Protest the Hero, Tesseract, The Safety Fire, Intervals- Classic Grand – 5/2

It is a decent package that Djent/Mathcore-hybrid Protest the Hero have compiled for their European tour and a clever, though kinda obvious, choice to pick the UK’s two hottest bands of the genre to support them, namely Tesseract and The Safety Fire.

It is hardly a surprise then to see the queue stretching round the corner of Jamaica Street’s McDonalds, seemingly absorbing the usual mob of emo-kids native to this corner. Apart from this part of the audience, that makes it immediately clear this is a 14+ gig, everyone from hipsters to Death Metal fans are present, surprising given the undeniabe brutality of the bands on show.

Canadian four piece Intervals opens the night. Lacking a bassplayer, they rely (like Animals as Leaders) on the heaviness of 7- or 8-string guitars to give their sound enough punch. Stylistically they are very close to The Safety Fire, with Djent-style riffs accompanied by mostly clean vocals. The sound engineer seems to have absolutely no interest at all in both frontmen, as he drowns out the vocals more or less completely.

Even Tesseract, who are a big name by now, suffer from this deficit, which results in all three support acts’ sets turning into one blur of (very skillful) guitar doodling and the occasional scream you can make out in the terrible mix.

Can headliners Protest the Hero save the night and still turn this into an enjoyable experience?

From the very first chord everyone in the venue goes absolutely mental. The sound is suddenly perfect, the band is in top form and the moshpit extends by the minute. Funny banter on stage, like busting out bottles of Bucky and an impressive enthusiasm blow all the support acts away. With fewer bands on the bill and a better sound for the supporting bands (not just the headliner) this night could have been really enjoyable throughout.

[Ansgar Hastenpflug]

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