LIVE: Enter Shikari @ Victoria Warehouse, Manchester

A band member down, Enter Shikari still concocted a rave of euphoric scale at Manchester's Victoria Warehouse having been delayed for a year.
Posted: 11 December 2021 Words: Abi White Photos: Virginie Viche

As fans huddled into Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse sheltering from the blistering December winds, it was a whole world away from what should have been a UK summer 2021 tour for Enter Shikari.

After unveiling their sixth album Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible back in April 2020 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, arguably hitting the music industry harder than anyone else, it was back with another kick for Enter Shikari. With bassist, Chris Batten, having to pull out of the show after testing positive for Covid-19, the band weren’t accepting anymore sacrifices and took matters into their own hands so the show could go on. Performing like they had never done before, frontman Rou Reynolds explained how they still managed to do the gig despite Chris not being there: by playing out old recordings.

With a 10-minute futuristic countdown echoing through the sold-out warehouse, the crowd packed themselves in tightly towards the front before the band plunged into 'THE GREAT UNKNOWN'.

With a setlist amassing almost twenty tracks from across over a decade of music, Enter Shikari took the crowd on a rock, pop, electronic, and drum and bass journey. Tearing through the generations of Shikari in the first handful of tracks, they really proved they are one of the most versatile bands of the 21st century. 

From the flickering dance synths in 'THE GREAT UNKNOWN' reminiscent of The Prodigy juxtaposing with the thrashing guitars in the 2011 single Sssnakepit, Reynolds leaps across the width of the stage whilst drummer, Rob Rolfe, and guitarist, Rory Clewlow, deliver equally as high energy performances. 

Anaesthetist’ was a highlight of the set, nestled comfortably in the middle and playing out with the Reso Remix outro, unpacking yet another dynamic within their music. Accompanied by red flashing strobes similar to that of a rave, the cleverly crafted lighting mirroring the mood and genre of each track made this a show to remember. 

An encore of five songs closed the show, including a mesmerising stripped back version of Constellations, before buoyant ‘The Dreamer’s Hotel’ lead perfectly into the penultimate and euphoric ‘Live Outside’, reminding the audience of the power live music has to unite the thousands. After over a year’s wait for this show, it was definitely worth it.

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