The lights dimmed through the thin gauze covering the main stage at the O2 Arena and a chant of “Mon the Biff!” rumbled up from the crowd. The faint echoing undercurrent of ‘Different People’ began, and soon enough frontman Simon Neil emerged from back stage to stand alone before the microphone, guitar in hand, to sing the opening lyrics. The three boys burst into it with vigour, giving a pitch-perfect performance that was made even better by their visible enthusiasm. As the final chords played, Biffy jumped straight into a furious rendition of ‘That Golden Rule’ to much screaming, jostling and head-banging, in the audience and on stage.
The way in which Simon teased the crowd with the riff from ‘Sounds like Balloons’ before blasting through it, reminded me of just how fun, silly and dam-enjoyable Biffy Clyro are live. It was soon clear that Biffy have plenty of tricks up their sleeves in exuding likeable confidence, from the mischievous little smiles resulting from a lyrical mix-up during ‘Black Chandelier’ and Simon urging the seated crowd to “get off your f***ing arses” to the purely natural banter exchanged between band-members. The material played ranged widely from seriously early stuff like ‘There’s No Such Thing as a Jaggy Snake’, to cult classics like ‘Living’s a Problem Cause Everything Dies’, and their latest releases like ‘Modern Magic Formula’.
As is customary, the audience were treated to another beautiful performance of ‘Machines’, which marked a peak in general fan atmosphere. Other highlights included hearing ‘Victory Over Sun’s amazing riff get the treatment it deserves, an actual snowfall (created by white confetti) during ‘The Thaw’, a collective smashing of ‘The Jokes on Us’, the jubilant fire brandishing of ‘Who’s got a Match?’ and a personal favourite of mine, ‘Picture a Knife Fight’ making an impressive appearance. As was to be expected, an encore was demanded by the electrified crowd, and Biffy delivered with a surprisingly brilliant rendition of ‘Skylight’, a song that didn’t initially stand-out within their newest album, Opposites.
Biffy Clyro are a band made for these massive venues because their personality and music are just too gigantic for anything else to really make an impact. While watching them perform, you can tell they savour every minute as they wildly veer between songs and audience interaction. Achieving some amazing spectacle and set-pieces, Biffy Clyro performing at this iconic London venue really is an experience never to be forgotten.