One of the best bands to make a hot festival day even hotter is Enter Shikari! The lads from St. Alban played a 50 minutes set at 10 pm on Friday on the Eagle stage at Jera on Air. Opening with ‘The Sights’ from their latest record The Spark, Rou Reynolds, Rory Clewlow, Chris Batten and Rob Rolfe made one thing clear from the very beginning: the crowd wasn’t just there to mosh and head bang. It was time to put on the dancing shoes and party!
Instead of playing a “Best of”- festival set list with the biggest hits as most bands do, the guys kept their set as fast paced as possible. With ‘Anything can happen in the next half hour’, they even brought one of my favourite tracks from their debut record to Jera on Air just to continue with ‘Undercover Agents’, my favourite track from The Spark afterwards. The rest of the audience seemed to enjoy the selection of songs as much as I did, because they were dancing and jumping like maniacs.
It wouldn’t be a festival show, if there weren’t any technical difficulties! The band had to re-start ‘Destabilise’ after some undefined malfunction, but it gave the crowd a chance to cool down a bit while the band entertained them with some stage banter. After they continued there was no break at all for the crowd anymore. Enter Shikari went from ‘Arguing with thermometers’, which seemed to be the theme song of the festival with its 30 degrees outside, to ‘Rabble Rouser’. Singer Rou Reynolds spit the verses and danced like nobody’s watching – a virus that quickly spread on to the audience who joined in on the fun.
All hell broke lose when Enter Shikari played their infamous “Quickfire”-section, a medley of the four high energy tracks ‘Sorry you’re not a winner’, ‘Sssnakepit’, ‘…Meltdown’ and ‘The Jester’, which debuted during their European Winter Tour last year. The set closed with the pop anthem ‘Live Outside’ from The Spark.
Since Enter Shikari went into a new direction with their latest album The Spark, an appearance at a hardcore and metal festival such as Jera On Air can be quite risky. The scene (sadly) has a lot of purists who don’t take well to rock bands showing a pop-ier side (aka “wokepop”), so I was very curious to see how the audience would react to Enter Shikari’s set, especially the new songs. Surprisingly, the crowd went as mad during a song like ‘Undercover Agents’ as during an old track like “Arguing with thermometers’. The band showed a good sense for picking the right setlist and the crowd was exhausted but very happy.