[LIVE REVIEW] Red Jumpsuit Apparatus w/ Young Lions @ Max Watts, Melbourne 10/05/2017

Review Cassandra Hale

Formed in 2013 Australian band Young Lions were the opener for Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and what a great warm up they were. I must say they seemed to have a few fans in their own right, who seem to know all the lyrics and when to sing them. While it was a short set they managed to cram a lot in, including singer Zach Britt visiting the audience on several occasions.  Firstly from the photographer’s pit, then from right amongst the crowd much to everyone’s delight. For a relatively young band, they were great entertainers and a very professional unit. I would definitely recommend checking them out.

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It is hard to believe it has been ten years since the release of Don’t You Fake It, but as the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun!,  It was apparent from the onset that vocalist Ronnie Winter was unwell, he did mention they had almost cancelled due to his ill health. But luckily for us, the show went on, and while it wasn’t a long one it was certainly a good one. The 2006 album Don’t You Fake It was played in its entirety much to the delight of the screaming crowd. Opening with In Fate’s Hands, Waiting and False Pretense, the crowd were warming up nicely but you could see they were waiting for Face Down and they were not disappointed, the boys ripped it out much to the delight of the screaming hoards. A baby mosh pit would start up from time to time, nothing too serious but those involved seemed to be having a great time, happily picking people up who ended up on their arse only to shove them into the frenzied fans again.

Ronnie Winter, even in sickness, had some terrific banter at times, chatting about being here for Soundwave 2009, the birth of his child and his struggles with alcoholism. Two years sober now and enjoying life to the max, his openness is to be applauded.

Josh Burke was quite impressive, not missing a beat when his guitar strap snapped early in the show, he played on through the song until a roadie could do a quick fix to get him going again. As any guitar player would know it’s not easy to play and hold your guitar at the same time, a fine spot of multitasking on his part.

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The boys moved through the setlist swiftly the show lasting one hour from start to finish, I was unsure whether they would treat us to a few extra songs after the album set had finished, but it wasn’t our lucky night, perhaps if Ronnie was feeling better it may have been different, but the tickets were priced well for what you got so I definitely didn’t feel cheated. Seventeen Ain’t So Sweet was a fan favorite, but winner of the sing-a-long contest for the night was Your Guardian Angel, the crowd was loud and passionate singing their hearts out, and with Ronnie’s failing voice, I think he was grateful for the reprieve.

Guitarist Randy Winter did a great job of the dirty lyrics and backing vocals, together with bass player Joey Westwood and drummer John Espy they gave a tight performance that was soaked up by all. Grim Goodbye was a fitting finale, and with a quick wave they were done and dusted.  But never fear they will be back Friday night to do it all again to a sold out show.