Friday, 15th November 2019
Review by Kira Levine
The middle of November saw Periphery stop at London’s O2 Forum in Kentish Town for their Hail Stan: UK tour for a sold-out show.
Kicking things off at Kentish Town were Astronoid, a post-metal quartet from Massachusetts, USA. “Let’s have a good time!” frontman Brett Boland insisted before the band opened their set.
Penultimate track ‘Air’ featured lines such as “The unknown beginning to shine / The future is better than bright / A reason to all find out / The focus of all our lives / Fixated of novas at night”, and the tune these words were sung in echoed a twin guitar solo by Boland and Casey Aylward. While those lyrics are not the most memorable, their melodies created an undeniable catchy-ness.
Brett’s clean and echoing vocals worked well with the four-piece’s crushing yet calming music, resulting in a performance that conveyed an otherworldly, dreamlike atmosphere.
1. A New Color
2. Up and Atom
5. I Dream In Lines
Australian progressive rock guitarist / virtuoso Plini Roessler-Holgate (or simply Plini) and his live musicians served as direct supports to the headliners. Although their playing had been highly skilled and technical, at times most songs felt repetitious of others, with similar melodies occurring in different songs.
Their performance of ‘Flâneur’ featured a fantastic drum outro from Chris Allison which had been met with lengthy cheering.
Roessler-Holgate asked the crowd to “Please make some fucking noise for Astronoid!” which they wasted no time doing.
A cake had been brought out on stage for bassist Simon Grove in recognition of his 31st, while the front-man prompted the audience to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him during ‘Handmade Cities’, their final song of the evening. This had definitely been the highlight of their set – a mass singalong that engaged attendees.
2. Electric Sunrise
6. Selenium Forest
7. Paper Moon
8. Handmade Cities
Last, and most certainly not least, were US proggers Periphery. For their first instalment, ‘Reptile’, Plini joined the band on stage to play a few guitars riffs with Misha Mansoor and Jake Bowen. This was welcomed with excited cheering. The mixture of singing and screaming worked particularly well here. The song also hosted the very first crowd surf of the night.
After ‘Follow Your Ghost’, vocalist Spencer Sotelo asks “How you guys feeling? I wanna tell you something. This is the biggest show we’ve played headlining. Doesn’t even feel like it’s happening, feels like a dream”, which was answered with claps of approval, Sotelo going on to later claim that we were “Pretty close to being the best crowd this tour, man. Pretty close!”
London are asked to “jump the fuck up together” by Periphery’s frontman just before the frenetic delivery for the last lyrics of ‘Psychosphere’, during which a mosh pit could be seen amidst a sea of bobbing heads in the standing area.
Sotelo announced “Thank you, we got one more… it’s a fucking heavy one!” before the band exploded into ‘Blood Eagle’, the second offering from their latest album and this one even had seated fans headbanging.
The band thanked everyone in attendance again, then proceeded gradually to leave the stage. As the lights dimmed, the audience chanted “One more song! One more song!” repeatedly until the guys re-emerged with ‘Lune’, described by Spencer as a love song.
It would be safe to say that attendees were definitely loving the encore track, as many could be heard belting out its outro melody (a series of “whoa-oh-ohs”) long after it had finished, way beyond the forum’s exit doors.
1. Reptile [with Plini]
2. CHVRCH BVRNER
3. Remain Indoors
4. Follow Your Ghost
7. It’s Only Smiles
9. Blood Eagle