Enter Shikari have proved numerous times that they are a force to be reckoned with, so of course I had to see them once more when they played a concert in Cologne past Sunday. The show at the “E-Werk” was sold out, just like almost every show of the band’s “Mindsweep Tour 2016” through the UK, Europe and North America, and one of Germans biggest TV channels even recorded it for a live broadcast.
Only hours before the show, Hacktivist was announced as the first opening act of the evening – no surprise when you consider that Hacktivist is currently touring Germany as well and had just released the single “Taken” featuring Enter Shikari-lead singer Rou Reynolds. The crowd really appreciated the addition to the line up especially when Rou joined Hacktivist on stage to perform “Taken”. Not long after their set, the second opener Modestep truly made the crowd go wild. Their frantic mixture of rock and dubstep opened the first circle pit of the evening – only one of many to come.
When the main act finally entered the stage, the crowd started chanting “And still we will be here, standing like statues”, a line taken from Enter Shikari first self-titled single, an old tradition at the band’s concerts. During the set, the whole venue transforms into one massive pit area. There’s so much movement, it’s impossible to stay in once place, not that you’d even want to. The audience at Enter Shikari shows is always made up of a special kind of people – wild, uncontrolled, frantic but still kind and with a special sense of community. During one part they dance and jump around and in the next moment each and everyone raises their fists and shouts “We will sing as one in solidarity”. That’s the reason why after a set of over twenty songs from “Sorry, you’re not a winner” to the newest single “Redshift” everyone leaves the venue soaked in sweat but with a huge grin on their face. I even had blood on my shirt. I try not to think about it.
When singer Rou Reynolds tells the crowd that they have been one of the best audiences of the tour, you really believe him. Enter Shikari truly gave their all that evening: they crowd surfed while standing on an amplifier , sang on a balcony and even destroyed a keyboard, but in the end it’s that very special type of attitude they created with their lyrics, music and live shows since their first moments as a band, which makes each concert a special collective experience.