ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED SHANE HENDERSON
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED SHANE HENDERSON
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED DENISE TORRANCE
Another steamy Melbourne night and time for some shenanigans as the pre-tour party for Unwritten Law kicks off at the Croxton Bandroom
Coming together tonight was The Drop Bears, Wolfpack, 28 Days and The Dead Love to each play a short set before Unwritten Law hit the stage. This is more of a warm up gig before the tour kicks off on Friday 9th, but a great night nonetheless.
Starting off were The Drop Bears from Melbourne. Having only started out together in 2015, these guys with their 60’s influenced punk rock sound, have grown considerably in that short time, with headlining shows at the Espy and a support slot for Everclear among their accolades.
As the crowd was still building they put on a great little set full of energy to get the punters going. I would definitely love to see a full set from these guys as I think they could be really going places.
Next cab off the rank was another stellar set by Wolfpack. Being a much heavier sound I was drawn to them instantly. These guys hit you in the face with their heavy riffage and great vocals, as well as some very real and hard hitting lyrics Being a three piece producing such awesome tunes is a great effort. With Tom on drums and vox, Kane on bass and Chaise on guitar Wolfpack are a not for profit band whose passion and beliefs are clearly put out in their music. Having toured extensively with the likes of The Dead Kennedys, Misfits, Exploited and Pennywise as well as touring the States, they have to date raised over $30K for varying organisations and charities since November 2011. Save-a-Dog scheme, Forever Friends and Wildlife Victoria being just a few of the recipients of their fundraising.
Being extremely politically motivated they are anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-capitalist and pro-equality. The tracks they played tonight just being a taste of how they put their views out there.
Death Dealers, Toxic Times, Regret, Sterilize Society, Remote Control, Brainwash Blues and Screaming Queens.
I can not recommend these guys enough, not just as musicians but for who they are, what they do and how they carry themselves. I have immense respect for them.
28 Days are another Victorian band hailing from Frankston. It was clear they had a big following as the crowd stepped forward eagerly as they entered the stage. Forming in 1997, these punk rock/pop punk/rap punk styled crew have been in and out of the scene for years.
Immediately Jay Dunne is commanding on the mic both in song and with his stage banter and the crowd lap it up. Knocking out a handful of tunes seemed like it was not enough as the punters wanted more. Having heard of these guys over the years it was great to finally get to see them on stage, and they certainly did not disappoint. I really hope to see them doing more gigs in the near future.
The Dead Love were up next with their indie punk/grungy grooves. Being from Sydney and ranking highly on Triple J’s Unearthed, these guys have grown tremendously in stature and garnered themselves a considerable following. Playing tunes like ‘Yeah Nah’ and ‘Wastelands’ they were a greaat warm up for tonight’s headliners.
So as the stage was cleared one last time, and the crowd continued to drink and wait for Unwritten Law it was great to see members of all the previous bands getting out and mingling with the punters….after all this WAS a pre-tour party more so than a show!
The appreciative crowd had slowly converged closer and closer, and in no time it was showtime for the band they had all come to see.
Taking the stage under a blistering array of lights came Unwritten Law. Rightfrom they get-go Scott Russo made it clear that this was a party!! He said they would play some tunes – “not to manny and not too few”.
And with that launched straight into their first song. Playing through a fairly short setlist of about a dozen tunes- with some requests thrown in for good measure- they knocked out a nuumber of their most popular tracks including Teenage Suicide, Lonesome, Seein Red, Celebration Song and Save Me.
It was a super relaxed set, with loads of banter, laughs and crowd interaction. Scott made light of the fact he was struggling to remember some of the lyrics and the crowd had no problem picking up the slack. A brief drum solo was included as requested by a member of the audience and the last few songs were unplanned or so it seemed. After the set was done the boys were just really eager to get out amongst the crowd, get a drink in their hands and just mingle and party.
This was a super fun night and a fantastic prelude to what promises to be an awesome national tour. Be sure to catch them if you can, you will be in for some great music and loads of fun.
Review Contributed by Jodi Maree
Los Angeles rock and rollers the Bulletboys will tour Australia for the very first time this May!
Emerging from the LA glam rock scene at its zenith with more blues licks than lipstick, Bulletboys have been a mainstay of the rock scene for the past 30 years.
