Keen to immerse themselves in the local culture, the self-proclaimed ‘Nintendocore’ (seriously) quintet HORSE the band kicked the night off with their keyboardist dressed Robin Hood himself. Between firing toy arrows about stage and shouting at the crowd to “SHUT THE F*CK UP!” they did manage to get the audience sufficiently warmed up with some impressive breakdowns. Next, hailing all the way from Japan, were MUCC, resembling characters from Japanese horror films. Despite displaying quite a range of musical styles (particularly the vocalist), these guys seemed to lack the energy of the openers. As the lights went down for the third time, it was time to get serious.  Christian metallers As I Lay Dying blew the crowd away with their heavy and catchy metalcore riffs; by this time the circle pit was taking up half the floor. Story of the Year’s set was equally impressive, with the combination of clean vocals and growls mixing nicely, particularly in their highly energetic single ‘Wake Up’. The night was already a success by the time the headliners took to the stage, so it mattered little that Atreyu’s drummer (and the crowd) was filling in for many of frontman Alex Varkatzas’ vocals. Whilst their set could have been longer, they played many of their best songs and they played them well, finishing the night powerfully and topping off what was truly a taste of chaos for Nottingham.

4/5

Matthew Lambert

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