Sunday, 5 December 2010

Biffy Clyro - Live Review

Let's reflect for a second.  Anyone who know's me or read Friday's 'spill your guts' post will know how much last night's gig meant to me and how I was concerned about sitting on my own after I'd bought a pair of tickets separately from the rest of the guys.  Some of you will know that as well as my original Biffy attendee having to not be there, two other friends pulled out late, meaning that my sister was able to come with her husband.  We gave them my original tickets, I went and sat with the others and we waited for the Biff.  Two minutes later my sister was sat down next to me as the tickets were not just in the same row, but right next to the six bought a week before mine.  Such a weird yet perfect way for it to start.  What followed was jaw dropping.

Having looked at the set lists for the previous couple of gigs we knew what to expect.  A superior running order for a start.  Those gigs we'd attended between us earlier in the year had ended with The Captain, a massive error for me, it's not a gig closer.  Last night they opened with it.  Much much better.

The whole set up was a step up the rock face of, well, rock for Biffy.  Lighting and the superb imagery being projected onto the big screen behind them brought the gig to life in a way that I've not seen them do before.  With Biffy though I could watch them at a bus stop if the sound was right but they showed last night just how far they've come as they brought that tired old arena at Wembley to life.  It just felt alive from the minute they started.  I don't think I stopped grinning like a fool from start to finish.

The little moment when they paused after the epic Horses and set themselves up at the back of the stage and stood as they were when I first saw them seven years ago, Simon straight backed and still, as they played Joy.Discovery.Invention. a song I thought I'd never see them play live and then followed that with one of the hidden gems on The Vertigo of Bliss.  All the Way Down was just the perfect song for me.  The opening lyrics perfectly summing up my evening.
Taking parts what counts, but you were not around. 
It took eleven songs before they played anything from Puzzle.  Yep, eleven.  Then Living is a Problem Because Everything Dies hit us like a million bullets.  Christ it felt so cathartic.

The stand out moment was Folding Stars.  We knew it was coming but when it did, wow.  Simon on his own with a guitar singing about the death of his mother.  Just beautiful.  It made me hear Machines differently, making me realise that's about his mother too, but Folding Stars?  I'll just never hear it the same way again.

Many of Horror was special, toned down a bit.  Less of the screeching through the chorus, more balanced, but just as powerful.  Machines, was what it will always will be, a special song, even with that new perspective.  Sure they still play There's no Such Thing as a Jaggy Snake, but why the fuck not?  It still worked inside the set, the screamed opening a throw back to some of the weirdness of old, clearly something they don't want to lose just yet.  Good.

It's starting to become obvious that Biffy like to chop and change their set list from tour to tour and it's a measure of their growing back catalogue that they can do that.  The songs from Only Revolutions still dominate the set, but live they are just a step up from the record.  That final section of Bubbles (the only real reason to love that tune) is just explosive live.  Know Your Quarry in particular is starting to become one of my favourite Biffy songs because of how it sounds live.

At times Simon took centre stage with spotlight on him on his knees as he thrashed at his guitar.  Filling Wembley Arena with noise.  Nothing carries me like music and for the best part of two hours last night Biffy's wonderful noise, the quiet moments and the full on ones, carried me.

They still look in awe of where they are and I hope they retain that.  Because you get the feeling the next album could send them soaring even higher.   As we walked out of Wembley Arena last night I looked at the stadium opposite and wondered if they'll ever headline there.  Could they walk out as the main act and freak eighty thousand out with the 'Jaggy Snake' song?  I fucking hope so.

They closed last night with Mountains.  I stood there with AT on one side, my sister on the other and we bellowed along to it.  I could have stood there for another hour listening to them but it was the perfect way to end the gig.  To end any gig.

AT said it, Biffy are special.  Last night was special.  I got my recovery injection.