With Festivals bringing families, friends and relationships together, it is fair to say one of the biggest things fans get excited for is the festival line-up. For many organisations, the key is to tease with hints to its bill, gearing them up for what will ultimately be the best weekend of their life.
2018 has already pumped us up with some of the best acclaimed and scheduled headline performances of the year, with Tame Impala due to play the main stage at London’s Citadel, Annie Mac is set to headline Creamfields 2018, while emo kings, Panic! At the Disco, will be headlining Reading and Leeds. Those are some pretty powerful acts!
While festival organisers usually get it ‘right’, have we not all dreamed about curating our own perfect festival line-up? The perfect set of tracks, musicians, intervals, the whole lot. If you could, what would you consider your perfect headline set? How would you plan it? Which brings us to my perfect headline set of Bring Me The Horizon at Reading and Leeds Festival.
This feature focuses on a fictional, ‘Perfect Headline Set,’ consisting of 15 of Bring Me The Horizon’s best tracks, at Reading and Leeds Festival 2018.
- ‘Pray for Plagues’
- ‘Can You Feel my Heart’
- ‘Go to Hell for Heaven’s Sake’
- ‘It Never Ends’
- ‘What You Need’
- ‘True Friends’
- ‘Liquor & Love Lost’
- ‘(I Used to Make Out With) Medusa’
- ‘Follow You’
- ‘Shadow Moses’
- ‘Crooked Young’
- ‘Happy Song’
‘Pray For Plagues’, Count Your Blessings (2006)
Track one, ‘Pray for Plagues’ is taken from the bands first ever studio album, Count Your Blessings (2006) and was and still is the albums most overplayed and popular track. It is noisy, it is aggressive yet it is wonderfully terrifying. For many BMTH fans, it all began at this album. With scorching vocals and fierce riffs, this track is destined to kick-start a meaty mosh pit, and what better way to set off a headline set?
Before moving onto the second track, a warm welcome speech should be presented by Sykes before introducing their next track.
‘Can You Feel My Heart’, Sempiternal (2013)
A play on their fans heartstrings, ‘Can You Feel My Heart,’ is a swift transition from militant baby metal screamo, to the bands more heart-warming and stapled track within the music industry. When seeing a headline set, you expect a lot from the band, it’s essential the set list exceeds the fans expectations. This track is taken from their second record Sempiternal (2013).
‘Go To Hell For Heaven’s Sake’, Sempiternal (2013)
Taken from the same acclaimed album, Sempiternal, ‘Go to Hell for Heaven’s Sake,’ is a sweet change of tone from, ‘Can You Feel My Heart,’ however not so diverse that the transition would leave fans confused. Each track should move the audience while encouraging their enthusiasm from start to finish.
‘It Never Ends’, There is Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There is a Heaven, Let’s Keep it a Secret (2010)
Taken from There is Hell, Believe Me, I’ve Seen It, There is a Heaven, Let’s Keep it a Secret (2010). This track is pounding and plays around with dark, juddered guitar thrashes. With the previous tracks being furious sing-alongs, ‘It Never Ends’ intices anarchy, moshpits and a livelier, more-grateful crowd. Get ready to bust-a-move.
‘Drown’, That’s the Spirit (2015)
Since this headline set is scheduled for the 2018 Reading and Leeds Festival, it’s important that the majority of the setlist is taken from the bands most, ‘recent,’ album, That’s the Spirit (2015), with classics being thrown in for good measure. While it is essential to keep a setlist fresh, it is still vitally important to chuck a couple archaic gems into the mix, too.
‘What You Need, That’s The Spirit (2015)
This track is the least metal/screamo of the entire set, displaying melodic chorus patterns, and memorable lyrics. ‘What You Need,’ is a softer tone and is second in line of the four back-to-back tracks taken from, That’s The Spirit.
‘True Friends’, That’s The Spirit (2015)
One to get the crowd clinging onto their pals, and or fast made firm friends nearby. ‘True Friends’ is your perfect emo ballad, destined to get the BMTH ‘sleepwalkers,’ jumping and screaming passionately to the lyrics.
‘Run’, That’s The Spirit (2015)
Opened with distorted echoes, followed by mellow spoken word lyrics, ‘Run,’ has an interesting drive with a definitive slow-build up to its chaotic chorus. Experimenting with high to low dynamics, ‘Run,’ is a fun piece to slot between, ‘True Friends,’ and, ‘Liquor & Love Lost.’
‘Liquor & Love Lost’, Count Your Blessings (2006)
After playing four tracks from That’s the Spirit, ‘Liquor & Love Lost,’ breaks the mould. Not exactly a gentle throwback to the band’s first album, Counting Your Blessings, the melodramatic screamo, wiry guitar solos and thrash of melodic riffs make ‘Liquor & Love Lost a perfect addition. This track is the awakening the crowd needs after having settled for more mellow tracks such as, ‘Run,’ and, ‘True Friends.’
(I Used To Make Out With) Medusa’, Count Your Blessings (2006)
‘IUTMOWM,’ is taken from the band’s first studio album, Count Your Blessings, similarly to that of the introducing track, ‘Pray for Plagues,’ and previously, ‘Liquor & love Lost.’ It is about to become nostalgia central in the pit.
‘Follow You’, That’s The Spirit (2015)
There is no smooth way of transitioning from, ‘IUTMOWM’ into the next, but we are going for a dramatic contrast with ‘Follow You’. This track is less beatdown provoking. (Beatdown is a classic dance, mostly demonstrated at any rock or heavy metal show.)
‘Shadow Moses‘, Sempiternal (2013)
The official music video for ‘Shadow Moses’ features glitchy visuals, colourful bursts of smoke and firecrackers, all in which could easily be brought to life at a live show. ‘Shadow Moses,’ had the potential to be the best track of the entire setlist. Placing this song towards the end of the show would implicate just how much effort the band are willing to put in to make sure they round up the show the best way they can.
Before roaring through the final three, a short speech should be made from Sykes. Due to the scorching vocals and beat thuds from the drums being the main patterns of the next track, it is so important that the frontman psyches up his audience. “Let’s have it Reading and fucking Leeds.”
‘Crooked Young‘, Sempiternal (2013)
The only song that could come close to outdoing the previous song would be, ‘Crooked Young.’ Stapled as the thirteenth track of the evening -to the knowledge of the fans – ‘Crooked Young,’ stands as the penultimate track of the official show.
‘Antivist’, Sempiternal (2013)
“Middle fingers up! If you don’t give a fuck!” Lyrics bound to have the entire crowd jumping, roaring with energy, sweating and becoming simple smudges as they rally against one another. ‘Antivisit,’ theoretically is a hard-hitting song to end the show with, however also sits nicely as the actual penultimate track. It is so upbeat it would almost have fans feeling like they have been left on a cliff hanger.
‘Happy Song’, That’s The Spirit (2015)
At last, we get to the final track, introduced (obviously) as the bands encore. ‘Happy Song,’ is taken from That’s the Spirit. Since the song opens with spoken word lyrics, this is something that would easily engage the participation of the crowd. It is without a doubt the audience would sing along to the infectious lyrics of, ‘Happy Song.’ It’s tame, but also a great ending to a close to 90-minute set.
A ‘perfect set,’ needs a strategic plan. It needs to pull the right emotions at crucial moments, and it needs to be opened and closed with something buoyant, playful and demanding; making the show way more enjoyable for the audience.