After spending the Easter long-weekend away relaxing and camping, what better way to reinvigorate yourself further than with a double-headline sold out Easter Monday rock show!
Thanks to Destroy All Lines Touring, that’s exactly what was on offer at The Gov in Adelaide.
With California’s The Story So Far on the road in support of their latest album Proper Dose and the UK’s Basement out for their latest, Beside Myself, this co-headlined tour is packing out venues across the country and this all-ages gig was completely sold-out well in advance.
I was sure to arrive at the venue in time to see Adelaide’s local support Madura Green kick off the night. It was great to see quite a large crowd already at the venue and even better to see them actually paying attention to the support act. The young band did well to hold everyone’s attention with their short set of mostly pop-rock tunes.
Next up was Sydney band Endless Heights. Their energetic set turned the rock factor up a notch and they did a decent job of warming up the crowd even further for the headlining bands to come. Singer Joel Martorana has the makings of a great front-man as he managed to get everyone singing and clapping along to their tunes, but unfortunately, he was having issues with his vocal sound on the stage which seemed to distract him from his full interaction with the crowd.
Keeping to the schedule nicely, it wasn’t long before Basement made it to the stage. With the co-headlining format of the night, sets from both headliners were kept to a short and sharp hour each, which allowed Basement to keep up a fairly high-energy set nicely for the full duration. There was no time for any lulls and this suited me and my inability to focus for a long time just fine. Vocalist Andrew Fisher seemed to prefer to let the music do the talking as he didn’t say a whole lot between songs apart from quickly thanking the crowd on a couple of occasions. By the time their opening number, Earl Grey kicked in, the steady stream of crowd surfers started, answering my thoughts on why there was such a large stage barrier in the relatively small venue.
After opening with a song from their debut album, the band then kicked into the opening track from their latest, Disconnect. From here, their set was made up of a good mix of tracks representing all four of their albums. The only part of their set that seemed to slow things down, just a touch, was their second to last song of the night, 2012’s Covet. Even this ballad was played with enough power to keep the crowd surfers in business. By the end of the set, it appeared that the crowd was left satisfied and the band appeared to have used their hour on stage to maximum effect, not leaving much in the tank themselves.
Still keeping perfectly to schedule, tonight’s final band The Story So Far arrived on stage not too long after Basement had finished their set.
The set was opened with Empty Space from 2013 album What You Don’t See. This started off the crowd surfing again right away (keeping the security guys busy for the next hour) and had a lot of the crowd singing along to every word. Just like with Basement’s set, it didn’t take long for the band to get into the newer material with Out of It from new album Proper Dose. Once again, this was another set that represented four albums quite well, however, unlike the Basement set which kept up the high energy levels for the full hour, The Story so Far momentarily brought out the acoustic guitar for a couple of the newer, softer songs from the Proper Dose album. Unlike the uptempo pop-punk that made up the majority of the set, the pairing of new tunes Upside Down and Take Me as You Please made for a welcome change of pace and brought some nice contrast to the set. On the latter song, drummer Ryan Torf kept the song on track nicely while providing keyboard while still keeping the drumbeat in perfect time. Throughout their set, just like Basement, the band kept a fairly low profile on stage. There were no rowdy rock and roll performances from members of either of the headlining bands. TSSF front-man Parker Cannon came across as quite reserved and didn’t say a lot, apart from thanking everyone from being there. He delivered the tunes passionately but between them, there did seem to be some awkward silence at times with Parker even commenting at one point that it sounded a bit like a library in the venue. The crowd were definitely at full voice during the songs and cheered enthusiastically after, but at times, it seemed they were waiting for some words of wisdom to come from the stage that never came.
Closing out the set for the night, it was back to the more familiar up-tempo tunes that the band are known for. 2013’s The Glass got the room back up to full speed again quickly, with Heavy Gloom and Nerve from 2015’s self-titled album finishing off the night.
I for one really liked the co-headlining format of this gig. With the short set from a local support act, followed by touring interstate support, then the two overseas supports given equal timeslots, the night seemed to have a nice flow to it. The crew did a great job of keeping the night on schedule and getting the stage changeovers done quickly, resulting in a very well-received gig.
Thankfully, security on the night dealt with the constant crowd surfing and attempted stage-diving very professionally (even though it looked like they were frustrated at times) resulting in everyone filing out of The Gov in seemingly good spirits.
With any luck, both Basement and The Story So Far will return to Australia to play in larger venues on the next tour, giving more people a chance to catch them before they sell out.
Review Contributed by Kym Robey