What. A. Show. Scotland’s own Biffy Clyro and New England rockers Dead Poet Society performed at the intimate Music Box in San Diego, CA on May 7th. The sound and set for both bands are big and anthemic and had the crowd captivated from the first note to the last encore. The show was at the tail end of a three week club run for Biffy Clyro in the United States which is especially a treat considering they’re heading back to Europe for the summer to headline several massive music festivals and their own tour.
Formed from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston back in 2015, Dead Poet Society is not penned to a specific genre and style of rock n’ roll. The released, “-!-” back in 2021 on Spinefarm Records. Dead Poet Society has a unique sound on the studio album that translates into their live performance. Punktastic reviewed the record saying, “Dead Poet Society have showcased their uniqueness and taken a huge step towards carving their names out as one of the most intriguing bands around right now”. Tracks like “.CoDA” and “.burymewhole” contain elements of punk, metal, and even blues rock guitar. Once DP hit the stage, it was a no frills show that packed as many songs into the setlist as possible in front of a near-capacity crowd. Dead Poet Society sounded great with crunchy riffs and melodic lyrics that are reminiscent of the band Muse. The Music Box venue is a narrow hall with two balcony areas for viewing the show and the sound was superb. There wasn’t a bad seat in the house and with it being general admission, it was unique being able to move to and from the floor to the balcony.
It’s worth noting that Dead Poet Society was hand-picked by Biffy Clyro to join them on the North American Tour stating, “We are totally buzzing to have Dead Poet Society on tour with us. They are such a unique band and are fearless in their approach to their music. It’s gonna be a hell of a show! You’re not gonna wanna miss this tour.” Spoiler alert – Biffy was right about DP being one hell of a show. DPS set the stage for the evening and won over anyone in attendance that hadn’t heard Dead Port Society’s music previously. The band are road warriors and have toured with everyone from Sevendust to Badflower just this past year. It’s clear that have honed their craft on the road with a stellar set with catchy riffs and stand out vocals from frontman Jack Underkofler. At one point, Jack had lamented it was unfortunate San Diego was one of the last shows of the Biffy tour which was evident given how much fun the guys were having on stage. After the show, Jack and the rest of the band took the time to meet the fans at the merch booth. It’s refreshing to see a group that genuinely cares and wants to connect and talk about the music and live show.
Dead Poet Society has tour dates lined up with shows spanning across the United Kingdom and Europe through June. They teased recently on social media they may be heading back into the studio soon as well.
The headliners for the evening, Biffy Clyro, hit the stage illuminated in red lights and an excited San Diego crowd. The band has quite a catalog of music to select from making the setlist including dozens of B-Sides and fan favorites. A Biffy Clyro show could easily be a 4 hour marathon covering the music starting from “Blackened Sky” back in 2002. Tonight, they opened with the slow and ominous “DumDum” off of the newest album “The Myth of the Happily Ever After” which was released back in October of 2021. Instantly, the crowd was captivated chanting “Mon the Biff!” with many fans traveling from out of state and even out of the country for the intimate club gig.
After the slow burn show opener, the riff for “Hunger in your Haunt” caused another eruption of cheers in the Music Box with seemingly everyone in attendance singing along the lyric “The glass is not half full, it’s not half empty”. Biffy has a calling card for not wearing a shirt while performing live for members Simon, James, and Ben as a way to say “Let the music do the talking”. From that point forward, Biffy Clyro crafted a setlist featuring a lot of material from the last two releases predominantly. Likely because “A Celebration of Endings” was released back in the midst of the pandemic of August 2020 so its the first time the guys can perform it live.
It’s amazing to see a band like Biffy Clyro perform in an intimate club whereas they’ve headlined large arenas back in Europe. The larger-than-life choruses and intricate guitar riffs pack a punch that makes it evidently clear that the band is a well oiled machine. The music has some unique time signatures and drum parts, and to pull it off night after night is even more impressive. One of the highlights of the set was an older track off of the 2009 record Only Revolutions called “Bubbles”. The crowd of roughly 700 fans made it feel like a 70,000 stadium while singing in unison “There’s a girl, there’s a girl, And she’s down by the river”.
Biffy Clyro combed through their catalog for a set filled with the old and new including “Wolves of Winter”, “Many of Horror”, and the Opposites record hit “Black Chandelier”. Frontman Simon Neil did not have a lot of small talk to share with the crowd other than greeting the fans and introducing songs. But it wasn’t needed. Much like the the trio’s trademark of performing shirtless, the music did all of the speaking. The connection between the band and fans was undeniable. Its truly something that needs to be experienced firsthand at one of their concerts. The show was an absolute blast from start to finish and a testament to rock n’roll being alive and well thanks to the Scottish lads of Biffy Clyro!
PHOTOS FROM DEAD POET SOCIETY & BIFFY CLYRO LIVE AT THE MUSIC BOX IN SAN DIEGO, CA ON MAY 7TH: