Review: All Points East 2019 – Friday 31st May

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Jaw-Dropping

The best night of live music; it may be a new-ish festival but they've already smashed it with amazing acts and awesome entertainment.

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All Points East 2019 was a big festival for Bring Me The Horizon. It’s hard to believe that the rock giants have never headlined a festival, even though they’ve been in the game for 15 years, but for this London-based festival which lasts for six days over two consecutive weekends. The Friday of week two – where BMTH were headlining was rife with rock, from established bands such as IDLES and Nothing But Thieves, all the way through to the up-and-coming, including one of our favourites here at The Edge, YONAKA.

Arriving at Victoria Park was easy, the streets were lined with volunteers pointing avid festival-goers to the venue, as well as signposts attached to every lampost in sight pointing directly to the park. Even arriving 2 hours early, the pavements were full of people eager to get their live music fix that afternoon, but with all the help from the organised volunteers, everyone could easily travel from local tube stations to the event without getting lost. The security was tight, which is good at such a large event, and the layout of the grounds was good, with smaller stages located facing north (aptly named the North Stage) and in the Jagerhaus, a separate stage dedicated to smaller recently signed bands. However, about a 5 minute walk from everything else was the main stage (East Stage), which that day would play host to IDLES, Run The Jewels and, the headliners, Bring Me The Horizon.

Early on in the day,  we took a look around Jagerhaus and the relatively undiscovered artists it was showcasing. One such band was Talk Show, an American alt-rock band who are redefining rock with a guitar-heavy base and punchy vocals. It’s punk but its not; its something that drew attention away from the venue’s shuttleboards and table football towards the stage. Another band which put on an amazing show on the North Stage was YONAKA. The Brighton rockers, led by frontwoman Theresa Jarvis, took to the stage mid-afternoon. That day was already special as the band had just released their debut album Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow that day. The crowd was eagerly looking forward to the performance, and without a doubt they would have picked up a fair few followers from their set at All Points East.

Moving over to East Stage, the first big name to perform was IDLES, proving that punk is a genre that is alive and kicking – possibly harder than ever. Their performance of ‘Danny Nedelko’ was the highlight of the set, with the crowd chanting back the rebellious lyrics about immigration and acceptance back at the band. Bassist Adam Devonshire played the entire set in nothing but a pair of pants. The entire set had such strong messages to it, ranging from feminism, male mental health, immigration and anti-capitalism, all with an amazing soundtrack.

This amazing set by IDLES was followed by a rather mediocre set by Nothing But Thieves. The festival veterans were overshadowed by IDLES – a tough act to follow. The fairly substandard performance was only exaggerated by the rest of the acts’ stage presence. The set was not memorable at all and didn’t contain much crowd interaction, unlike the other sets.

After the disappointment of Nothing But Thieves, the crowd needed some sort of miracle. Cue Run The Jewels. They brought a whole new energy to the crowd and it was very well received. The rap duo hasn’t performed this side of the Atlantic in quite some time, and it was something special when they came to the stage. They didn’t jump around or move much, but they had a presence which is difficult to describe. They were there and were such personalities that none of the theatrics mattered. They told the emotional story surrounding one of their tracks, ‘Thursday in the Danger Room’, that they had written and dedicated to a friend who had passed away. They brought such inspirational and meaningful messages to their performance, including messages about treating women correctly and festival etiquette. The duo caused a commotion in Victoria Park and it was one of the stronger sets to perform that evening.

And finally, at 9pm, the boys themselves, Bring Me The Horizon took to the stage, in a conceptual feature-length performance. The stage was dark and platformed, and set the stage for their opener ‘MANTRA’. The dancers wore identical masks and the band were in white jumpsuits. Only frontman Oli Sykes wore a different outfit; a suit covered in articles about cult leaders. This fit perfectly with ‘MANTRA’, a track about death cults. The BMTH set was a journey and split into multiple parts, each better than the last. The two hour set took us through their entire discography, from the early days of Count Your Blessings, the band’s debut album, through to amo, which was released earlier this year. Sykes took us on a journey, through the good times and the bad, explaining the meanings behind some of their greatest hits, as well as how the band nearly split up before Sempiternal, arguably their best album. Sykes explained that Sempiternal was written while he was in rehab, and many of the tracks were to do with addiction, accompanied by an acoustic rendition of ‘Sleepwalking’. Sykes also backtracked on some previous comments on the state of modern rock music, stating that “Rock isn’t dead” and how music saves lives and inspiring one person to keep living is all the satisfaction he needs to keep performing and making music.

The show wasn’t just wholesome, the effects were out of this world. The background changed with each performance, and there were flamethrowers, violinists, smoke, confetti, every show-stopping trick was used and at the perfect moments. The set also introduced us to guest performances from Danny Filth (on ‘Wonderful Life’), Sam Carter, Architects’ lead singer (on ‘The Sadness Will Never End’) and Lotus Eater (on ‘Antivist’). These were all amazing collaborations to have on the East Stage. Sykes was never overshadowed; he had such presence and charisma throughout the whole performance the cult leader appearance blurred with reality, and we all became members of the BMTH cult.

Catch Bring Me The Horizon at Glastonbury on the 30th June. Watch the video for ‘MANTRA’ below.

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Masters chemistry student and Editor for The Edge. I'm into gaming, music and TV; Essentially anything pop culture is my kinda thing.

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