The Forum certainly is a hot spot for live music of late, and I can’t think of a better Melbourne venue for a night of sweaty rock than this iconic establishment. While the line was long everyone waited patiently until doors to find themselves the best vantage point to catch all the action.
Brisbane trio Columbus took to the stage right on time treating us to a terrific 30 minute set. Their rock sound was right up there and it was clear from the large early turn out that they had plenty of fans in their own right. Their enjoyment at performing live evident in every song with plenty of smiles and singer Alex Moses working the crowd extremely well for an early opener. While still young in years their stage presence was large for a three piece and I have no doubt we will be seeing plenty more of them at live venues in the future.
Nominated for an ARIA Award in 2016 for best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album, Sydney based band Hellions were next on the bill. This five piece hardcore punk band fronted by Dre Faivre smashed on to the stage giving us close to an hour of sweaty rock. Massively popular with the fans, I saw plenty of Hellions t-shirts and merchandise floating around over the course of the night, a testament to their huge following present. It didn’t take long for the surfing to start with one punter having a sing into the microphone was he flipped over the barrier. Thresher, 25, Bad Way and Lotus Eater just a few of the ten or so we were treated to. Josh Franceschi even joining them on stage for a little cameo which was a nice surprise. Quality of Life finished out their set with fans singly loudly and heads nodding in approval.
Formed in 2004 English rock sensation You Me At Six are regular visitors to our shores, treating their fans to some sensational shows over the last few years. In saying that tonight’s gig took it to a whole other level, could they really be better than last time? A resounding hell yes was the answer and it slapped you in the face with every song just to remind you. With the stage curtained from top to bottom You Me At Six started playing Spell It Out from behind the wall of white, teasing us with what was to come, building the tension to fever pitch. At the drop of the cloth the roar that followed was deafening as the capacity crowd welcomed the boys back as only a Melbourne crowd can. Bite My Tongue, and Fresh Start Fever followed with the masses screaming back the lyrics of the songs we all knew so well. The mix of songs over the night absolutely perfect, it covered old and new so well, giving everyone what they wanted to hear. Swarm, Swear and Give all fan favourites. At Josh’s request it was people on shoulders for No One Does It Better, plenty took up the challenge and it was easy to see who had skipped leg day and who stood strong over the course of the song. The energy that You Me At Six brought to this gig was electrifying, Josh Franceschi’s smile infectious and Melbourne’s love for this band could not have been clearer.
Next up from the latest album of the same name was Night People, drummer Dan Flint showing us his awesome skin hitting, I just wish his riser was a tiny bit higher so we could have a clearer view of him. Take On The World cleared the stage of all but Josh and guitarist Max Helyer with a beautiful sing-a-long with the crowd, all with phone torches held aloft for the occasion. Australia certainly holds a huge place in the hearts of You Me At Six, and Josh constantly lets you know how much they love coming here to play. They are always warmly welcomed, Australia showing them the love and respect that they deserve for making the massive trip to the other side of the world to see us so often.
Too Young To Feel This Old saw out the first set and it was hard to believe there was anything left in the tank. Josh’s effervescent stage presence just kept bubbling out as they returned for another four, Stay With me, Reckless, and Underdog all exceptional. The fans lapping up this large encore and also a sensational a cappella rendition of Wonderwall for us all to sing back to the band.
Musically perfect all night guitarist Chris Miller and bass player Matt Barnes were the glue holding this amazing outfit together and as they launched into Room To Breathe the Forum’s walls shook a little as the fans sang it out loud showing You Me At Six that the long haul to visit is appreciated by each and every fan here tonight.
With a new album on the go and promises to return next year, I know I am not alone in saying You Me At Six will be welcomed back with open arms to what is now their home away from home.
Review Contributed by Cassandra Hale