Lostprophets, O2 Academy Brixton 11/02/10




Having already witnessed many impressive shows from Welsh rock stars Lostprophets in the past; I was intrigued to see if they would out-do themselves on this tour. They have all the desirable foundations to do it: fresh material, a new image and much bigger objectives. On 11th February 2010, they bought their spectacle to London and showed Brixton Academy how to party, proving that they were well up for the challenge.

As I predicted, they broke the ice with ‘If It Wasn’t For Hate We’d Be Dead By Now’, setting the mood fittingly for what was about to proceed. Excluding an early offering of regular concluder ‘Burn Burn’, the first part of the set is made up of songs from new album ‘The Betrayed’. This doesn’t seem to bother the crowd as they sing each song with great enthusiasm; as if they’d known them for years. ‘Darkest Blue’ and ‘A Better Nothing’ are received almost as well as the old classics.

It is obvious that the band have focused on the production element of this tour with raised platforms behind the drum-kit, dramatic intermissions between songs and striking, gloomy lights that suit the deliberately dark atmosphere. I usually prefer the band when they avoid the fancy props and just play to the crowd but it was refreshing to see something different to accompany the new album.

The surprise of the night was an electrifying rendition of The Prodigy’s ‘Omen’, which sent everyone into complete hysteria. It was shortly followed by two brutal performances of ‘Dstryr Dstryr’ and ‘Next Stop Atrocity’, notably the heaviest songs on ‘The Betrayed’. Up until this point, vocalist Ian Watkins had been uncharacteristically quiet, but as Liberation Transmission made an entrance with ‘Can’t Catch Tomorrow’, the band seemed to relax and soon began their usual banter with the crowd. The second half of the set sees the band become a lot more dynamic, especially expressed by keyboardist Jamie Oliver, who treats us to a rather splendid running man during new single ‘For He’s A Jolly Good Felon’.

By this time, chants of ‘Godzilla!’ had been echoing from the crowd for a good 15 minutes. After educating us of the soon to be renowned ‘Godzilla claw sign’, we were spoiled with an untidy but glorious ‘We Are Godzilla, You Are Japan’. The result was a very happy but somewhat flattened mob of fans. The next part of the show sent everyone into a mass sing-along as the catchy hooks and colossal choruses of ‘Where We Belong’ and ‘Rooftops’, shook our eardrums. Energy levels are kept constant as everyone shouts “1, 2, 3, GO!” and jumps in unison to ‘Last Train Home’. Just as I think the gig cannot possibly get any better, the band tear the room apart with the ever faithful crowd pleaser, ‘Shinobi Vs. Dragon Ninja’.

The show concludes with ‘The Light That Shines Twice As Bright’, a song that slightly loses the concentration of the crowd as it is the only slow tempo track on the set list. However, this is soon redeemed with a piercing, compelling ending. As the last verse commences, the stage is paraded into darkness, lit only by a blue glow as Ian Watkins stands alone singing a cappella into an epically eerie finish. The crowd hold their breath as he screeches his last words and throws his microphone to the ground before disappearing into the shadows. If that’s not a perfect ending to an incredible show, I don’t know what is.

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Photographs by Marcus Maschwitz, check out more of his wicked stuff here:

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