When SikTh announced a gig in Dublin south’s latest up-and-coming music venue, I could hear the excitement stirring amongst the djent community. Having just supported Trivium in early 2017 here, I was aware of some conflicted fans who were alienated out of purchasing tickets for the February gig on the back of, well, hating Trivium. Obviously incurring a big price difference, some resolved to simply cross their fingers that SikTh would return to us and play a better lineup. Well, our prayers were answered in The Bowery of Rathmines and the lads played to their own crowd with support from 7.5 Tonnes of Beard and Dead Label (the latter I enjoyed immensely by the way).
I can’t go much further without first setting the scene for you. The Bowery is Rathmines’ newest addition to the bar and music scene, and it fits the bill for this creative, cultured, and increasingly desirable postcode of Dublin. A long, open and entirely wooden layout inside is paired with high ceilings to create the illusion of being in the bowels of a pirate ship, topped off with a stage built to emulate its deck. Portholes, strewn rope and fishing nets, ship lamps, reclaimed wood… You name it, this place went all out. And so did SikTh.
The band’s signature energy was not lost on the somewhat misshapen stage, and Mikee and Justin had their own little level of the gradated elevation to unleash those trademark vocals. They played When the Moment’s Gone for the first time in Ireland which went down very well, though I sensed they had some sound issues which might have worn them thin in the latter part of the show. Having said that, their set list was exactly what the crowd wanted, including the crackers you know you love like Philistine Philosophies and Pussyfoot. They then proceeded to play the album Death of a Dead Day; the last release before their hiatus in 2008. Cyclefly were even given a shout-out by Mikee as his favourite Irish band, as the nimble half of the frontmen comfortably leapt off stage without spilling even drop of his drink. In Ireland, that’s called seriously talented.
Overall, you can’t fault the originality of SikTh’s catalogue and they did not disappoint. They completely filled out their venue and in the weeks prior to the gig, I knew there were people going around begging for tickets. SikTh are well and truly back, on form, in sync and kicking ass.