Arcane Roots – Scala, London, UK (2nd November 2017)

Arcane Roots – what a massive year it has been for the talented trio. Following the release of their second full-length studio album ‘Melancholia Hymns’, things have only been on the rise – with the whole year leading up to the headline tour in support of the release. After a few dates had to be rescheduled due to illness and logistical issues, the London date had to wait a while in comparison to the others – and it turned out to be definitely worth that waiting.

Opening up the penultimate show came the tour’s supergroup main support Gold Key. Comprised of members from Gallows, SiKth, Spy Catcher and Blackhole – the band showcased fresh material from their debut album ‘Hello, Phantom’ to the newly-acquainted audience, who luckily had got down early to catch the set. As the only support on this show, it seemed to work quite well – as their Muse-cross-Queens-of-the-Stone-Age sound complimented what was to come from Arcane Roots after, and they provided a gentle warm up. Arcane Roots could have easily had a heavier band to open, but upon reflection Gold Key really complimented what the band wanted to achieve with this tour – which was a more focused, detailed and technical live performance with a lot of focus on the quality of sound and music.

Swiftly after the singular support set came the time for Arcane Roots time to shine – taking to the stage to be greeted with an entirely packed out Scala. Beginning with ‘Melancholia Hymns’ openers ‘Before Me’ and ‘Matter’, as soon as they began playing it was clear that this set was something special. The sound quality mixed with the synthesisers was excellent, with their lighting setup complimenting it so very well, it was clear after having the entire tour to repeatedly practice this live show that they had finally reached where they wanted to be with it – and that was perfection. It is always notable when a band are self-run and dictate and design their own live shows, and this is something that should always be noted. However, how much longer Arcane Roots can go on doing this is questionable – as they had sold out 500+ cap shows up and down the country on this run, its clear things are only going to get bigger from here.

Back to the setlist, they ran through 11 songs without rush – focusing very clearly on the quality of their performance. ‘Sacred Shapes’ and ‘Slow Dance provided absolute carnage on the audience floor – with most likely the most enthusiastic crowd to date. Almost every song had the venue in the bands’ palm, with only the moments within songs providing opportunity to take a rest from the constant movement. It was great to see how well received the ‘Melancholia Hymns’ material was as well – as it was debatable what kind of fans (old or new) sold out this show, but this was answered in the massive singalongs to tracks such as ‘Curtains’ and ‘Indigo’. A nice touch was added to the show by including ‘Rouen’ from their first release ‘Left Fire’ as well, and the reception to this track made it clear that this was an excellent idea, so hopefully future shows will have similar ‘rarities’ added.

As the bands biggest headline show to date, its clear to conclude that they absolutely smashed it. One hundred percent. The energy in that room was so intense, so real – everyone could see that the adoration people have for Arcane Roots isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and things are only going to get bigger from here. Also – it wasn’t just the capacity that made it such a huge show, those with the keener eye would’ve noticed the whole thing was being professionally filmed by two cameramen… which is exceptionally exciting and can only hope that it will be released at some point in the future!

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