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Wednesday 8 March 2023

A View From The Back Of The Room: Bad Omens (Live Review By James Jackson)

Bad Omens, Ghostkid & Oxmorrons, The Mill, Birmingham 01.03.2023

I’ve arrived in Birmingham uneventfully, which makes a welcome change and parked my car, whilst I enter my details into the app I have been offered extra insurance in case of dents, scratches, etc; I am bemused and concerned in equally terrifying measures.

One of the things about going in blind for support acts is that you never quite know what you’re going to get and whilst I’ve had tickets to see headline act Bad Omens for awhile, I’ve not yet had the chance to check out the support.

Oxymorrons (8) (2R’s not 1 - there’s a story behind this) open the show to a packed room here at The Mill in Birmingham and they are killing it, their blend of Hip Hop and Metal is reminiscent of RATM; brothers Dave and KI take on the vocals joined by Jafe and Matty on guitar and drums respectively.

I’m not a great fan of Rap but blended with Groove laden Rock/Metal riffs and Hip Hop styled drum work, it all comes together really well; the band’s onstage sense of fun is contagious and I’m certain that they’ve made a few fans here tonight.

I must admit that Ghostkid (7) started off a bit flat for me, after the energy of the opening act it seemed like things were going to stall.

Fortunately my fears were undeserved as the crowd and band soon warmed up and all hell broke loose, to quote vocalist Sebastian Biesler formerly of Eskimo Callboy (he left before the name change) “ I’ve never seen so many security guards in the mosh pit”, the reason for such a heavy security presence was the arrival of the guitarist and bass player entering the pit.

Understandably so the hi vis jackets were everywhere as the band played on undeterred and obviously in their element; more shenanigans from the bassist amuse the crowd as he plays a song from on top of the bar, I believe Sebastian mentioned that this was the bands first visit to the UK and they’ve left a huge impression on us here. They’ve warmed an eager crowd and from the applause and cheers as they leave the stage it was all worth it and they’ll be welcomed back.

Although Bad Omens (10) have been around since 2015 it’s only recently that I discovered them and like many, it’s due to that most divisive of social media platforms Tiktok, amidst the dodgy dance crazes and scantily clad wannabes all clambering for attention, was an influencer listing her Top Ten favourite Metalcore tracks.
I don’t remember what else was on there, perhaps some Beartooth and I Prevail but the band that really got my attention was the one that has brought me here tonight and their song The Death Of Peace Of Mind.

Since then the album, The Death Of Peace Of Mind has been on heavy rotation and I’m hoping that the transition from studio to stage is going to fulfil my expectations.

In short it does, both visually and sonically the band deliver flawlessly, front man Noah Sebastian is a born performer, simultaneously alone and amongst friends as he woos the crowd, particularly the female members of the audience as he goes through a number of wardrobe changes.

The majority of the set is obviously in support of the latest release but we are treated to a few older tracks Dethrone from 2020’s album Finding God Before God Finds Me, for example.

Bad Omens are on form and in a sold out venue, on what I understand to be a pretty much sold out UK tour, they have put smiles on everyone’s faces, had I been on the fence before I saw them tonight then this evenings performance would have put any doubts to rest, as it is they’ve solidified their position as one of the most diverse and exciting bands I’ve seen and heard recently and I will hopefully see more of them in the future.

Now, as I leave the venue wondering whether those merch prices are legit or part of the ongoing trend of venues hiking prices, I’m hoping my car is in one piece when I get back to it, if not it’s going to be a long walk home.

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