For their first arena tour, genre-bending Enter Shikari bring together polish that belies this fact with the raw energy of a front-room show. They manage to make the 7,500 capacity Motorpoint Arena feel intimate. Impressive for a band who pride themselves on being independent, and by their own admission play music that isn’t exactly middle of the road in a set that slips seamlessly between 2015’s ‘The Mindsweep’ and a back catalogue spanning the better part of ten years.
It kicks off with old favourites ‘Solidarity’ and ‘Sorry You’re Not a Winner’, which is the cue for the human pyramids; groups of 20 all huddled together in a mass of bodies, almost a vertical mosh pit. “This may please you, or it may dismay you, but we’re about to enter the rowdy part of the show”, says frontman Rou Reynolds, and they begin to whip the crowd into a frenzy, ripping through ‘The One True Colour’, mixed in with ‘No Sleep Tonight’, into ‘Radiate’, ‘Slipshod’, ‘The Jester’ and then ‘There’s a Price on Your Head’, complete with drum and bass remix.
As the serenade of ‘Dear Future Historians’ comes to life, Rou is nowhere to be seen. The crowd swivels round to see the frontman playing piano atop the sound booth, and you might think the rowdy part is over. As the song reaches a heady climax, he clambers atop the piano, dons a guitar, then a trumpet, leading the crowd in singing ‘Juggernauts’ from amongst them.
The melodic respite implodes into remixes of ‘Arguing with Thermometers’ and ‘Gandhi Mate, Gandhi’, featuring an animated Gandhi asking “What would Robbie Williams do?” This prompts the whole room into a surreal singalong of ‘Angels’. Behind them the screen, as it has been doing all along, spits out carefully crafted visuals, and with a UFO beckoning, the band launches into the finale of ‘Mothership’ with the on-stage equipment devolving into a climbing frame. Back out for a medley of ‘Redshift’, ‘Anaesthetist’ and ‘The Appeal & The Mindsweep II’, the St Albans quartet bow out and thank the crowd for their remarkable midweek energy.