It’s a mild Spring evening and 1000 excitable people are queuing in trepidation outside London’s Electric Brixton. Tonight is the final show of the mighty Crossfaith‘s UK tour and with a reputation for being one of the best live bands around right now, everyone present knows that they are in for a good time.
Supporting Crossfaith on this tour are The One Hundred, who arrive on stage to a grime music intro and a modestly sized crowd. It takes a few tracks to warm people up, with some people looking rather bemused during their set, perhaps finding the band’s juxtaposition of rap, electronic and heavy rock a little jarring. However, there are a dedicated group jumping around like crazy and screaming the lyrics to their songs, which feeds the London boys’ energy. Frontman Jacob Field switches between free-flowing MC to vicious snarls with ease, and his charisma helps get people off their feet. It’s a shame that others haven’t been a bit more open-minded, as The One Hundred put in a good performance. Tough crowd.
Brighton drum’n’bass rockers The Qemists are up next and are met with more enthusiasm as they launch into the roof-shaking ‘Jungle’. Again, the crowd’s energy seems to dwindle halfway through the set, causing vocalist Bruno Balanta to declare “If you give us energy, we will give you energy back!” Maybe people just need a shot of coffee or they’ve had a long day? Any ounce of fatigue is eliminated however when a very special guest joins The Qemists on stage – none other than Crossfaith’s Kenta Koie, who lends his vocals to Warrior Sound album collab ‘Anger’. The mere presence of the man sends the crowd into an absolute frenzy, and it’s from this moment forward that the party truly starts. “See you guys later,” says Ken, as he nonchalantly exits the stage. The Qemists end their set on a high with single ‘Run You’, which holds an important message of defiance to not let ‘The Man’ control your actions, and as the band walk off stage with gleaming smiles having definitely created more fans, their love of performing their music is written all over their faces.
But tonight really belongs to Crossfaith, who arrive to raucous screams and chants of their name. As they explode into ‘Xeno’, pits erupt immediately from every orifice, and several enthusiastic fans crowd-surf their way to the front, much to the dismay of security who look pained for the duration of their set. When you’re pissing off security, you know you’re doing something right! Crossfaith put on a high octane performance, and as always Ken is a commanding force, dominating the stage with his natural charisma and tonsil-shredding vocals. Not one to spend all night stuck behind a keyboard, Teru Tamano gets in on the action, stage-diving into the crowd like a total rockstar.
Live favourite ‘Wildfire’ is a complete party anthem, and the band pay homage to Skindred‘s Benji Webbe by encouraging the crowd to strip off and do the Newport Helicopter. Alongside the new album tracks, Crossfaith slot in old favourites like ‘Eclipse’ and the heavy as fuck ‘Countdown to Hell’ which spurs the biggest circle pit of the night. The band clear off stage and Tatsuya Amano returns drumsticks in hand to perform an extreme drum solo, pummelling his kit to bits whilst spinning his sticks in the air, as if it’s the easiest thing in the world. This guy is seriously incredible and the crowd are lapping up every second in stunned awe.
When the rest of the band return for the encore it’s just one big party, with a dance DJ set getting everyone bouncing like they’re in Ibiza which leads into Crossfaith’s renowned epic cover of The Prodigy‘s ‘Omen’. Cries for one more song are answered with Zion EP track ‘Monolith’ and panic-stricken security lunge forward as Ken throws himself into the crowd. As the final chords are played, absolutely nobody wants this night to end (except perhaps the security guys), least of all bassist Hiro Ikegawa who remains on stage swigging wine from the bottle and dancing as Queen‘s ‘We Are The Champions’ plays out, until he is ushered off by an amused roadie.
Well boys, that was fucking insane. Same again at Reading and Leeds Festival yeah?