Review Contributed by Nisa Ates
What better way to smash into the new year than with some of the pioneer bands in the hardcore scene today. Headed to AUS for Unify Festival, heavy-hitters Every Time I Die have teamed up with letlive. and Counterparts to bring fans a series of sideshows full of fun, sweat and a hell of a lot of moshing.
Playing in Melbourne over two shows, 170 Russell was home to this massive line-up on Wednesday 11th January for 18+ fans.
Kicking things off were Melbourne’s own In Trenches and although the venue was barely halfway full, this didn’t seem to faze them. No warming up necessary, the band jumped straight into it and delivered a fast, heavy and strong set to get punters in the zone and ready for the chaos ahead.
Following up were Canadian hardcore outfit Counterparts who really started to reign the crowd in. Playing songs from across their 10-year career, their set found fans screaming along passionately, scurrying to the front to share the mic with Brendan Murphy as he approached the barrier.
Anticipation and excitement began to fill the walls of 170 Russell as set up for letlive. commenced. The floor was packed with eager bodies – those who have seen letlive. before know, those who haven’t couldn’t be prepared enough for what was to come. The band took to the stage, minus vocalist Jason Butler and the build-up began.
As the band smash into Renegade 86’, Butler storms onto the stage with massive energy to a crowd of eager faces. The moshing begins instantly, the fans jumping up and down and left to right and screaming their absolute hearts out. Without a breath or loss in momentum, Another Offensive Song off of the band’s latest album If I’m The Devil… keeps the crowd moving and wanting more.
The band have elected to play a set of their more well-known songs and singles but it’s the amount of passion letlive. play with that makes this night remarkable and unique to itself. Smiling faces in between each song, the band are clearly happy to be here. Jason Butler thrashes around on stage like he’s not capable of staying still for too long and it’s this energy he emits and love for what he does that the crowd is feeding off, which he then feeds back off of them.
Working through some of their older songs; Younger, 27 Club and The Sick, Sick 8 Billion, they bring things down a notch with a track off of their new album. Foreign Cab Rides finds Butler finally slow down a little although still moving. Swaying along to the song, fans behind me can be heard singing along passionately “Stay with me/ And share my disease”.
Jumping back into the loud and the wild with That Fear Fever, Butler then picks up a guitar to play along to Reluctantly Dead.
Taking a break to say a few words, Butler delivered a heartfelt speech about being raised by women and how we need to empower ladies around the world. Met with many cheers and ending his speech with “To the ladies in this room; do you boo boo, do you” before playing their hit song Muther. An emotional moment, Butler throws his mic to the side as the crowd overpowers him in singing the first verse.
Their set coming to an end, letlive. channelled all their remaining energy to bring their last song to strong close. Their first single off of If I’m The Devil… punters screamed loudly along to Good Mourning, America, bidding the Californian band farewell.
The crowd was buzzing by this point and hungry for more. Cue the legendary Every Time I Die to deliver just what they needed. No easing into it (no easing needed, really) the band sustained the high energy embracing the room with Glitches, guitarist Jordan Buckley already crowdsurfing in the mass of sweaty, delighted punters.
Playing an hour-long set, there was no stopping with fans being hit one after the other of the band’s heavy catalogue – each met with enthusiastic roars and constant metal horns thrown up in the air. Working their way through songs like We’rewolf, Petal and It Remembers, the amount of bodies flying around the room was something security could have never prepared for.
Looking around the venue, not a single person was staying still for long – it’s hard not to when you’re in the heart of such an amazing band’s element.
Bringing the night to a sweaty close, the band came out to a roaring encore with Fear and Trembling and Indian Giver, singer Keith Buckley urging as many fans as possible to join the band on the stage. A mass of bodies crammed together on stage, Buckley sang his final notes laying atop of fans – a night that will not easily be forgotten.
It’s not an easy task to describe exactly how intense this show was but the best way to put it is – you don’t want to miss out on the rest of the tour. With such passionate bands on a lineup like this, it’s already a given that each show will bring utter chaos of the best kind.