YOU ME AT SIX
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED MATT ALLAN
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED MATT ALLAN
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
Review Nisa Ates
Although it’s nearly a year since its release, Sydney band Hellions have finally taken their third album Opera Oblivia on a highly anticipated run of headlining dates across the country.
With a promising lineup, the tour was met with utmost enthusiasm and Melbourne’s show at the Corner Hotel on May 20th sold out – resulting in a full capacity of excited punters for what was to come.
Kicking things off for the night were Introvert from Newcastle. Being the first act of the night, it’s usually daunting playing to a near empty venue early into the night. This didn’t phase the four-piece band at all however and they delivered a tight set without hiccups. “If you know the words, sing along. If you don’t, sing along anyway. Let’s just have some fun” vocalist Audie Franks said with a smile, and fun was most definitely had. The band were comfortable on stage, sharing banter with the crowd in between songs and playing to their strengths of good, clean music. The band has a sense of confidence in them that aided their reception from punters, their down-to-earth persona shining through in their stage presence. Some in the crowd did know the words and sang along, those like me who didn’t, embraced the music anyway and the band left the stage right as I was getting really into them, having warmed up the crowd and leaving us itching for more.
A warm and inviting atmosphere filled the walls of the Corner Hotel with many people mingling between sets. A lot of familiar faces surrounded me but even those unfamiliar to me were welcoming and sharing their excitement in the night ahead of us.
Up next was Brisbane’s The Brave, who straight up delivered a set worthy of being the headlining act – a theme that would continue on until the actual headlining act would take to the stage. Immediately noticeable was the intense confidence and charisma that vocalist Nathan Toussaint possessed, the band played loud and frantic and got the first intense movement in the pit going for the crowd. Playing an array of songs that were without a doubt known by most of the crowd, bodies began climbing over each other as Toussaint moved into the crowd, sharing an intimate moment with fans screaming his words back to him.
Endless Heights were the final supporting acts on the lineup and by this point in the night, punters were sweaty, pumped and ready for what would be thrown next at us. The band, who also hails from Sydney, effortlessly kept up the frantic energy those prior had built up. Thrashing around without missing a beat, Endless Heights, worked their way through their set with utmost passion and enthusiasm. The band announced that new music is heading our way soon and welcomed Sam Bassal from Ocean Grove to step in and help play the drums on their brand new track ‘You Coward’. The song itself is as punchy and frantic as the band exhibits themselves to be, it’s without question we’ll be seeing more of the band in coming months.
Having moved around the venue throughout the night, I decided to make my way as close to the front as possible before Hellions took to the stage. As the thick, rich, red curtains masked the stage, the chatter of excitement grew louder and fans grew antsy.
Almost exactly on the dot to their scheduled time, Hellions emerged onto the darkened stage to thunderous cheers, jumping right into motion with their hit ‘24’. Halfway through the song, the band quietens with just the drums keeping beat as the chorus comes in again and vocalist Dre Faivre steps back, a roaring sing-along washes over him “We are born and raised as cattle to be the same/But we are not the same, we have to change/And if we don’t, we’ll suffocate”. He smiles as the sold out Corner Hotel overpowers him, a feat that’s met many times in their hour-long set.
The band delivered a set of songs to please everyone; working their way through most of Opera Oblivia, including ‘Nightliner Rhapsody’, ‘Bad Way’ and ‘He Without Sin i)’, while also throwing in older songs like ‘22’, ‘Nottingham’ and ‘Creasy i) Styrofoam Lungs’ that kept the crowd-surfers coming with brute force.
The momentum knew not of stopping – crowd favourites ‘Lotus Eater’ and ‘Thresher’ were met with a deafening sing-along response, bringing Hellions’ set to blazing close. The lights dim, the last note is strummed, the final cymbal crash rings out. But before Dre and co. can even leave the stage, the crowd is already chanting furiously “One more song! One more song!”.
Within seconds of leaving the stage, the band reappeared to a joyous crowd, promising to deliver one final song to quench our thirsts. That final song happened to be one of their most popular and well-received tracks, ‘Quality of Life’. As if the journey leading up to that very moment wasn’t chaotic enough, bodies slam, punters surf over the barricade (one even accidentally kicking my phone out of my hands) and throats are left raw as each person screams along to every last word.
The Corner Hotel was sold out for damn good reason, with Hellions putting on a crazy good show that was purely good vibes and even better music. With a killer lineup to support them, the Opera Oblivia tour perfectly showcased some of the best music the Australian hardcore scene has to offer – and we’re bloody here for it.