Justice for the Damned
As the crowd lined up to enter the newly refurbished Roundhouse at UNSW, you’d almost never know the venue hadn’t seen the likes of this kind of crowd in two years. Making our way through the door for a standard bag check and walking into this familiar venue, the crowd moved around the space to pick out their spot for the night. The whole stage level was not open, but there was still enough space throughout the night for the floor to fill up, moshers to have their area and the over 18’s/balcony for those less inclined to feel a little squashed in the pit.
The floor prepared for the opening act of DVSR, who kicked off the night well, ramping up the atmosphere and it was clear many people had arrived early for the opener. Resist the Thought jumped onto the stage, with a new line up and their first show in what they said was six years. The first two acts experienced some sound issues, but the stage was ready for Justice for the Damned, who brought more of the crowd to the floor, arms and legs flying everywhere and with fans following the band’s instructions, the crowed opened up for many circles pits.
Northlane graced the stage with lead singer Marcus Bridge smiling widely for this home town show. Opening with fan favourite Quantum Flux, the crowd cheered and instantly began to jump around. With barely a pause the band jumped straight into Aspire, with its heavy intro and sing-a-long verses, fists were pumping viscously in the air.
Rot and Colourwave followed, before the quick drums of Dream Awake kicked in, with a flawless delivery from Nic Petterson and strong bass lines from Alex Milovic. The progressive metal sounds came alive in the guitars during Heartmachine, with Josh Smith and Jon Deiley’s stage presence capturing the attention of the crowd, while they did what they do best.
Bridge asked the awaiting crowd if they wanted to hear some old stuff and of course they did! A roar arose from the crowd before Dispossession, which even had the crowd overlooking the balcony, bouncing.
Before long the set was halfway through, in what seemed like quick succession. The sounds of Intuition, Worldeater and Savage being some of the heavier songs on the set list; saw the floor open up for several circle pits and splitting down the middle for a wall of death – which I can imagine if you were caught up in unexpectedly, you would’ve got hurt!
Two of the bands newer songs from albums Node and Mesmer, came through the speakers in order of Obelisk and Render, which saw many fans sitting up on shoulders singing along and taking in the light show. Announcing their final song and kicking into Masquerade, the floor moved in a much more aggressive way, with a multitude of break downs and slow pre-chorus, fans were eating out of the palm of the band’s hand.
The crowd knew better then to leave and waited patiently for the band to return to the stage for a one song encore of Citizen. The crowd took this opportunity to exert any energy they may have had left and more crowd surfers went over the barrier than seemingly any other time during the night, ending the show with a lot of energy and some happy fans.
Taking a moment during the night to talk to the crowd, Northlane informed their fans “this is going to be the last time you see us for a while” – there was a sad quiet as the crowd hushed to listen, but they were reassured that this wasn’t the end of the band, they were just taking some time away from touring (after the Australian Download Festival held next weekend 24th March in Melbourne and a European festival run). This will be the band’s first break since they started their career and feel some time for rest is needed.
To help with this touring hiatus, Northlane released Analog Future earlier this year. Analog Future features ten live tracks recorded all over the world including Australia, the U.K, South America and Parts of Europe. So, when you’re wishing Northlane would tour again, give it a listen!
Review Contributed by Carleigh Ingram