Formed by frontman Marq Torien after stints in King Kobra and a then unsigned Ratt, Bulletboys hit the ground running with their Platinum selling 1988 self titled debut which featured the now seminal classics
Smooth Up In Ya, Hard As A Rock, and their rocking cover of For The Love Of Money.
While being part of the scene, it was Torien that set the band apart from the pack, with vocals and showmanship that drew comparisons to everyone from David Lee Roth through to Terence Trent Darby.
Throughout their three decade career, Bulletboys have released 11 studio albums, evolving with the times whilst maintaining that hard rock edge that brought them to the forefront in the late ’80s.
Album number twelve, From Out Of The Skies will be released in 2018 and will finally see the band play to their long waiting Australian fans!
Marq and the ‘boys invite you to come and experience one of the most consistent and rockin’ live bands up close and personal for the first time on Australian shores this May!
Joining Bulletboys on all shows are Melbourne’s hardest working and hardest hitting rockers, Dellacoma
Thursday, May 3: Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane
Friday, May 4: Cherry Bar, Melbourne
Saturday, May 5: Fowlers Live, Adelaide (Lic AA)
Sunday, May 6: Frankies Pizza, Sydney
Tickets onsale, Thursday, February 15 @ 9.00am via
Official Event Page
The sea of fans flowed into Margaret Court Arena for a night of moshing and madness, the security checks on entrance becoming the new normal at gigs as we were wanded and waved through.
Our offerings in the support department were Pagan and Bare Bones, both sensational warm ups for the main event, and an awesome platform to gain a new following. Many punters had turned up early which is always the case in Melbourne, we love our live music and are always supportive to new bands rising through the ranks.
The fans flooded the floor and it became the proverbial sardine tin, with fans packed tighter than I have ever seen. I pitied any punter who dropped their phone or the like as there was no room to move for retrieval. To my amazement as the lights dropped the masses surged forward, packed tighter than I imagined was humanly possible as Chamber the Cartridge rang out. The fans went crazy, and instantly a mosh pit formed front and centre. The sweaty participants losing their minds in the craziness that only a mosh can deliver. Give It All saw singer Tim McIIrath take to the crowd and balance on the fans as he finished out the song, an awesome interaction before he quickly jumped back up on stage and launched into The Violence from the latest album Wolves. It was around now that the first casualty of the mosh was carried past me, she seemed bent but not broken and I am sure she will return to slam again in no time.
Sensational lighting set the tone for the stage as these seasoned professionals worked their way through the hits of their extensive history together. Tim singing through a megaphone and twirling his microphone, making it look like child’s play, his contact with the fans was fantastic and he was truly humbled by their adoration. The Good Left Undone and Collapse both whipping the fans into a frenzy, with plastic cups and jumpers being hurled skywards as they spiralled into overdrive. Drummer Brandon Barnes was a machine and kept the night running like clockwork, his precision drumming bang on all night.
I was a bit miffed as we went to complete black out, people started murmuring, looking around unsure what was happening, then from out of nowhere Tim popped up at the sound desk on a small stage, just a guy and his guitar to treat us to three acoustic gems. While all were amazing the standout was definitely Hero of War, its poignant lyrics sending shivers though the arena. Beautifully emotive as the singing from the crowd echoed Tim himself, it’s message not lost and one that will stay with me for a very long time. Tim also took the time to thank his fans for coming, thanking those who have had to travel and just being grateful to us all. Musicians could definitely take a leaf from his book in showing appreciation to the fans it was a fabulous gesture.
Back to the main stage and super shredder Zach Blair was in fine form as they jumped into Help Is On The Way, add to the mix bass player Joe Principe who is the glue that makes this tight knit unit so bloody awesome and you have Rise Against at their finest. Wolves, the title track from the album of the same name was killer, followed closely by Satellite which nearly blew the roof off Margaret Court. As the band retreated for a brief reprieve the fans started chanting for one more song and their wishes were granted with the final song of the night, Savior. The perfect finisher as the hoards lost their minds one last time. Then add to that yet another terrific fan experience with the guys passing out the set-lists, picks and drum sticks to the fans, shaking hands and high fiving as they left the stage.
This show delivered from start to finish, no stone was left unturned, they were the ultimate professionals on every level, and as the fans filed out into the fresh air I have no doubt they would be back again in a heartbeat should the opportunity arise.
