[LIVE REVIEW] Starset w/ Branch Arterial & Transience @ Max Watts, Melbourne – 12/08/2017

Transience are a Melbourne based band that put on a great 30 minute set to warm up the punters. The progressive sound resonated well over the duration of their time on the stage with heads nodding in approval. The mix of clean and dirty lyrics worked well and the technical drumming enriched the performance. I think the photographers had a job on their hands, with the lack of lighting my only complaint. I would certainly recommend giving them a listen.


The next slot was filled by another Melbourne based band Branch Arterial, they gave us a short trip through their catalogue of alternative/progressive songs with the barefoot singer bouncing from riser to riser engaging the crowd well. The shared vocals between singer and guitarist worked well and added another depth to their sound. Be sure to keep a look out for them around the live music scene.

Formed in 2013 Starset have taken the social media world by storm so I was up to the challenge to see if they lived up to their reputation. It was a diverse crowd, and while it was not a sell out the fans that were there were loud and passionate. Into The Unknown opened the night’s proceedings and it was clear from the onset that it was going to be a very different show to what I usually reviewed. In full ‘spaceman’ attire, with the exception of lead vocalist Dustin, and the very talented cello player, the band took the stage with an assault on the senses you had to see to believe.

Halo and Down With The Fallen followed on with laser lights and smoke cannons peaking off the Richter scale it really was like an outer world experience. With singer and founder Dustin Bates acquiring a Masters in electrical engineering and teaching at the International Space University it comes as no surprise that you were taken on a trip to another galaxy for the duration of the show.

I would have liked more on stage lighting as I found it very dark on the occasions when the light shows where motionless. Musically on point, full credit to all, I really enjoyed the addition of the cello which gave a very different feel to the music, and worked well with the electronica which makes up a large part of Starset’s unique sound.

They quickly moved through the set with hits from both of their albums, Transmissions and the latest release Vessels. Frequency, Ricochet, Telescope and Satellite, they just kept coming with the fans hungry for more.

I was surprised that the space suits lasted the whole show, I thought the helmets would come off after a few songs, but to their credit they kept them on for the duration, no mean feat under the star show of lights that rained down over us.

Everglow and Carnivore were followed by Antigravity, by now I am sure you will see the space theme follows through in all of Starset’s music, a concept that that amassed them a huge fan base on YouTube and social media. My Demons, Bringing It Down, Future and Monster saw out the main show that left the fans screaming for more. Dustin was very thankful to the fans throughout the course of the night which is always pleasing, and with that they were back to rip out three more. Starlight, It Has Begun and Telepathic played out with blinding lights that were parallel with the brightest of any supernova! Supersized smoke cannons gave the screaming crowd exactly what they were there for, a show from another dimension, leaving everyone satisfied that there was nothing left to give as the Starset rocket ship blasted off to its next destination.

Review Contributed by Cassandra Hale

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