Biffy Clyro – Rockhal, Luxembourg

 

Biffy Clyro.jpg

When the tour of Biffy Clyro was announced, I was a bit chuffed since the original date they would be performing in Belgium was on November 12th and I wouldn’t be able to go due to other plans. So I started looking around where they would be performing close to Belgium that I could get to without issues. This is why I chose Luxemburg. It’s about 2 hours and a half from home, just that little too far to drive back at night so a hotel had to be booked. The things we do for the bands we love.

In the afternoon I checked into my hotel and after eating something, I made my way over to Esch sur Alzette. Just 20 minutes from Luxembourg city.  Finding the hall was not difficult but getting to the other side of the station to park my car was a bit tricky. I had researched in advance and was glad I had printed the info from the station and had it on hand. I got to the venue and there were already people waiting outside for the doors to open. There were more people already waiting than I had seen earlier in the week at the Twin Atlantic concert.

Once the doors opened and I got granted access to the venue, I made my way over to the PA station. Since I had stood close (like third row) at Pukkelpop, I didn’t really feel that I had to get close. Standing just that bit further away has the advantage of being able to see the whole of the show. Additionally standing at the PA station normally means that you have the best sound in the room, that is my main reason to stand there.

The support act was “Lonely the brave” and beforehand I thought I had heard some of their songs. If I had, they didn’t play those. I thought they were kind of good but the singer stood a bit passive on the stage while the others played their instruments with passion. It might have been better if he had an instrument to put some oomph in his performance but his singing was on point. It reminded me a bit of the passiveness of the singer of White lies. When listening to their songs now on Youtube, I like them slightly better than I did live on Saturday.

Then the main act arrived on stage, all theatrical with a choir song (I’m still looking for the exact name of this song.) The lights are still off and thus then they can come on stage without being seen and kick off Wolves of Winter like that! Simon starts the show with his coat on while Ben & James are already sitting/standing with their chests bare. After a few songs he takes his coat of, from that moment on they are all standing there like I’ve seen them before. Is it maybe that we expect this? Am I objectifying them? If they didn’t do this, they would still be a hell of a band!

Biffy Clyro played their hearts out for two hours straight. Honestly, it didn’t seem that long while I was standing in the audience. It just flew by. But every song was either one of the great new ones of “Ellipses” or one of the classics that they have been performing for ages.

I tried to sing along to every song but some songs only reach as far as the chorus for me.An example of this is 9/15ths of which I only know the “We’re on a hell slide” bit or “Whorses” of which I do know the melody but not the words. I shouted very loudly along to “On a bang”, all that swearing gives me a great feeling although some people around me looked at me strangely – was I swearing too loudly?

The crowd went wild for all the hits that were streaming from the stage and even had a small mosh pit going. At one moment James asked if they were taking care of each other. One of the other reasons I don’t stand in mid of a room is that I don’t want to be trapped in a circle pit and I do expect the people that go to Biffy Clyro to get hyped by the music and form one of the above-mentioned things.

The light show was amazing (example below – sorry for the shaking images). But sometimes because they were using stroboscopes I had to close my eyes because it kind of hurts to look at those things for long periods of time.

Two hours just flew by and before I know it was all over, with three encore songs they closed the gig and Stingin’ Belle really is one of the better songs, nice and hard to end the show.

If I have to choose one song of the whole set that I really love it would be something like “Howl” or “Mountains” or “Many of Horror”, this is a mix of new and already proven greats so it only shows that they really have a big variety of good songs that they can play. After seven studio albums, they can really pick out of a lot of songs just to make a setlist. Having two hours to fill is then either hard or easy depending on their own preferences. This being said I would want to know how a setlist is made and think that half of the time every venue gets an approximate same kind of setlist only differing dependent on the time they are allowed to play.

I’m looking forward now to see them again in February when they are coming to Belgium. I do hope that the play Opposite then  since this is really one of my favorite songs of theirs.

 

Setlist:

  1. Wolves of Winter
  2. Living is a problem because everything dies
  3. Sounds like balloons
  4. Biblical
  5. Spanish Radio
  6. Howl
  7. In the name of the wee man
  8. Bubbles
  9. Black Chandelier
  10. Friends and Enemies
  11. That golden rule
  12. Re-Arrange
  13. Wave upon wave upon wave
  14. Medicine
  15. Different people
  16. Mountains
  17. On a bang
  18. 9/15ths
  19. Animal Style
  20. Many of Horror
  21. Whorses
  22. Machines

Encore

  • The Captain
  • People
  • Stingin’ Belle

 

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