After a few songs into Enter Shikari's set on Friday night, one fan took it upon himself to impress the crowd with flips on stage. "We're a traveling circus. The trapeze is up next," joked vocalist Rou Reynolds. Whether fans were somewhat halting the show to execute a picture perfect dive or take the nauseating stage selfie, the crowd inside Music Hall of Williamsburg were thrilled to witness the post-hardcore band on their first North American tour in support of their new album The Spark.
Much like their sold-out record release shows a few blocks away at Rough Trade NYC, the band delivered the cuts "Take My Country Back," "Undercover Agents," and "Rabble Rouser." For some artists, playing material from newer albums tend to become a roadblock for some fans that only want to hear the set staples. Fortunately, that wasn't the case here tonight. The newer material had an equally as thundering reaction as beloved numbers such as " Anything Can Happen in the Next Half Hour" and "Arguing with Thermometers."
That night, Rou didn't spend his whole time on stage. Midway through "Radiate," the frontman took his guitar and made his way to the side section. Surrounded by fans, he crooned "And to stop us from fading away/We'll write for a better day" before standing on the rail to deliver the track's final chords. The singer also made his way to the balcony for the track "Airfield," which was dedicated to those who weathered through a rough 2017. Towards the end of the night, the band decided to give the fans a treat with the rapid fire round. Within an eight-minute span, the band speedily worked their way through four songs ("Sorry, You're Not a Winner," "Sssnakepit," "...Meltdown," and "Antwerpen") with flawless transitions.
While Enter Shikari is busy packing arenas back in Europe, their intimate shows in North America tend to deliver a monstrous amount of chaos from the crowd. With moshpits blending the ferocity of a Converge show with the colorful lights of an Electric Daisy Carnival event, their shows have reached legendary status over the years (their world record-breaking performance at the 2009 Reading Festival is indescribable). If they're playing in front of 9,000 people at Alexandra Palace in London or 500 rowdy New Yorkers, Enter Shikari can breathe easy knowing their fans will still be here standing like statues.
Performing before the headliner can be a bit tough for a rising band, but Canadian punk rockers Single Mothers left the crowd wanting more after their set. Forming in 2008, the band has been gaining steam from their critically acclaimed 2017 release Our Pleasure. The band's set flowed through their entire discography, including their 2011 self-titled EP with "Christian Girls" and "Hell (Is My Backup Plan)."
"We're gonna play for the 50 percent of you with us," stated Milk Teeth vocalist Becky Blomfield during the band's opening performance. While the crowd was a bit inattentive during their 30-minute set, they eventually warmed up to one of the U.K.'s rising punk rock bands. The four-piece group split their time between their 2017 releases Be Nice and Go Away and their 2016 debut album Vile Child. Much like some of their punk rock peers, the outfit infuses some '90s alternative rock to their sound, and it showed with tracks such as the opening number "Brain Food" and "Nearby Catfight," which had guitarist Billy Hutton dropping the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme halfway through the track.