Atreyu were back in London for the second time this year on Wednesday night as part of their We Want Your Misery Tour. After 25 years, 8 studio albums and the occasional lineup change, the Californain band consisting of Brandon Saller (vocals), Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel (guitars), Porter McKnight (bass) and Kyle Rosa (drums) are back on the road in anticipation of their 9th upcoming release, The Beautiful Dark of Life. After being on tour for most of 2023, Atreyu proved their ability to throw an incredible show and bring the energy at every stop.
The opening number is a curveball. Darude – Sandstorm echoes around the room bringing huge smiles, laughter and applause. The energy is already high as Brandon and co emerge and go straight into one of their newest releases Drowning, followed by oldies, Becoming The Bull and Right Side of The Bed. Save Us and When Two Are One sends the audience rife with a mixture of simultaneous screams and swaying phone lights.
Brandon takes a minute to talk about the new record and thank the audience for their support over the years. From their latest 3 part EP release A Torch In The Dark, next up is (i). A new song where the entire room was able to sing. ‘It’s a lie, it’s a lie, it’s a lie’ the band screams, setting off the first big pit of the night.
Next up, Brandon takes his primordial spot on drums as bassists Porter takes centre stage for the harsh vocals on Bleeding Mascara – one of their biggest songs in their 25 year career. Upon returning to his new and rightful spot, Brandon waves to his family and friends before asking the crowd “Are you up for some singing?” and starting off the timeless chant from The Time is Now. “Ay-ay, ay, ay-ay-ay-ay, Ay-ay-ay-ay, ay” before hopping off stage and joining the sing-a-long in the centre of the pit.
A huge circle pit anticipates the next song as the opening riff from Ex’s And Oh’s off their 2006 album A Death Grip On Yesterday sends the crowd into a frenzy. Brandon tears off guitarist Travis’ vest and throws it to the audience where every person sang every note and a plethora of crowd surfers crossed the railing.
The band addresses the audience letting them know it’s been a fulfilling 25 years and that it’s been incredible getting the opportunity to play across the world and continue to have a loyal fan base. As a newly shirted Travis reappears, the crowd start a ‘SHIRT OFF’ chant and Brandon comments “Fuckin asshole isn’t meant to wear a shirt on stage” resulting in howls of from the audience.
The band have always loved the ability to have fun whilst making music they love but always want to stay true to their roots. Talking about his love for his family, Brandon tells a story about his family and bringing up his two daughters. “We always like to joke.” Dad jokes. “I always tell my kids, if you don’t fart you die. It’s not good for you.” The audience agrees but again erupts into laughter.
Battle Drums and Warrior have the most emotional reception from the crowd yet. “I AM A WARRIOR” the crowd chants and Brandon raps and demands the audience open up the pit. For some final audience interaction, every middle finger is up as everyone chants for the final Atreyu song of the night, Blow. “So, fucking blow those words out the back of your head, B-b-blow those fucking words out the back of your head”. The applause and chants that ensue are piercing and for another chant of the night, “IF YOU DON’T FART YOU DIE! IF YOU DON’T FART YOU DIE!”
In true Atreyu style, the encore ends with some classics.
Saxophone in hand, Dan appears playing suspect renditions of Careless Whisper, Never Gonna Give You Up and Tequila as Travis throws doughnuts into the crowd. After one last “IF YOU DON’T FART YOU DIE!” chant, the band ends on I Wanna Dance With Somebody topped off with the YMCA truly understanding how to end a show with a bit of fun and ending on a high.
Atreyu continues to prove that the scene always has space for humour alongside the music. They reiterate that despite the struggles we can still get through to the other side and that they will always be alongside their fans and friends for the ride.
Photos captured by Abbi Draper at Rock City, Nottingham, 16th November 2023