After watching the 4 support bands of which Madlife and Ektomorf stood out and made me want to research more into them, the anticipation was high for the return of Ill Nino. They walked out onto a stage to see a crowd of rowdy Bristolians ready to jump on command and did so much higher each time. Considering the size of the stage at the venue they managed to pack a very full 6 piece band including live percussion into a very tight space, meaning the lead singer (Cristian Machado) could get up close and personal with the fan base and provide an electrictrifying audience rapport.
Cristian makes each song sound as close to the original recording as possible, for example when the band performed "Unreal" he can still hit every note including the angry and snarling parts. It was great to see that they were celebrating their 15th anniversary by going back to underground venues and trying to connect with their fans as much as possible. The Nu-Metal titans are still playing to packed audiences and sold out venues despite a lot of their fellow artists falling by the wayside in the same genre. This Leaves an ageing audience asking why there don't seem to be more of these nostalgic tours happening given that this genre is fast approaching it's 20th anniversary.
One song that stood out the most for me is "How Can I Live" due to the fact of a massive audience participation almost drowning out the PA system. Cristian conveyed the true emotion of this track in his performance through his clean vocal ability and range. The lighting rig and the energy of the bands show made it feel like a big auditorium event in a small venue. Ill Nino describe themselves as 'The Undisputed Kings of Latin Metal' with live bongos and percussion giving the whole show a South American feel.
It was great to see such a big crowd that really gave it their all in response to the pounding their ears were getting considering it was a Sunday night, with work in the morning for a lot of them! Perhaps Nu-Metal was a short lived phase in recent times but the fans are still very much full of energy as they have ever been and are the ones keeping this scene very much alive.
Review by Danielle Crocker