Live Review: Knocked Loose - O2 Islington, London 24/05/2019

Knocked Loose - O2 Islington - London -1-12.jpg

Knocked Loose are arguably one of the most hyped bands within the hardcore scene right now, and London was in for a treat on this sold out Friday night…

Just a week before their EU tour, they played a super last minute show in Chicago with Code Orange, Harms Way and Vein, which was arranged 6 hours prior. Many saw videos across social media of this, and the crowd that Knocked Loose pulled on such short notice was insane. Members from the audience took over the stage and at one point, there were more fans on stage than band members. As the video started to spread around social media, peoples excitement for their upcoming shows grew further, and we were as excited as ever to have been catching them at O2 Academy Islington with support from Kublai Khan. 

Kublai Khan are an American metalcore band from Texas. With raspy growls and heavy breakdowns, the band put on an energetic show bouncing around the stage. Using their music to express emotions, many of their songs hold powerful messages, and they carried on their message through their speeches between songs. One thing we noted was how vocalist Matt Honeycutt spoke about hard work and persistence to get where you want to be, and to get to a good place in your life by putting your all into what you do. The band are highly respected for the ability to relay messages through their music and performances that have depth, and are able to stand out by delivering more than just the ordinary mainstream speeches that some bands can be found guilty of. The performance all round was one filled with dedication as they played songs such as ‘The Hammer’, ‘B.C’ and ’True Fear’ from their 2017 release ‘Nomad’. 

As Knocked Loose prepared to come on stage, the room was dark and lights slowly lit as they hit the stage to ‘By The Grave’, followed ‘All My Friends’, which was a clear favourite of the night from the reaction of the crowd shouting every word the loudest they could. The mosh pit grew large as the breakdowns grew heavier, and by the time the band played their recently released tracks titled ‘…And I Still Wander South’ and ‘Mistakes Like Fractures’, fans were running around the room and crowd surfing over each other, whilst only one member of the crowd managed to make their way onto the stage to throw themselves off seconds later back over the barrier. The barrier came as a slight shock due to the type of shows Knocked Loose are known for putting on, although we suspect O2 Academy venues may be a little stricter to ensure safety of the crowd. This being said, a show without a barrier felt as though it would have suited the band better and would’ve allowed for a livelier crowd; and also a crowd that got caught instead of dropped by security as they clambered into the void between the stage and the barrier. 

The band initially appeared to end on Billy No Mates, before they took a quick break and came back on stage to play ‘Counting Worms’ which was a big relief; because how could we see Knocked Loose without hearing the infamous bark yelled live on stage as well as from behind the barrier by every single person in the room in unison. Overall, Knocked Loose delivered exactly what we expected from them and more, the only downside was the lack of interaction that we usually see for hardcore shows. Although as bands grow in size and play bigger venues, we know that crowd interaction can suffer as a part of this. 

Words and photography by Hayley Fearnley