Support for this concert came from Walking Papers, unfortunately due to traffic on the road to Trezzo, my friends and I didn’t arrive on time to enjoy the support band. So you will have to check them out on your own as I’ll do!
21.45-23:30 BIFFY CLYRO
“Mon the Biff! Mon the Biff! Mon the Biff!”, this is what the fans intone before Biffy Clyro enter the stage, rigorously without T-shirts and showing their numerous tattoos. Simon Neil (lead vocals, guitar), has a long brown beard which makes him look like Jesus, and his disciples, the two ginger-haired twins Ben Johnston (drums, vocals) and James Johnston (vocals, guitars) join him on stage along with an added touring member: Mike Vennart (guitar, backing vocals).
When they enter the stage, warmly acclaimed by the audience, Simon utters a loud “Buonasera” (“Good evening” in Italian) rolling the “r” in the proper Scottish way. It’s always nice when a band tries to say something in the language of the country where the concert is held. It makes the band even closer to the fans and the effort is always widely appreciated!
They open the concert with “Different people”, a song taken from their latest masterpiece Opposites. This song starts in a rather quiet tone with Simon’s voice in a melodic mode and then, almost immediately, the drums and guitars make their entrance in an impressive build up of sounds.
There is no background or anything special on the stage but this vacuum is culminated with amazing lights’ games changing colours and speed at the rhythm of the music! When I saw them in Sheffield (UK) in March, the stage had an enormous construction of a spinal column with nerves spreading out like tree branches on both sides of it which rendered the stage quite impressive.
Simon, as if fans have forgotten who they are seeing, reminds them a few time during the concert: “We are Biffy Fucking Clyro”! The audience assents by screaming incredibly loud. When they play “Who’s Got A Match”, a song taken from their 2007 album Puzzle, the audience is on fire and the refrain of the song becomes a metaphorical truth: “I’m on fire and I burn burn burn tonight”.
The first slower song they play is “Biblical”, which with its delicate rhythm and the amazing lyrics gets stuck in your head. Its refrain live sounds even more powerful than if you listen to it on the stereo, making the song and this moment really become magical and wonderful.
In between the songs Simon cheers the audience, asking how they feel and announcing the next songs. When he announces this next song, the audience screams happily: it is time for them to hear “God & Satan”. As soon as its notes are in the air and Simon starts singing, the public follows him in a chorus until the last word and until the last breath. I believe this is one of Biffy Clyro’s most outstanding songs, both for its soft tune and its powerful lyrics. Hearing it live is an absolute treat, so dear audience, you are very privileged indeed!
“God & Satan” is followed by “Glitter and Trauma”, an early song which has a much more rock sound. For the intro to this song, which is full of hard beats, Simon and James hold a strobe light each and illuminate the audience keeping the beat with the light. After all, the very lyrics of the song say: “We are the human strobe”, yes guys you are!
The lights dim and the Live Music Club falls into the dark, Simon is the only one left on stage and is illuminated by a white light. He plays an amazing acoustic version of two B-sides: “The Rain” and “Folding Stars”. The audience holds a respectful and devoted silence, listening to Simon’s voice and the gentle picking of the strings of his acoustic guitar, joining him in singing the refrains.
“Living Is a Problem Because Everything Dies”, has nothing acoustic and clashes with the two previous songs. But what a great clash! The constant beats of its intro make Simon’s and James’s head tilt to the left at the rhythm of Ben’s drums. The lights dim and brighten at the rhythm of the beats, rendering this song a great live experience.
Simon announces their early song “57” by saying it the Italian way “ciquantasette” with a slight and very friendly Scottish accent, making the audience smile. During the refrain of the song everybody jumps and sings with Simon “And I’ll try not to feel this music’s for you and over, and over, and over”. Accentuating the Rs like he does.
The next song is the brilliant “Many of Horror”, which is very likely to give you the creeps. Everybody’s hands are up in the air cheering at the perfection of this song.
Then on, with three more lively and rock songs taken from Opposites: “Modern Magic Formula”, the first single “Black Chandelier” and “Woo Woo”. They all are perfect to sing along to and to jump on to.
Simon announces the end of the concert with “The Captain”. When he does so, my screams of happiness are probably covering everybody’s screams but since it’s the last song I thought I might as well lose my voice for it. I love this song, it’s a burst of energy from the beginning to the end. It’s impossible not to keep the beat by jumping high on it. Towards the end of the song Simon thanks the audience for their great participation before they all bid goodbye.
But, stay with me, this is not the end of the concert!!! In fact, Biffy Clyro, after having played for over an hour and a half without any break (seriously, I have no idea how they, and mainly Simon, can keep up with such a frenetic rhythm) come back for an Encore, woop! Moreover, Simon has an Italian flag around his neck, which brings his Italian fans into delirium.
The first closing song is the melancholic and quiet “Opposite”. If you listen to the lyrics of this song and can grasp their deep meaning it will make you shed tears, if its sung live it’s even more so, I guarantee you. If you don’t believe me it’s enough to look at its refrain which says: “Baby I’m leaving here, you need to be with somebody else. I can’t stop bleeding here, can you suture my wounds and feelings.”
The next song is the very Scottish “Stinging Belle”, although in the live version there are no bagpipes, this tune can still give you a great taste of Scottish music. Close your eyes and you’ll feel as if you were in a busy street in Glasgow, listening to a talented busker.
Biffy Clyro brilliantly close their sold out concert with their usual and unmissable closing song “Mountains”, thanking the audience once again for coming down to see them. The Live Music Club becomes one unique voice in unison with Simon’s singing “I am a mountain, I am the sea, you can’t take that away from me”. When the song is over and the band leaves the stage, the fans’ screams seem to ask “Please don’t take Biffy away from me!”.
Nearly two hours of pure musical energy, taking the audience through a great blend of newer and older songs, songs which get you jumping and others which give you chills. No wonder they have to play half naked, aye, these Scottish lads are doing an impressive training on stage!
Sooner or later they will be back and we will be there. Biffy Clyro are a band totally worth seeing again, believe me, I saw them four times and would see them thousands more, because live they are just brilliant and give the public incredible emotions. You should try in order to believe it!
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- Different People
- That Golden Rule
- Who’s Got a Match?
- Sounds Like Balloons
- Victory Over the Sun
- God & Satan
- Glitter and Trauma
- Spanish Radio
- Little Hospitals
- The Rain
(Simon Solo Acoustic)
- Folding Stars
(Simon Solo Acoustic)
- Living Is a Problem Because Everything Dies
- Many of Horror
- Modern Magic Formula
- Black Chandelier
- Woo Woo
- The Captain
- Opposite (Encore)
- Stingin’ Belle (Encore)
- Mountains (Encore)
- Biffy Clyro to keep going into their 50s (contactmusic.com)
- Biffy Clyro to headline 2014 Isle of Wight Festival (telegraph.co.uk)
- Biffy Clyro to headline Isle of Wight Festival 2014 (musicweek.com)
- Top 10 Albums of 2013 (followthewatermusic.wordpress.com)