5th March | Colston Hall
Photos: Josh Jones
Having been forced to reschedule the start of their A Fever Dream tour due to the Beast from the East roaming through the country, Everything Everything were champing at the bit to finally get the show on the road at Bristol’s Colston Hall.
And what a show it was! Getting off to a seemingly slow start with vocalist Jonathan Higgs on the piano for ‘A Fever Dream’, the drawn-out closer to the band’s fourth studio album, the sold-out crowd seem fairly subdued by the choice of opener. It doesn’t really kick off the night with the trademark frantic energy that fans have come to expect from the indie-rockers, but it there is a larger plan in play that is yet to reveal itself.
Putting together a live show is a work of art, and in this respect these five guys from Manchester have cooked up something pretty special. Not bursting out of the gates with a fan favourite may seem a little strange, but it provides the opportunity to escalate gradually towards a massive send-off. Three songs into the set, they really start to ramp up in that direction. Jerky favourite ‘Cough Cough’ warms the crowd a little, followed swiftly by ‘The Wheel (Is Turning Now)’ with it’s rousing beat-driven interlude. By the time ‘Night of the Long Knives’ swings around, people seem to be getting into the groove of things, a synth-fuelled number so energetic that it gets even those in the seats upstanding and shaking out their best math-rock moves.
Powering through ‘Can’t Do’ (with the keys going absolutely mental), ‘Regret’ and ‘Desire’, there’s a cracking spread from across all four albums. But it’s the encore that really explodes, bringing with it the distinct feeling that we’re now entering the second half of the show, and that this is where it’s about to properly kick off.
Bouncing back onto the stage, after a brief pause, with ‘Don’t Try’ and ‘Distant Past’, not a single member of the band seems able to stand still for a millisecond. Their vivacity pulses out into the crowd and has everyone in the room completely captivated as to what might come next.
The epic crescendo that the whole night has been building up to finally comes to a head with the rapid cryptic first verse of ‘No Reptiles’, as the light show throbs along to the tempo of the drums and Higgs reaches gradually for his unmistakable falsetto. Having opened with a slow, dream-like air, this part of the show is the polar opposite. As the drums pound and the chorus soars around the room, chants of “feeling like a fat child in a pushchair,” reverberate from the floor to the highest row. It’s electric.
This is Everything Everything at their peak, radiating an otherworldly atmosphere right from the start, progressing steadily at first and then crashing huge songs into each other; not letting up until the drums come to a sudden halt, the lights snap to black – and they’re gone.