Well, my readers, the time has come again. My neck is sore, my clothes smell of spilled alcohol, and the only thing balming the post-concert depression is the fact that Download festival is just a few days away.
I was undoubtedly traveling to London with very high expectations for my second time seeing the incredible Ice Nine Kills, with their 2019 Norwich show leaving such a huge impact on me seeing as it was my first-ever concert. Anyone who knows this band will know of their incredible passion for performances that rival the very horror movies their songs are based on. With a variety of props and tech to decorate the stage alongside the band’s endless enthusiasm, everyone knows that this is a show that brings all of the thrills and chills that only a great horror movie can provide, all tied up in a bow and delivered to us like a present in the form of the Wurst Vacation European tour. And I am beyond happy to say that the show at O2 Kentish Town was certainly no different.
Opening strong, my party and I entered the arena to the sweet sound of guitar riffs and heavy drum and bass, provided by the incredibly talented Lansdowne as the night’s first act. This band was a delight to see, with a selection of catchy and fast-paced tracks making up their set that had the audience jumping and pumping their fists in time as they sang along to the lyrics. Perhaps even better, however, was that the band themselves looked just as happy to be there, calling out to the crowd and lighting up the stage as they performed.
The second band to take to the stage was the now very well-known SKYND, known for their songs based on the Columbine school massacre where 15 were shot dead including perpetrators Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, true life murders such as Chris Watts killing and disposing of his wife and 2 daughters, John Wayne Gacy– a serial killer and sex offender killing 33 men and boys in Illinois, Michelle Carter who agressively encouraged her boyfriend to commit suicide, Richard Ramirez, a serial killer and sex offender sentenced to death in 1989 to name a few, performing an 8 song set from different albums. Definitely not a group tha would appeal to the squeamish. This band certainly knows how to use stage lighting to their advantage, setting a distinct look from Lansdowne and INK under a strobe light of lime green and bright purple that certainly brought out the glitter and white of SKYND’s outfit against the black robes of her band mates. Combine this with an incredible range of vocals and you have yourself a band that is certainly an interesting sight to see.
Could it possibly get any better?
Yes. Yes it could.
Entering not with a bang, but with a literal explosion as Ice Nine Kills took to the stage with their opening track ‘Funeral Derangements’.
From here on out I can honestly say that the very premise of sanity made a swift exit out of the building as the crowd lost all sense of control and became feral to the wrath of Pet Semetary. People were screaming (I was people), headbanging (again, I was people), moshing, dancing, and singing along as INK thundered across the stage donned in animal masks and fake blood, surrounded by smoke machines and deep red lights.
The set progressed quickly with hit after hit, which I was pleasantly surprised to find contained not one, but five songs from The Silver Scream and one from Every Trick in The Book alongside some of the greats from Welcome to Horrorwood. Following up with the tour’s namesake, the band progressed through to ‘Wurst Vacation’, ‘Hip to be Scared’, and ‘Ex-Mortis” before dipping back into the past with ‘It is the End’, ‘Communion of the Cursed’, and ‘The American Nightmare’; all with the support of incredible costumes and props wielded by Spencer Charnas and their talented makeup artist/on stage cosplayer Shevy Marie. As lively as always, the band members jumped, ran, and waved weapons coated in fake blood out toward the crowd, having just as much fun as everyone in the audience (and maybe a little more). The set list continued with songs from past to present, much to the crowds (and again, MY) delight, including ‘The Shower Scene’, ‘Assault and Batteries’, ‘A Grave Mistake’ and ‘Stabbing in the Dark’, all building up to the final concluding song ‘Welcome to Horrorwood’.
To put it simply, this concert was FUCKING AMAZING!!!
Ice Nine Kills are, without a doubt, an example of everything great about this diverse and fantastic genre of music. Passionate about what they do, determined to give every show everything they’ve got, and one of the bands that you adore seeing live because you just have to see them bouncing up onto the stage to know that they are just as happy to be there with you as you are to be there seeing them. I never thought I would see a show that could potentially knock their 2019 Norwich performance from its pedestal in my heart, and while it certainly has remained on top, I can now say that it is only the nostalgic factor of being my first that has kept it in its place. My neck might hurt like hell and my voice is still hoarse three days later, but it was worth every uncomfortable grimace to be able to see one of the most phenomenal, talented, and unique bands I have ever had the pleasure to see all over again.
Now it is just a matter of counting down the hours until I see them again at Download, especially as I know I am guaranteed that each time I see them live will be even better than the last.
Ice Nine Kills Setlist:
Hip To Be Scared
It is The End
Communion of the Cursed
The American Nightmare
The Shower Scene
Assault and Batteries
A Grave Mistake
Farewell II Flesh
Stabbing in the Dark
Welcome to Horrorwood