Northlane / Erra – Leeds Key Club – 29/11/17
A new, surprise album at the beginning of the year, main stage Download festival as well multiple sold out headline tours, a world tour and it’s not even the end of the year yet. Northlane have had a rather successful 2017, but they’re not done yet. Closing out the year in the UK and Europe, the Aussie’s find them selves in Leeds at an intimate sold out Key Club, ready for chaos.
Main openers for Northlane on this tour are American outfit, ERRA (8) kick the night off. ERRA immediately display extreme technical proficiency, which lends itself to the crowd in attendance. ERRA released their latest album, Drift, in 2016 and they have been touring since, which shows in their tight set. Throughout, lead vocalist, J.T Cavey, engages directly with the crowd, who respond to his commands. Pits, sing alongs and even a fabled hand sway. Yes, you can sway you hands to Progressive Metal, you’ve just got to be paying attention to keep in time. Whilst only six songs long, the set got those in attendance excited. With fan favourites such as Luminesce opening the set and their newest single, Skyline, they left the stage to rapturous applause
As the music cut, Northlane (10) walks onto the stage poised and ready. Opening the set with Colourwave, the crowd immediately erupts and nods their heads, as front man Marcus Bridge immediately makes his presence felt, standing tall above the crowd in the small room. From a song released in 2017, they follow this up with Worldeater, from 2013’s Singularity, sending the crowd into frenzy.
The fourteen-song set continues, with stand out songs such as Rot, Obelisk and Render, the crowd sings and bounces with every word and every groove. Quantum Flux is placed in the middle of the set list, as the room loses its mind, a girl crowd surfs onto the stage, Bridge catches her, whilst still effortlessly flowing between a guttural scream and ethereal cleans and she then continues to jump into the crowd again. This is a growing consistency through the night, which seems to bring a lot of joy to the rest of the band.
As the night comes to an end, the encore song is final song off of their newest album, Paragon. Paragon was dedicated to the late, great Tom Searle of Architects and as you’d imagine, carries a lot of emotion. The intensity and emotion filling the room was apparent. With the heavy, sludgy guitar, but the clean melodies over the top, as well as Bridge’s once again, aggressive, yet delicate signing style shines in this song. A fitting tribute, as well as an unbelievable way to end a set.
Those who were there simply put witnessed a very unique and special show. With the ongoing rise of Northlane, to see them perform such a strong set of songs, flawlessly and with high energy, in such a small and intimate venue, is something that is very likely to happen again. Whilst Northlane can open mainstage Download, they can also dominate a small room of 250, without a huge light show, but with musicianship and showmanship, which quite frankly is exactly what this music scene needs right now, and Northlane are leading the way.
Review: Adam Jones