Ice Nine Kills – Meat and Greet live at the OVO Wembley Arena- 23rd May 2024

    Review by Hexi Laing *** Photography by Adrian Hextall

    From a scary sequel to a fantastic franchise, Ice Nine Kills returns to the UK for their Meat and Greet tour alongside metal icons Malevolence and Five Finger Death Punch.

    Back with a blast and lighting up the stage, the horror-themed American heavy metal band returned with a vengeance to light up the OVO Wembley arena. This is the fourth time I have had the pleasure of seeing the band live including Download 2023 and I can safely say that they just keep getting better and better with every show. Throwing in tracks from albums old and new, the boys took to the stage once again clad in the costumes we all know and love with tracks from The Silver Scream, Welcome To Horrorwood and The Predator Becomes The Prey.

    Kicking off the night with one hell of a warm-up, we were first treated to a 30-minute round of madness from Sheffield metalcore legends Malevolence, who were quick to build up an amazing amount of energy to boost the crowd for the upcoming acts. Opening up the pits with the second song of the night, Malevolence gave us one hell of a range of tracks to get us going including Life Sentence, Higher Place, Keep Your Distance and Broken Glass. We had moshers, we had headbangers; with torches lighting up the arena in one minute and a pit tearing it in two in the next. A truly brilliant way to start the night in exactly the right direction.

    We were buzzing. We were bouncing. We were bursting at the seams.

    We were ready for Ice Nine Kills.

    Starting with Nick Cage and the Bad Seeds ‘Red Right Hand’ (a song that, I think we can all agree belongs to the band now, I don’t care how much you liked it in Peaky Blinders), the band knows exactly the right way to keep us amped-up and ready just before they take to the stage. Entering under a sea of red lights and smoke screens, we were greeted with the suave suits of Hip-to-be scared, bloody axe gripped in Spencers hand, which was then swapped for a Freddy Kruger glove, the psycho knife, and numerous other props including a shower door screen to light up Marion’s murder and Hannibal Lecter himself tied down to a trolley with his muzzle/mask. I went nuts. The crowd went nuts. I still don’t know how Spencer doesn’t laugh when everyone wiggles their fingers at him like a Freddy Kruger glove in ‘The American Nightmare’, and I can say it has been a full 24 hours and I am still trying to figure out how to steal their giant inflatable offset and put it in my back garden.

    In all seriousness, there is not much about this particular gig that I haven’t already talked about before, other than to just reaffirm to myself and all of you wonderful readers just how much I love this damn band! The great thing about INK is they are such a unique and niche approach to their theme and target audience that, no matter how many times you see them, there is always something brand new for you to experience and so much infectious energy for you to absorb. Even if you have been numerous times in the past, as I have done, I still know that I am going to have an amazing time, because, at the end of the day, INK bring so much joy and passion to every show that it’s pretty much inevitable that I will have an amazing time.

    They are relentless, energised, and so much damn fun to watch; and perhaps what is most important is that they look just as happy to see their audience as we are to see them. They want you to have a great time, to give you the best gig they can so you will go back for more, and big shocker, you as the audience do have an amazing time and you want to see them again.

    Whether it’s my fourth or my fortieth time, I for one am never going to complain about seeing INK annihilate the stage and take the arena by storm. It can be in the smallest arena you can find, or out in the fields in the pouring rain, you are always guaranteed to have such an incredible time, because this is one of the bands that is so worth all of the pre-concert/festival aggravation, just to get to see them again.

    Rock on Ice Nine Kills! Keep being the fucking amazing band that you are.

    …and seriously, send me that inflatable if you ever decide you don’t want it. It will be taking pride of place on top of the garden shed.

    Ice Nine Kills Setlist:

    • Hip To Be Scared
    • Rainy Day
    • Meat And Greet
    • Ex-Mortis
    • Funeral Derangements
    • The Fastest Way To A Girl’s Heart Is Through Her Ribcage
    • The Shower Scene
    • A Grave Mistake
    • The American Nightmare
    • Welcome To Horrorwood

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