it was clear from the beginning that this was going to be an extraordinary display of high-octane energy.
Midway through their set, the charismatic frontman, Benji Webbe, donned a vibrant pink fluffy hat reminiscent of their recent promotional photos. It only made sense that he wore it while performing their newest feelgood song ‘L.O.V.E (Smile Please)’. It was very clear by the way that Benji spoke to the crowd and expressed his gratitude that he and the rest of the band have an immense love for their fans and the music that they play. Every aspect of this set list was flawless, featuring an irresistible line-up of crowd-pleasers like ‘That’s My Jam’, ‘Nobody’, and ‘Gimme That Boom’.
Skindred left the stage, and were met with screams and t-shirts being swung around in the air, it was clear that everyone in the room knew what was coming. Of course they came back, because there’s no way they could leave without playing the most iconic Skindred song. However, before delving into their most iconic track, Skindred treated the audience to “Our Religion,” one of their heaviest and most daring compositions from their latest album, Smile. Personally, I love this song. It showcases a slightly different sound while retaining that distinct Skindred appeal that we all know and love.
Finally, the long-awaited moment arrived, as someone that has seen Skindred live around 5/6 times, I have experienced the Newport Helicopter multiple times, however, the sheer excitement of witnessing it in this intimate, sold-out venue was something else. It’s very different to seeing it at a festival because at their own shows practically everyone in the crowd enthusiastically participates in this exhilarating ritual, it’s a fun game of ‘try not to get your head taken off by a hoodie zip going 100mph’. As if the song couldn’t get any better, Spookz from BLACKGOLD joined the band on stage, injecting an additional surge of energy that seemed almost impossible. The combination of Skindred’s infectious presence and Spookz’s added dynamism elevated the performance to new heights, leaving the audience buzzing with excitement.
While I know some people may not go to see Skindred on their own shows because the frequent a lot of festivals. Those people are missing out, a Skindred headline show is like nothing you’ve ever seen. If you missed them on this tour, you can catch them at their headline show at the OVO Arena Wembley in March, which I imagine is going to be one massive party.