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REVIEW: Alexisonfire - Barrowland, Glasgow

Alexisonfire support from: Higher Power and Boston Manor Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow October 17th 2022

It has been 12 years since Alexisonfire last graced Glasgow with their presence and it was well worth the wait. Although, I would not be wanting to wait that long again for them to come back. It’s also the band’s first time playing the legendary Glasgow venue – The Barrowland Ballroom.

First band of the night was Higher Power from Leeds, who had a pretty good turnout for being on not that long after doors. It was my first time hearing the band and was impressed by them. You can hear their influences of Deftones, Glassjaw and Rage Against the Machine but putting their English stamp on it.

Blackpool’s Boston Manor was up next and seemed to have a huge support from many in the crowd. The band have just released their brand new fourth album, Datura, playing a couple of songs off that and it already had people singing along. Lead singer, Henry Cox, jumped into the audience at one point and encouraged those in the pit to run at him in what he referred to was being like a scene from The Lion King.

Eventually, the band everyone was waiting for, Alexisonfire, proving why they are The Only Band Ever. They came onto the stage with an applause for champions and kicking off with one of their most loved songs, Accidents. The setlist was a perfect combination of songs from each of their albums. Alexisonfire’s newest album, Otherness, which came out this past June has more than enough tracks to play live but they realise the importance of balancing old and new. Even the older tracks sound like they could have been written in the last couple of years, each still so relevant and timeless.

As I said in my review of the Born & Raised Series, the guys just seem to be tighter and happier than ever. They are just so in sync with each other and have the odd hugging moment which just warms the heart. One of the rare things that Alexisonfire has that no other band has is that each member could be classed a front man. You have the ferocious screamer – George Pettit, the growling vocals and insane guitar solos from Wade MacNeil, the angelic sounding Dallas Green, Jordan ‘Ratbeard’ Hastings keeping everyone in check on the drums and the unique entity that is their bassist, Chris Steele, who according to the band is the real lead singer. You really can’t keep your eyes off Steele when he performs, it’s like he is either being taken over by some crazy spirit or the spirit is being exorcised out of him. Absolutely fascinating! The sound is completely rounded out now with the addition of the multi- instrumentalist extraordinaire, Matt Kelly.

Songs like Dogs Blood and Committed to the Con are expected to have the pit going full pelt but it still surprises me how the slower songs like The Northern and Rough Hands can cause an unbelievable amount of crowd surfing.

Their encore of This Could Be Anywhere in the World and Happiness By The Kilowatt just left the crowd wanting them to play for another hour and a half. The band are famed for seamlessly melting other songs into theirs but out of all the times I have seen them seeing Wade go down to the barrier to scream Neil Young’s “Hey Hey My My” with an adoring crowd is one of the highlights.

Leaving the sold-out venue, everyone was leaving with a huge grin or a look of disbelief to what they just witnessed. Normally, a crowd dwindles dramatically by the curfew due to travel or whatever, but the place was still packed to the brim with people who did not want to miss a minute.

Unbelievable night by an exceptional band.

Thank you, George, Chris, Dallas, Wade, Jordan and Matt for an incredible night from everyone in Scotland.


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