It would have been impossible to fit any more people inside the O2 Academy 2, even Vulture Hound had to be smuggled into the venue via the back door for the final show of Beartooth’s current run of UK dates. A step up from when the band headlined a Birmingham show last year (at the Academy 3), the band have been growing from strength to strength with strong showings on the Kerrang Tour and at Slam Dunk, Download AND Reading and Leeds festivals.
The last show on the tour was incidentally the first of the shows to sell out, and opening act Blood Youth came out with bags of energy and enthusiasm eager to get the crowd moving. The advantage of supporting a band like Beartooth, is that the young crowd make a point of investing themselves in all the support acts, meaning that the room was already near to capacity. For a band still in their infancy, having emerged from the ashes of other bands, they are certainly sure of their sound and how they want to play. With the current crop of young UK Hardcore bands fairly slim, Blood Youth have the chance to capitalise on this and certainly have the ability to do so.
There had been rumblings from other shows on the tour that ’68 were ones to watch, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. Most rock duo’s these days are compared to the likes of Royal Blood, if you insist on doing that; ’68 then they are essentially the Hardcore Royal Blood on Amphetamine! There is just no comparison. ’68 play with such passion and aggression, they are totally mesmerising. That a band can make so much noise with just a guitar and a drum kit is astounding. The highlight of the set was when members combined instruments with drummer Michael McLean “playing drums” on Josh Scogin’s guitar, it was one of those you “had to be there” moments. They also claimed to enjoy flannel, which is never a bad thing in a band!
Beartooth are one of those bands where having reviewed and photographed them so many times, and being such a big fan it is hard not to just fill a review with me gushing. This is probably down to a feeling of being a part of the Beartooth family. Having seen them the first time they ever played the UK supporting Of Mice And Men with only an EP behind them, and then watching them grow and develop into the band they are today, any negativity towards Beartooth would feel like a personal insult.
Beartooth have toured the shit out of this album and it’s stood up to that incredibly well, the songs that were drawn from front-man Caleb’s very veins, tell stories that never lose their potency, and a beat that you can’t ever keep still to. They sweat it, live it and love it, and at every one of the eight shows of theirs I’ve attended this year- so have I.
If you are looking for a band that plays with passion and literally leaves everything out on the stage, then Beartooth are that band. Every song is played with a raw emotion that never waivers, whether it is the first or the fifteenth time you’ve seen them play you’ll feel it. If Beartooth have ever played a half-arsed show then I’ve never seen it. Beartooth are the future of the Hardcore scene, and luckily they are bringing a group of new fans and potentially new bands with them, the future is bright.