In March 2023, Brandon Saller was hyping the crowd up, “hand to his ear, enticing us to be louder, building that atmosphere.” This was the Atreyu show in Swansea Arena with Jinjer and Bullet For My Valentine. Saller promised the band would be back.
SWX, Bristol – 20 November 2023
Words: David Curle
Photography: Georgia Brittain
It was a promise they would deliver some eight months later. The phenomenon from Orange County that is Atreyu said they would be back, and here they are on a cold night at the SWX in Bristol.
It is the long-awaited We Want Your Skulls headline tour. Walking onto the stage to Sandstorm, the band was welcomed by an earsplitting cry from the exhilarated fans.
Drowning, followed by Becoming The Bull, found the room erupting into a Metalcore choir. This moment was special for many and promoted a feeling of respect and prosperity. The quintet kept the pit spinning with Save Us, When Two Are One and (i).
This veteran Metalcore band from California formed way back in 1998 [Ed: The late 1900s]. Proving the phenomenal talent each member has, they switched it up with Kyle [bass], Brandon [drums] and Marc ‘Porter’ McKnight [vocals] for Bleeding Mascara.
Dan Jacobs would swap lead guitar for a saxophone towards the end of the night to surprise the fans with versions of Careless Whisper, Never Gonna Give You Up and Tequila.
Brandon, as energetic as the rest of us, jumped off the stage and started to walk among the fans while singing The Time Is Now. Dripping in sweat, a courteous fan mopped his brow, prompting a dedication of the next song, Gone.
There had been a promise to perform a full version of the Whitney Houston classic I Wanna Dance With Somebody. They left the show on a high and with a swagger and a smile as they tore through this mainstream great as only they could.
This was an exciting show, and it was impossible to resist getting caught up in the euphoria in the room. Gig of the year? Maybe.