LIVE: Beartooth @ The Borderline London 16/9/14 ★★★★★

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Beartooth are one of the ‘hype’ bands of the year, with a blistering debut album and ferocious live show that has won an army of fans over the past twelve months. Today the band are taking on a new challenge, kicking off a headline run of shows in the UK for the first time. As we make our way to the secluded and tucked in venue, we see a line of fans waiting to get in, and there’s anticipation in the air. Everyone’s talking about Beartooth, there’s Beartooth merch, cries of “Beartooth”, and we even spot a Beartooth tattoo. The band have quickly garnered a fleet of devoted fans, but one question is on the tip of everyone’s tongue; can they pull off headline status so early in their career?

Climates 2Lincoln lads Climates are up first tonight and have the task of getting everyone warmed up and in high spirits. The guys are clearly pumped up for this show and waste no time getting into the swing of things. They sound tight and well rehearsed with the guitars providing a crunch and heaviness to their brand of melodic hardcore. New single ‘Leaves Of Legacy’ causes a pit to break out on the floor and ignites the energy in the room to raise the tempo in this sweatbox. Climates write songs with clean and mellow instrumentation, but not even these sections can kill the momentum as they act more as breaks for the hardcore fans and mosh kids. Most bands would struggle to raise the intensity levels back up after such sections but the band have a handle on how the songs come across live and pack a punch to keep our attention firmly fixed. Vocalist Wes commands the crowd with ease and aplomb, calling out “this is your show, this is your stage”  leads to the first stage dives of the night. It’s a tremendous set from the band as they air a lot of new material that we can expect from their upcoming debut album, Body Clocks, being released next month to coincide with their own UK run of headline shows.

DH“We’re Dead Harts from Sheffield”…and its absolute chaos. Steel City bruisers Dead Harts must be doing something right as from the off there’s a barrage of bodies going hurtling off the stage and a nearby ledge that runs just off the bar. Drummer Anthony Allen towers over his kit and batters it relentlessly and frontman Matthew Baxendale is on top of the crowd delivering his gravel throated vocals, he looks like Keith Buckley’s doppelgänger as well. If you’ve never heard of Dead Harts before then imagine if Feed The Rhino had a younger brother who add ADHD. ‘Pit Talk’, the opening song from the bands latest effort, Cult For The Haggard Youth is a pure stomper that incites unrelenting headbanging. Brief microphone difficulties occur after the track and the cheeky bastards even get brought pints to them onstage, nice work boys. Nothing can stop DH on this type of form tonight, they’re ferocious, brash, abrasive and a downright pleasure to watch. They surge into ‘Cult For The Haggard Youth’ and ‘Striptease’ and it’s complete destruction on and offstage. Bax claims the show to be the best of the tour and it’s no surprise when the reception and reaction they’ve gotten looks like it might just steal the show.

beartoothBeartooth it seems have it all to do to come out on top tonight then, but as soon as the opening riff of ‘The Lines’ hits our ears its no contest. Everyone here tonight goes fucking batshit mental and scream the lyrics back straight away. The chorus brings about an enormous singalong and the amount of stage dives DH had has doubled. It’s downright pandemonium. Caleb Shomo likes to talk a lot in between songs, which slightly kills the momentum and atmosphere, ironically before ‘In Between’, another song with a singalong so loud it drowns out Caleb’s vocals. The first track many people heard from Beartooth was ‘I Have A Problem’, so it’s no wonder when they storm into the songs infectious opening riff that the whole room is plastered with smiles and ready to go mental once again. The rule book goes out the window during this insanity as almost every member of the touring crew rush the stage during the songs climax and throw themselves off the edge.

DH Bax’ joins the quintet onstage during ‘Relapsing’, well momentarily before he once again joins the few hundred people in the audience. The band make their way off stage but return for an encore of ‘Body Bag’, that see’s the tables turned as the crowd invade the stage and join their new heroes to share their final moments of a triumphant and mesmerizing headline set here in our countries capitol city. Tonight was a blast and most of all, fun.