Pendulum, Wembley Arena, 3rd December
Well, I guess hot and sticky is the best way to describe any Pendulum gig. Let’s face it, one of the best live drum and bass acts plus any confined space is going to be messy. After an energetic warm up by Hadouken, featuring new songs ‘Oxygen’ and ‘Mecha Love’ as well as tracks such as ‘Turn The Lights Out’ and ‘Mic Check’ from their latest album ‘For The Masses’. When you throw in classics from their first albums including ‘That Boy That Girl’ there’s no way the crowd won’t be pumped for the main attraction: Pendulum.
Fresh from rehearsing new songs and gigs in Glasgow and Birmingham the Australian band were ready to rock. The orchestral opening of ‘Genesis’ gave way to the heavy bassline of ‘Salt In The Wounds’, and from thereon in it was pure energy. Highlights included new live songs ‘Encoder’ and ‘Comprachicos’, as well as ‘In Silico’ favourites ‘Granite’ and ‘Propane Nightmares’. Not forgetting their roots, we were also treated to oldies such as ‘Slam’, ‘Voodoo People’ and ‘Fasten Your Seatbelts’. MC Ben Verse showed his lyrical prowess on ‘Tarantula’ and ‘The Vulture’, as well as motivating the crowd and getting them going till there was no more to give.
From the barrier it was easy to see the effort put in by Gareth and Perry on bass and guitar as they provided the backing for a chilled as ever Rob Swire on synth and vocals. It would be rude not to mention drummer KJ Sawka, who kept the subs blasting all night with strong drumming and powerful fills. A key part of any gig for me, crowdsurfing was inevitable and during the ‘Watercolour’ encore I just couldn’t resist getting up over the crowd once more. The security may have made swift moves to see me removed from the arena, but even from outside I could hear the non-stop thumping bass, which reportedly set off car alarms in the surrounding area during the soundcheck.
All in all it was a very tiring, very sweaty, very intense but above all a most enjoyable experience and an excellent way to end a week of lectures and deadlines. This may have been my last gig of the year and the 4th time I’ve seen Pendulum live, but I still can’t wait for more opportunities next year. Pendulum are an amazing live act and if you haven’t seen them already you really need to sort your act out and do it ASAP.