Wage War // The Devil Wears Prada // Siamese // Live Review // The O2 Institute // Birmingham

After an incredibly long day, I found myself back out in Birmingham for a night of Metalcore in one of my favourite venues, The O2 Institute. Tonight’s line-up features Siamese, metalcore legends The Devil Wears Prada and headlining is a band that has blown up faster than I could’ve ever imagined a band of the genre, Wage War.

Up first were Siamese, a band I’ve never had the pleasure of hearing before but God damn, I’m glad that changed. From crushing breakdowns, fantastic vocals throughout and being overall ridiculously tight, they were a great band to open the night and the crowd seemed to agree to judge by the immense support coming from the packed-out room, including a pit opening up by the third song. Alongside a message of solidarity for refugees, the highlight was definitely the joker-shaped violin that was brought on stage for the first three tracks. A great band that I’m glad to have got to see live, I don’t give it long until they’re back on the Institutes stage in a much higher slot on a bill.



After a quick changeover, The Devil Wears Prada took to the stage. This is an especially special band for me to shoot and see, as they helped shape my music taste into what it is today. It’s rare a set leaves me as speechless as this one, everything about it was tight to an absolute T, from the stage presence, setlist and crowds energy, I cannot find a fault at all. From constant pits, a steady stream of crowd surfers and most importantly a fair few walls of death, it’s obvious how much the crowd loved the performance and I completely understand why. Despite not having the most polished performance of the night, their experience, presence on stage and overall energy was the best of the night’s line-up.



After another changeover, the headline act took to the stage. Wage War came out to an absolute roar of excitement and anticipation, and used it to their full advantage to get the crowd going. From crowd surfers instantly rushing over the barrier to endless circle pits, the crowd’s energy was infectious, to say the least. Despite the set’s incredibly dark stage lighting, constant strobes mixed with backlighting created an incredibly interesting visual to watch, with moments of the band’s set appearing as an immense, heavy slideshow that backed up the chunky riffs and filthy breakdowns perfectly. I also want to give acknowledgement of how damn tight the band was, it was ridiculous. It wasn’t until I went up to watch from the balcony though, that I could truly take the experience of Wage War’s set in though, as the view from the top showed a sea of people all headbanging, moshing and having the time of their lives.

At the end of the show, I slowly headed for my bus exhausted but invigorated by another night of amazing performances and great energy. Be it from Siamese providing a smashing opening set, to the sheer energy of The Devil Wears Prada’s onslaught of old-school metalcore or Wage War playing one of the tightest sets I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this year, there’s absolutely nothing I can pick fault at here. Everyone needs to see these bands live to see exactly what made the night so damn good.


Review & Photography: Dan Stapleton // Pulse Media Visuals