Biffy Clyro at the House of Blues in Chicago, IL

Biffy Clyro kicked off their first North American tour since 2017 at Chicago’s House of Blues, with support from a rambunctious Dead Poet Society.

Sunday nights typically consist of people grasping onto the last few moments of peacefulness and relaxation ready for the work week ahead. However, that was the furthest thing from the minds of those in attendance of Biffy Clyro‘s first show here in five years. 

Talk about kicking things off how you mean to proceed. Right from the get-go, this show was firing on all cylinders, and then some. Dead Poet Society was on this very stage less than a month ago when they opened for Sevendust. The Chicago crowd was happy to welcome them back once again as they put on a spectacular performance. It was a very early start for the show with it being a Sunday, but the Music Hall had a decent-sized crowd in attendance when the energetic openers took to the stage. 

Any Sunday night blues that had been forming were quickly blown away the moment Dead Poet Society began their set. Bassist Dylan Brenner was like a ball of energy as he constantly spun around and jumped all over one half of the stage. The band as a whole put on a tight and impassioned performance. Some songs had a definite grungy vibe, whereas others sounded like a metal version of Muse. If you’re going to see Biffy Clyro on this tour, you want to make sure you get along for these guys. They certainly set the mood for the rest of the show and are a great match for the headliner. 

After the crowd was given a little time to catch their breath, it was Biffy Clyro’s turn to make a welcome return to the House of Blues’ stage. It’s been five long years since they were last on this stage and the crowd was more than ready for it. Many had traveled from out of state to come to this show, with several attending multiple dates on the tour. Who can blame them? 

The chants of “Biffy F**king Clyro!” and “‘Mon The Biff” grew louder and louder as the excitement and anticipation grew. As the guys from bonnie Scotland took to the stage, the cheers erupted from the ecstatic crowd. 

Since they were last Stateside, the three-piece have released two studio albums and the evening’s setlist concentrated on songs from them. The audience was clearly very familiar with the newer material as they sang along, often with pseudo-Scottish accents. The three-piece’s performance was impeccably tight which is impressive given their penchant for playing with unusual time signatures. . 

If you’ve ever seen Biffy Clyro perform, you’ll be well aware of the juxta-positioning of them standing perfectly still except an occasional strum of a guitar or strike of the drums with just their hands moving, to the stage lights going crazy as they embody the ferocity of the music with Simon and James darting around the stage at lightning speed. They took to the stage in their usual shirtless uniform, barely moving one second and then rocking out hard the very next.

Halfway through the set, things calmed down momentarily as the stage emptied, leaving just Simon and his acoustic guitar. As he performed a solo rendition of “Machines” which was not listed on the evening’s setlist, you could hardly hear him as the audience sang the hit at the tops of their voices. It was a simple but very effective and beautiful performance. 

It wouldn’t be a Biffy Clyro show without the hits “Bubbles” and “Many of Horror” which they closed the evening with. Both songs garnered some of the loudest singing of the show by the crowd. This was one of those shows you wish you could bottle up the feeling it gave you for use at another time. It might have been an early start and finish, however with the adrenaline that was pumping well after the show had finished, there had to be a few sleepy faces at work that next day.

The three-piece are Stateside until May 9th, so be sure to check them out if they make a stop near you. They sell out arenas in the UK, so lap up the opportunity to catch them in these medium-sized venues when you can. These shows have a more intimate and electric feel that you just don’t get at an arena show. 

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About Kirstine Walton 386 Articles
Kirstine moved from the UK to Chicago in 2011, and has fallen in love with the city and its music scene. She enjoys combining her two biggest passions – music and photography. If there is a band with a guitar playing, chances are she’ll be there…camera in hand. Kirstine went to her first live concert at 7 years old, and hasn’t looked back since!