Review Contributed by Cassandra Hale
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED SHANE HENDERSON
Melbourne had dealt us a hot one as I hit Festival Hall for night one of two sold out shows featuring hip hop extraordinaire Macklemore, as he brings his Gemini tour to our shores. With the future of this fine music establishment hanging in the balance, it was with trepidation that I took my seat, would this be the last time? I certainly hope not.
Ventilation is still not high on the list at Festival Hall and we were sticking to our seats in minutes as the fans streamed in. Xperience took to the stage right on time, delivering a twenty-minute set to get the hip hop juices flowing. Once he told the crowd he had played with Macklemore on several of his albums they were instantly won over and arms started bouncing to the beat. Eric Nally joined him for one song, clad in black and a blindfold he worked the stage with punchy vocals and some very interesting dance moves. The punters clapping along enjoying the entertainment.
Dave B was up next, another short twenty-minute set but instantly he had the attention of the audience with their hands swaying side to side with the beat. His set was over in a flash but I had a feeling we might see him again before the night was over.
The wait between acts was brief, and as the lights dropped for the last time the fans went nuts. This was what they had been waiting for, and with the venue now packed to capacity it was crazy loud. Opening with Ain’t Gonna Die Tonight, Macklemore bounded on to the stage his legions of fans screaming in response. The stage was full, backing vocalists, dancers, musicians and the main man himself, with a screen showing diverse images changing rapidly, with lyrics and pictures flashing to the beat. It was a killer opener and from the fans reception I knew it was going to be a big night. Firebreather turned us all red with some dynamic lighting that almost burnt the retinas straight off my eyes, but once my vision returned it was quite a spectacle to witness with the screen a mass of fire and flames. Thrift Shop caused a meltdown as the hoards lost their minds, who knew that having twenty dollars in your pocket could cause a riot!
Macklemore’s charisma and charm evident with every word and I can see why he has sold out this tour and has such dedicated fans. As he discussed his most recent trip to Australia it was easy to guess what the next song would be, Same Love, it was beautifully received with fans holding their hands aloft to form love hearts. The feeling of unity was overwhelming with backing vocals that were truly beautiful it was a definite stand out of the night. Willy Wonka made for a fabulous edition with Macklemore taking the stage in a purple velvet jacket and orange hat as the big screen showed images from the movie we all know and love. Corner Store saw the return of Dave B, and Dance Off was another hit being dropped. Of course, with a name like Dance Off it was time to pull a few punters up to strut their stuff which was gave us all a giggle.
Finishing out the set was Can’t Hold Us, and at the request of Macklemore it was phones down and enjoy the song like it was 1976! The fans went absolutely crazy bouncing and clapping and as one of the older generation it was awesome to see the youngsters being taken in the moment, social media forgotten if only for 5 minutes. It was a surprise when Macklemore took to the crowd, climbing amongst the punters, riding high on their hands finishing out the night. But we all knew he wasn’t really finished, we just had to make some noise to drag him back to the stage. Excavate saw his return to the stage, followed by Downtown which was fabulous. Macklemore’s voice on point all night, not missing a note, a true hip hop professional. Full credit to all singers, dancers and musicians they were all technically brilliant and made the show the powerhouse that it was. Eric Nally also popping in and out for cameos over the course of the night, added those finishing touches that polished the already precision show to perfection.
Xperience returned for the finale Glorious, fans singing loud and proud, loving every minute not wanting it to end. With all swept up in the emotion that live music delivers it was time to finish up on Macklemore’s request with three shouts of PEACE, leaving everyone on a relaxed high. After throwing at least six towels into the crowd for souvenirs Macklemore departed, ready to a rest up and do it all again tomorrow night.
I wish him luck with his daughters request to bring a koala back to the State’s, it may just require another trip back to Australia with the family in tow, I am sure the fans will be ready and waiting with open arms.
Review Contributed by Cassandra Hale
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED JOSE SANCHEZ
Melbourne power metallers Horizons Edge have signed a global deal with record label Dinner For Wolves.
The band will release their long awaited third studio album, the follow up to their well received 2015 opus, Heavenly Realms, on April 20.
On the signing, frontwoman Kat Sproule says; ‘We (Horizons Edge) are so excited to be on board with Dinner For Wolves and their killer roster of bands.
We’re looking forward to what lies ahead with these guys and the release of our next album.’
