Biffy Clyro & City and Colour – AECC, Aberdeen – 31/03/13
It’s been 3 long years since Biffy Clyro graced Aberdeen with their presence, playing the AECC back in 2010. They were in the process of finishing up the ‘Only Revolutions’ tour and getting ready to head across the pond to record album number six. 2013 has seen that new album ‘Opposites’ drop to critical and fan acclaim, charging straight to the top of the charts, bringing the band from Kilmarnock their first ever number one record. With mainstream radio play, a sold out arena tour and with a headline appearance at Reading & Leeds Festivals still to come, the band has completed its transformation from underground heroes to fully bonafide stadium rock specialists.
Opening with the lead track from the new album called ‘Different People’, the tempo and ferociousness for the night is set straight away. Emerging against a stunning backdrop that appeared to be a hybrid of a twisted oak tree and a ribcage accompanied by a sea of lights and lazer, the beefed up Biffy, now consisting of a second guitarist and pianist for live shows, go about showing the crowd just why they are one of the best live bands in Britain.
New tracks ‘Black Chandelier’, ‘Modern Magic Formula’ and ‘Sounds Like Balloons’, fit perfectly in amongst the classics such as debut single, ‘Justboy’ and ‘Bubbles’, with Simon Neil’s shrieking vocals rising above the razor sharp guitar and thundering bass. There’s a rare outing for older track ‘A day of’ that sounds just as good as the first time I heard it all those years ago. The band are chattier than they have been before, looking genuinely bemused and appreciative of the reception they are receiving.
The tempo drops briefly for a stirring acoustic rendition of ‘God and Satan’ and ‘Machines’ that provide the best sing-alongs of the night. However, the set thunders on with new song ‘The Joke’s On Us’ showcasing the sort of breakdown half way through that makes any self-proclaimed rock fan weep in awe over just how good it is.
The band return for an encore, with Simon Neil illuminated high above the crowd, looking like Jesus himself, rising again on Easter Sunday. Finishing with rousing renditions of ‘Stingin’ Belle’ and ‘Mountains’, the band leave the stage with the AECC’s foundations shaking to its core.
What makes Biffy special is that even though they are playing the biggest venues they have ever played and selling more records than they could ever have imagined, they are still in essence the same band. Their sound may have changed slightly over the years (which band doesn’t do this over the course of its career) but the passion and intensity remains as strong as it did in day one.
Long gone are the days of mid-afternoon festival sets to a scattering of hardcore followers. Biffy Clyro have completed the journey to stadium rock headliners. And I’m all for it.
City and Colour
Words by Justboy57, images by Still Burning.
Biffy Clyro Website
City and Colour Website