The Graveyard tour was welcomed at the O2 Ritz in Manchester by a very active and supportive crowd. As soon as you stepped into the venue there was a vast selection of band t-shirts for all three of the bands playing that night. Throughout the entire evening crowd surfers were making their way towards the stage with a few managing to shake hands with the lead singers of the band who were playing at the time. I left the gig feeling as though the drummers from each band must have been robots from their relentless beats.
As soon as Ice Nine Kills took to the stage the crowd instantly showed their excitement and were singing along during the whole of the first song. The metalcore band from Boston definitely knew how to keep the crowd going throughout their entire set, egging the crowd on to “jump” and open up mosh pits in the centre which the crowd were more than happy to do. The backup vocals from Justin DeBlieck and Justin Morrow helped to balance the screams and clean vocals and aided in maintaining Spencer Charnas’ energy through the performance as he never stopped moving! After a very quick introduction once the first song had finished, there were very few pauses between the rest of those in the set.
Charnas wanted to get up close as personal with the audience very quickly as during the first song he jumped onto the barrier which was met with huge excitement from the fans in the centre. Conor Sullivan’s drumming was flawless throughout the set with the odd stick spin during choruses of multiple songs. When “Enjoy Your Slay” began, the crowd went crazy and joined in for what felt like the whole song.
By the time the set had ended Charnas had removed his hoodie revealing a shirt that some might say was a bit close to the mark featuring a crucifix with a noose hanging from bottom.
After a very punctual set change, Cane Hill bounced onto the stage heading straight into a nonstop set, jam packed with energy and screams. It was obvious they had a big following due to the growing fullness of the venue and the volume of the cheers. Before the first song “Time Bomb” had even begun, lead singer Elijah Witt asked for a mosh pit to open up and the crowd obeyed. There was plenty of headbanging throughout the whole set from the crowd and band members, especially bass player Ryan Henriquez.
When “Lord of Flies” began, the crowd went a little nuts with multiple crowd surfers and people sitting on shoulders. All of this was appreciated by the front man with a nod of approval and a thumbs up. With a very unique stage presence, Witt kept the audience entertained with his twitchy moves and gestures which I could only describe as air humping.
Before the band started playing “Erased”, the crowd were asked for torches and lighters to be raised into the air. Being one of their more mellow songs it showcased Witt’s voice before the screams kicked in. A great set from a band who could carry off a headline show of their own.
After an entertaining sound check with the crew pointing out they were ‘interrupting Cher’ when “Believe” was playing, or from a very loud sing-a-long to “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by The Darkness the stage went black and the crowd went wild in anticipation with chants of “Motionless, Motionless”. With all the Motionless in White band members looking very dramatic, they began the set with “Rats” off the new album which received a great response. The band were soon joined on stage by two ladies, wearing latex outfits very similar to those featured in some of their music videos. The first two words of the next song “Reincarnate” being “GET UP!” was a very good prompt for the crowd to start jumping and raising their fists into the air.
A short pause between the next songs gave Chris “Motionless” Cerulli the chance to ask, “who came to party with us tonight?” and that he appreciated the volume of the singing due to him starting to feel a little sick. As soon as “Necessary Evil” started the two ladies were back on stage with angle grinders making sparks which looked impressive in front of the Motionless in White backdrop. The quiet whispers from Devin “Ghost” Sola on bass added to the haunting effect of this dramatic performance.
Cerulli asked how many of the audience had seen them before and this received a huge roar and most of the hands in the crowd went up in response. The duet with Charnas from Ice Nine Kills was a crowd pleaser for those long-time fans as they performed an older song, “Abigail”. During “America” everyone was more than happy to oblige when asked to chant the chorus, although I’m not sure people signed up to being squirted with water cannons!
Excitement grew as Rammstein’s “Du Hast” began with Cerulli encouraging the repetition of those same two words. Heading towards the end of the set the audience were asked if they were bored yet… I’m sure you can guess the response.
When the expected calls for an encore began, the band graced the stage once again to end the show with “Eternally Yours” which was a definite crowd pleaser. With the return of the ladies in black throwing roses around the venue and Cerulli blowing kisses out from the stage, this was a strong way to end the night on a high.
Pics by Jack Barker Photography