By Luisa De la Concha Montes
Days before Everything Everything’s concert in Bristol, we were panicking. The starting date of the tour was supposed to be in Dublin, but because of the weather, the band had to postpone it. On top of that, they also had to cancel and postpone their gigs in Norwich and Birmingham. So, there we were, continuously (and a bit desperately) checking their twitter account, praying that they wouldn’t cancel Monday’s gig too. On the 5th they gladly announced that the show would go on ahead as planned, meaning that Bristol would mark the beginning of their fourth studio album tour, “A Fever Dream”.
From the moment I first heard the album, I knew that because of the technical complexity of it: Jonathan Higg’s distinct high-pitched voice, the ranging mixture of synthesizers, and the use of reverb,echoes and heavy bass, performing it live would be a challenge. However, the band, quite aware of this, made sure that everything was planned to the smallest detail, from the audiovisual setting, to the way in which the songs were arranged, one could tell that nothing slipped from their minds. The opening band was the London based Pumarosa, their dreamy, yet vibrant sound were a perfect choice to prepare the sold-out crowd at Colston Hall for Everything Everything’s performance.
The lighting of the hall was entrancing, explosions of white light marked the entrance of thefourband members from Manchester, their silhouettes, and Jonathan Higg’s orange trench coat –a clever reference to the colours of the album cover, laid up against huge panels with bright lights. Throughout the show, they made sure to give the crowd a constant dose of orange and blue hue explosions, which synchronized with the beat, giving their sound greater presence and stronger impact. The outlay of the stage was complex enough to keep the audience on the edge, but simple enough to assure us that the main focus should be laid upon the music.
Even though they performed all of the songs from “A Fever Dream”, they still had time to interlace older songs into their set-list, sending the crowd backwards and forwards in time.They performed their 2010 and 2013 hits such as QWERTY Finger, Kemosabe and Cough Cough plus hits from their 7/10 NME rated “Get to Heaven” album, Regret and Distant Past. Their explosive performance of Spring/Sun/Winter/Dreadwas the decisive song that made everyone in the seated area stand up and dance. The band chose the song White Whale to have a heavily emotional intermission, which held the crowd in a respectful silence of admiration that made each of the band member’s passionate performance stand out.
As a band that since their emergence has been quite aware of the technological and political complexities that permeate our modern times, this live performance shows how music can be used simultaneously as an escape and a confrontation of our intimidating reality; to reference a line from their closing song, No Reptiles, they absolutely gave their audience just one night to feel like we might be on the right path.