Spiritbox // Caskets // Vexed // Live Review // O2 Academy // Islington // London
I got to the O2 Academy in Islington London on 14th June to watch the Canadian trio Spiritbox, headline the last of 2 nights as part of a run of shows around their current album “Eternal Blue“. They were supported tonight by Vexed and Caskets.
Vexed a new upcoming exciting band, a foursome from Hertfordshire, lead by frontwoman Megan Targett kicked off the night with a frenetic, high-energy set of songs quickly winning over the still-arriving crowd. They played a set of songs from their debut album Culling Culture. The music while diverse is a set of contrasts as well, heavy and aggressive and melodic in parts. We caught up with Megan & Jay at Bloodstock 2021 after a killer performance on the Sophie Lancaster Stage, fresh faced out of the pandemic they gave it absolutely everything and near killed themselves in the process with a lack of live performances at the time, not tonight, they were sharp, focused and ready to make their mark once again.
Their set was dark, aggressive and intense and I’m sure we’ll hear and see a lot more of this band in 2022 and beyond.
A quick set by Vexed was followed by a 30-minute break and the crowd was just getting warmed up in good spirits and singing along to Living on a Prayer that was playing over the PA.
Caskets, a five-piece Alt Metal band from Leeds were up next. They hit the ground running with the singer Matt working for the crowd with ease and throwing himself around the stage, and the area in front of it. They were really heavy, and technically on point. The sound had intricate guitar riffs which are layered, atmospheric and unique. The band also has an excellent sense of stagecraft. Caskets smashed through their 30-minute set Overall it was an exciting performance that fans of rock, hardcore or just good heavy music could enjoy. After dropping their blistering album “Lost Souls” via Sharptone Records in 2021, these guys know how to make an impression live and tonight was no exception. Powerful, high-octane what’s not to love.
While it was clear that the fans had come to watch Spiritbox, there was ample support for both the opening bands.
Spiritbox is a special band. The kind of band that doesn’t come along very often, and when they do they send ripples through the scene. Spiritbox is named after a device some believee is capable of communicating with the dead.
Ever since they surfaced on the scene from the ashes of a band that was called I Wrestled A Bear Once, I’ve been keeping tabs on them. So I was familiar with their music and had watched a few of their concerts on YouTube. One of Spiritbox’s greatest attributes Is that their music is a mix of skull-crushing heavy and emotionally coupled with a killer live show.
Spiritbox has energy and is in spades. The sound is breathtaking and new. Led by the incredibly talented Courtney LaPlante, spirit box isn’t a band you want to miss. Her vocal range is terrific from simple clean vocals to hair-raising screams she can do it all. If you haven’t checked it out yet, she does a killer vocal playthrough video for Rule Of Nines that showcases her mindblowing ability perfectly, you can check it out here:
Starting with the exquisite circle with me to the heavier stuff like Blessed Be and Holy Roller the band had everyone going nuts and crowd surfing. They finished their set with the title track of their new album eternal blue and Spiritbox closed out the night with a simply stunning performance, one that no doubt satisfied the hundreds of fans that came to the O2 adorned in Spiritbox merch.