Boysetsfire Live Review from London's Islington Academy, 1st August 2012
Last year, after several years of inactivity, they would be heading out on the road for one last European tour, which was removed from their original plans when they announced their original hiatus due to injuries sustained to guitarist Josh Latshaw (who I think fell through a sky light). Their stop in London in June 2011 (which you can read a review of here) was such a momentus and memorable gig I awarded it my gig of the year when doing the 2011 end of year awards over at Rocksins.
Seemingly the rest of the tour must have gone equally as well because Boysetsfire announced that they'd be embarking on another European tour for the Summer of 2012, and returning to the sight of their previous triumph at Islington Academy no less. Having enjoyed the gig solo last time, I co-opted Iain along for the fun of Boysetsfire's return visit, so off we went to Islington.
The support for the evening were a band creatively titled "Off With Their Heads", a three piece who were a straight up punk rock (proper punk rock, not punk pop like New Found Glory) band that I was not previously familiar with. Their fourty five minute set was full of energy from start to finish and many of their enthusiastic fans were present to see this rare UK outing from the band. They were thoroughly entertaining and I look forward to getting hold of some of their albums to see if they are as good on CD as they were live. An entertaining start to the evening.
Off With Their Heads:In your face punk rock
Upon their entrance, Boysetsfire took the loud cheers of an expectant crowd and wasted no time in getting the audience to lay waste to each other with the opening salvo of Eviction Article and my personal favourite, the 100% sure fire moshpit producing Release The Dogs. Needless to say, the moshpit erupted with free Jagermeister glowsticks flying everywhere.
Those who enjoy some of Boysetsfire's singalong anthems more than the heavier stuff did not have to wait long to be satisfied as both Requiem and the fantastic Empire were aired early on, along with the hugely catchy White Wedding Dress. There was also a promising hint of what may be to come with the first airing of a new track, entitled Until Nothing Remains, which shows that whilst Boysetsfire may be slightly older than when they last wrote some of their memorable, politically charged songs, in the present day they have lost none of the internal fire. Fans will be waiting with baited breath to see if a new album can live up to the previous material, but this is an encouraging window to what may be to come.
Another triumphant return to London for Boysetsfire
As the night progressed, the carnage and energy levels only seemed to increase; Twelve Step Hammer Program re-ignited the huge moshpit, while the wonderful and unique Walk Astray united everyone for the initial singalong before the drop reignited the chaos again. The last third of the set was pure Boysetsfire gold with My Life In The Knife Trade and The Misery Index being bellowed by the occupants of Islington Academy at full volume, and After The Eulogy causing one last huge surge to the pit with bodies flying everywhere.
A resounding rendition of old favourite Rookie brought the main part of the evening to a close, but it wasn't long before Boysetsfire returned to give us an encore including the airing of a second new song, which felt quite similar to a Deftones song (which would please a lot of people) before finishing off the show with the always popular Handful Of Redemption.
Singer Nathan Gray has lost none of his fire
The full Boysetsfire Setlist Was:
- Release the Dogs
- Eviction Article
- White Wedding Dress
- Until nothing remains
- Twelve Step Hammer Program
- With Cold Eyes
- Foundations to Burn
- Bring Back the Fight
- Walk Astray
- My Life in the Knife Trade
- Final Communiqué
- The Force Majeure
- The Misery Index
- After the Eulogy
- Falling Out Theme
- Handful of Redemption
This show managed to live up to the very lofty heights of the supposed farewell show from just over a year ago, and having more of a familiarity with the band now than I did then, I might have even enjoyed it slightly more. Boysetsfire are back at the top of their game and have carried on like they were never away. For anyone out there who enjoys the likes of Lower Than Atlantis, Young Guns, Exit Ten or any kind of post hardcore or post rock, these guys were one of the originals and deserve to be enjoyed by many more people, so check them out (live or on CD), you won't regret it!.