Seeing a band like Enter Shikari in a small venue like The Marquis Theatre (with a capacity of only about 500) is always guaranteed to be a memorable experience, and the band’s headlining show on Tuesday night was no exception. With explosive hardcore band, Stray From The Path, A Lot Like Birds and I The Mighty in tow, the room was already buzzing with anticipation before the first band even took the stage, and with good reason.
I The Mighty started the night off on fire… No really, the fire alarm went off and the fire department showed up. Thankfully, it wasn’t anything serious (it seemed the stage’s smoke machines merely set it off) and no fans were evacuated from the venue. In fact, even as the fire alarms were going off, I The Mighty continued to play through track after track, and nobody in the crowd seemed to bat an eye, which could have been due to the stellar light show, and how incredible the band sounded on stage. Vocal harmonies were flawless, and though the venue wasn’t completely full yet, it seemed that I The Mighty had the attention of everyone in the crowd, and with good reason.
Following I The Mighty was California group, A Lot Like Birds. Having seen the band before and been impressed by the dual vocalists on stage, I was definitely excited to see them take the stage at The Marquis. Unfortunately, it seemed that A Lot Like Birds suffered the most technical difficulties of the night, as unclean vocalist Cory Lockwood’s microphone kept cutting in and out. Someone like that could threaten to ruin an entire set, but, much to the excitement and support of the crowd, the band continued to perform as clean vocalist, Kurt Travis and Lockwood shared one mic at times.
Eventually, Lockwood gave up on trying to use a microphone, prompting the crowd by saying, “If you know this song, sing along. You’re my mic!” The end result, surprisingly, was quite possibly one of the best live sets I have ever had the pleasure of seeing from the band. Everyone on stage seemed to feed off of the equally excited crowd’s energy, and before long, bodies were flying, fans were screaming along, and guitarist Michael Franzino was climbing on top of the crowd. By the time A Lot Like Birds left the stage, the room was in ruins, and I was interested to see how Stray From The Path would top their performance.
Unsurprisingly, the energy in the room only seemed to increase when the east coast hardcore band took the stage. The second that the band began to play the first few notes of their first song, the room seemed to explode. With prompting from vocalist Drew York, it wasn’t long before fans were crawling on top of one another in hopes of grabbing the mic and singing along, or leaping off of the stage and back into the crowd. Track after hard hitting track, the energy in the room just seemed to increase, and with good reason. Stray From The Path seemed at home on the small stage of The Marquis, with no barricade to separate them from the crowd.
Highlights of Stray From The Path’s set were definitely when they played fan-favorite track, “Damien,” as well as their cover of the Ramones “Blitzkrieg Bop” and their explosive final track, “Badge and A Bullet.” By the time they left the stage, the crowd was already shoving up front to get a good spot for Enter Shikari.
Needless to say, it seemed that the majority of fans in the crowd were there for the headliner, as it had been a few years since the UK group headlined The Marquis. Thankfully, the wait between Stray From The Path and Enter Shikari didn’t seemed fairly short, and before long, fans were excitedly chanting the band’s name before the lights dimmed and they finally took the stage.
Somehow, the energy in the room still managed to increase tenfold when Enter Shikari took the stage. Following a hardcore act like Stray From The Path (who had a wild crowd response) I foolishly thought that the crowd wouldn’t be quite as crazy for Enter Shikari, but seconds into their first song, “The Appeal & the Mindsweep I” I was proven wrong. Despite the small size of the room, Enter Shikari’s stage antics were the same (if not more energized) as when I saw them on their 2014 Warped Tour performance. By the time the first song was over, vocalist Rou Reynolds had already broken a mic stand (mentioning that it was probably record timing) and by the end of their second song, guitarist Rory Clewlow was climbing on top of the crowd, holding on to the rafters as they held him up.
And, just when I thought that the show couldn’t get any more wild, three or four songs into their set, Reynolds grabbed his guitar and (new) mic stand, and made his way into the crowd. He played one song in the middle of the crowd, guitar and all, before venturing even further into the room, climbing up on the railing of the balcony to speak to the crowd, prompting them to scream as prelude into their next song, “The Last Garrison,” by yelling, “Let me hear your war cry!” Another song passed, and eventually, Reynolds made his way back onto the stage to continue the set.
It seemed that with each passing song, the energy in the room only seemed to increase. Despite the heat and humidity in the venue (partially due to the band’s lights and partially because of the packed room) fans were still moving, crowd surfing, and screaming the lyrics along with the band. Another highlight of Enter Shikari’s set cam toward the end when they played fan-favorite song, “Mothership,” and by the time they finally left the stage in Denver, the room was in ruins.