REVIEW: Biffy Clyro Return to NYC

Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro returned to NYC for the second time on their current Ellipsis tour and blew the roof off The Warsaw in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood, unleashing a nonstop 90-minute set that featured an eye – and ear – popping 21-song set full of hits and new tunes alike, including 7 from the album they’re supporting. I’ll say right off the bat that these boys played way too many songs to list, so you’re welcome to check out the setlist at the bottom, and I’m gonna go ahead and talk about what you’re missing if you haven’t seen these guys.

The recognition these guys get in the States is next to nil, and that’s a damn shame. It’s no secret Biffy Clyro are massively popular in Scotland – obviously – as well as the rest of the UK and Europe, and seemingly every place other than the US, and I’m at a loss for any logical explanation for that. Right off the rip, the guys came out like a house on fire and unloaded on the crowd a chain of hard rock riffs designed to bang your head to, and by the time all was said and done, what I had witnessed was an hour and a half filled with more energy than I’ve seen on a stage from bands who are worshiped as Gods among rock fans.

Indeed, Biffy Clyro is seeing their popularity on this side of the world grow with every show they play and every tour they do, but after seeing them live for the first time – I couldn’t get into the Irving Plaza show last month – it astonishes me that they’re playing small venues. From the opening notes of Wolves of Winter right through the end of the encore’s Stingin’ Belle, there’s no shortage of energy, good vibes and even better music from these guys. They literally do not slow down and they don’t talk much. They just run through great song after great song and their fans – myself included – go nuts for every second of it.

It’s hard to believe Biffy released their debut album 15 years ago, way back in 2002, and even I only found out about them last year. And what’s not to like about them, from their killer riffs to classic rock n roll lyrics, to their presence on stage. Everything about Biffy Clyro says they should have been a hard rock band in the 80’s, and they define what rock n roll should be. Fast, hard and in your face. I love a good band that goes nonstop and can pack a great setlist into 90 minutes, and these guys can definitely do it.

Biffy Clyro are absolutely worth your time, and your money. They put on the kind of show that is best described by seeing it happen. Talking about it after doesn’t do it justice, no matter how hard you try. I’m not sure how these guys aren’t massive here, but they’ve flown under the radar far too long and are deserving of a breakthrough. They’re the kind of band that should be filling arenas, not playing small venues in Brooklyn on a Tuesday night. They’re too good for that.

James Johnston and Biffy Clyro put on a great show at The Warsaw in Brooklyn, NY

Biffy Clyro setlist:

Wolves of Winter

Living Is a Problem Because Everything Dies

Sounds Like Balloons

Biblical

Spanish Radio

Howl

In the Name of the Wee Man

Who’s Got a Match?

Bubbles

Re-Arrange

That Golden Rule

Black Chandelier

Medicine

Different People

Mountains

On a Bang

9/15ths

Animal Style

Many of Horror

Encore:

Machines

Stingin’ Belle

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