Dinner For Wolves label chief Rick Butterworth comments; ‘Horizons Edge are such exciting young band, playing a brand of music that will surely give the Europeans a run for their money.
With a power house female front woman we can’t wait to see what the future brings!‘
Kat went to Germany in early 2017 to lay down her vocal tracks with producer Ralf Scheepers signer for the legendary Teutonic acts Primal Fear and (ex) Gamma Ray
The overall album wasproduced by Bob Katsionis of Firewind and Serious Black.
Horizons Edge unashamedly wear their metal influences on their sleeves with high screaming vocals, shredding solos and an energetic live show that harks back to the glory days.
Horizons Edge have also been confirmed as the national support for the legendary Ross The Boss who will be playing a full set of Classic Manowar songs!
Thursday, April 26: The Bald Faced Stag, Sydney
Friday, April 27: Fowler’s Live. Adelaide
Saturday, April 28: The Croxton, Melbourne
Sunday, April 29: The Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane
Tickets are $55 + bf
On Sale Now! + VIP Packages Available
Watch the video for Vagabond taken from Heavenly Realms
It was a beautiful evening in St Kilda with kite surfers as far as the eye could see as I made my way to the iconic Palais Theatre. What luck opening my 2018 gig calendar with none other than Alanis Morissette, an idol of my younger years and an icon in the music industry. With two sold out shows the fans still have a place in their hearts for Alanis and with the calibre of her back catalogue who wouldn’t!
Opening the night’s proceedings was Melbourne based singer/songwriter Angie McMahon, just a girl and her guitar who gave us a solid 45 minute set. While claiming to be nervous, it certainly didn’t show, she was confident, witty and was the perfect opener for main event.
The stage was set with two chairs, a stool, and not much more. It was clear from the onset it was an intimate acoustic setting with no drums or amps to be seen. The buzz was electric, chatter getting louder as the clock ticked down. Finally it was time, accompanied by two guitarists Alanis took to her stool where she stayed for the duration of the evening. Looking stunning in a sparkly black jacket, pants and high heels Alanis opened with You Learn, instantly making the hairs on my arms stand on end, followed by All I Really Want, amazing from the first note until the last. While still a youngster at 43 Alanis’s voice has certainly matured but she is sounding better than ever. The hits flowed with Alanis sipping tea at each interval, Hands Clean, Not The Doctor and the beautiful Guardian which was written for her son to name a few.
The ushers were sitting sentry at ever access point, keeping everyone’s phones in check, and even a few dancers were quickly seated keeping with the intimate feel of the evening. The lighting was lower than normal but suited the night perfectly, nothing was overlooked and everything flowed perfectly. Alanis also proved she is not just an exceptional singer she is a fabulous harmonica player, showcasing her hidden talent in many of her songs.
Alanis proved to be a terrific conversationalist sharing stories from her career and her private life, giving you a small insight into the life of a rock star. How she uses false names sometimes to retain her anonymity and how to spot a lip syncer, because clearly if you look pretty when you sing you are lip syncing! Also a little inside information that Jagged Little Pill is being made in to a stage show, certainly one to look out for.
Hand In My Pocket and Head Over Feet definitely fan favourites, Alanis’s voice projection truly amazing, not even needing to be close to the microphone for most of the evening. While the crowd was very well behaved the one heckler was shut down quickly without a fuss, Alanis choosing to just move on with the show after sending the man in question a virtual hug for his birthday. Full credit to the two guitarists’, they were technically perfect all night and were highly praised by the leading lady herself on many occasions.
Ironic had everyone in the theatre singing along, harmonizing quite beautifully, Alanis singing with such passion it oozed from every pore. Even laughing at herself when she forgot the lyrics, happy to start again, ever the professional. So Pure lifted the spellbound audience to celestial heights, Alanis explaining that she wrote the song after seeing a screening of the movie City of Angels. Then from one end of the spectrum to the other the familiar opening of You Oughta Know rang out, the angst ridden song still sensational 20 years on. While a little slower than the original version, it lacked nothing and was one of my favourites of the night. Thank U saw out the evening, and left everyone in awe of how talented this Canadian rocker is, a truly stunning way to see out what was an extraordinary night of live music.
I am extremely envious of everyone else who is going along to this tour, you are in for a real treat, lets hope its not another 20 years before we welcome Alanis back to our shores.
Review Contributed by Cassandra Hale