[Photo: Dani Willgress]
Walking into SWX, the grungey tones of openers Endless Heights are already entrancing the crowd who made it in prior to their performance. The best way I can describe the Australians is a collaboration between Soundgarden and The Darnkess‘ Justin Hawkins.
South Wales’ DREAM STATE are up next and provide the first pits and crowd surfers of the night. Despite frontwoman CJ Gilpin spending a lot of time on vocal rest prior to the set, her vocals were on point. Where Endless Heights intrigued the audience, DREAM STATE provided the hype with an energetic set.
Working our way through the bill and we get to The Plot In You. The American metallers know how to intrigue their audience, combining calm, melodies with ferocious drums and brazen screams, using their main support slot well to build on the hype left by DREAM STATE and get the crowd worked up ready for the main event.
Opening with Ivy (Doomsday), Australian metalcorers The Amity Affliction start how they mean to go on. With the tour in support of latest album Misery, the crowd are treated to the electronically tinged D.I.E and Feels Like I’m Dying, both of which are accompanied by sing-a-longs. While almost half of the set is comprised of the new record, all of which go down very well with the adoring crowd, the old-school favourites including Open Letter and Death’s Hand are not forgotten, neither are the anthemic This Could Be Heartbreak and I Bring The Weather With Me. The crowd are attentive, opening up pits and surfing over the barrier. The mid-point of the set sees a heart on the sleeve rendition of All Fucked Up. As Amity walk off the stage following Set Me Free, the crowd are left in awe, however, also confused as to the omission of fan favourites (and arguably their most well-known singles) Don’t Lean On Me and Pittsburgh, however, this is soon rectified as the four piece make their way back onto the stage for an encore of the aforementioned tracks. With bassist/vocalist Ahren Stringer’s dreamy clean vocals moulding perfectly with guttural screams that convey frontman Joel Birch’s every emotion, this teamed with Dan Brown’s electrifying guitar work and session drummer Casey McHale’s intricate style, shows the Bristol crowd (and watching world via the YouTube videos that will surely surface) just why The Amity Affliction are hands down one of the best metalcore bands in the world right now.