Watford quartet Gold Key kicked off the night, and due to doors being late, they had to rush straight on and cut down on the chit-chat, but regardless, they opened it up in style.
Steve perpetually bobbed up and down as he delivered slick harmonies, and alongside guitarist Laurent, who was pretty animated in his own right, they put out a combination of raw and sublime riffs that helped to create a sound both energetic and atmospheric, and it was all topped off by sharp bass work and drumming.
Despite the initial obstacles they had to face, it did practically nothing to faze them, and a great impression was made on all attending.
On their Twitter, Black Peaks had promised something huge with Kent experimental group Bossk, and that they exactly were.
Silhouetted in a sea of blue lights and (overly) thick smoke that rendered the drummer invisible halfway through, the guys produced these large soundscapes defined by substantial riffs and packing rhythms. They were primarily instrumental, but their vocalist joined in frequently, where he would fire out big yells.
The audience were responsive, and their interest was retained all the way up to the end, in which they capped off on a climatic finish. While not eliciting the same buzz as their predecessors, it was still a pretty impressive spectacle.
One change of scenery later, Black Peaks entered onto the stage to an empathetic heroes’ welcome and kicked off in blistering fashion with Can’t Sleep, where the crowd went bloody nuts; moshing and headbanging all around; and the guys never took their foot off the pedal from there on out as they delivered material from All That Divides.
We got a few classics thrown into the mix, including Crooks and Saviours which got the whole venue jumping, and the noise was deafening from the lyrics of Glass Built Castles being echoed.
Will was in total control and made an instant connection with everybody. You could tell from his face the sheer awe and appreciation he had for the events unfolding in front of him, and that damn voice…a 15 second sustained scream…holy sh*t.
Joe’s riffs was vast and fluent throughout, being complimented by resonant bass tones courtesy of Dave, and Liam’s drumming was utterly kinetic, and he especially put in a hell of a shift with Eternal Light; how he managed to keep going after that is anybody’s guess.
Together, they were an unstoppable force with a massive presence and a fierce chemistry. After earning calls for an encore and answering them with Home, the sell-out audience had just witnessed something truly phenomenal.
It felt like a cleansing of sorts. As Will discussed with their track Aether, there is so much negativity currently in the world, so we should be taking the time to participate in something positive that makes us forget about the bad stuff and leaves us happy. There was no doubt that this was a special night personifying that very sentiment.