This year, St Albans’ very own genreless quartet Enter Shikari are taking their seminal debut album Take to the Skies across Europe in order to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The album opened a door for Rou Reynolds and co. which has seen them become one of the most politically engaged and socially conscious bands that our generation so desperately needs, placing vital ideals at the forefront of our collective minds more and more each day.

Frontman Rou Reynolds. (c) Jack Parker

Frontman Rou Reynolds. (c) Jack Parker

Last night, they took their destructive 2017 re-run of Take to the Skies to a sold-out TivoliVredenburg in the Dutch city of Utrecht for the first of two Benelux shows. Opening on an anthemic Enter Shikari, the band further kicked off their energetic-as-ever live show with staple banger Mothership as well as fellow old cut Anything Can Happen in the Next Half Hour, a track which has been seldom played throughout the last few years. It was a set which fully cemented Enter Shikari’s status as incendiary live band, one with no boundaries or restrictions in the slightest. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be any band remotely like Enter Shikari, whether it be from a musical, production or live point of view. Taking to the stage following a catchy set from British rockers Mallory Knox, Reynolds and co. looked totally ready to take on the TivoliVredenburg’s offering of 2,000 ecstatic fans, plenty of whom have been with the quartet through thick and thin. Speaking of thick and thin, a mention is necessary for the Shikari Crew, who are among some of the hardest working crew members around today and who will stop at nothing to ensure that the show remains as chaotic as can be in the best possible way.

Rory Clewlow. (c) Jack Parker

Rory Clewlow. (c) Jack Parker

Rob Rolfe. (c) Jack Parker

Rob Rolfe. (c) Jack Parker

Despite the set being in honour of Take to the Skies, the band did find time to sneak some newer cuts into the set, amongst them the stadium-worthy Torn Apart and gritty Anaesthetist (both taken from 2015’s The Mindsweep), as well as the manic Common Dreads highlight Juggernaut. All three tracks stood out, however the best reception of the night was saved for the cut which truly placed Enter Shikari in the spotlight – Sorry, You’re Not a Winner. Complete with its famous three claps and human pyramid interlude, the track proved to be a peak in the set which the band would sustain all the way through to the brutal Return to Energizer (during which Reynolds made his way into the crowd), beautiful Adieu and set closer OK Time for Plan B. The band mashed it up with newer track The Appeal & the Mindsweep II, destroying everything in their path as they left no stone unturned.

Reynolds tells it how it is. (c) Jack Parker

Reynolds tells it how it is. (c) Jack Parker

Clewlow gets loose. (c) Jack Parker

Clewlow gets loose. (c) Jack Parker

Enter Shikari are a band whose impact in this day and age is so vital that it’s hard to imagine a world without them. For every major development in the world, there’s a reaction which Reynolds and co. fully enforce through music in a way only they know how. They’ve claimed to be returning in November, with a new studio album seemingly pencilled in for somewhere around the same time. There’s no indication as to how it’s going to sound, and that’s something absolutely brilliant about this band: you’ll expect the unexpected, and even then all your expectations will somehow be exceeded.

Tonight the band will appear at the Trix in Antwerpen. Read our recent interview with frontman Rou Reynolds here, and find more shots from the show below.

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