Arriving at the Manning Bar early I wasn’t too sure what to expect, it had been two years since I had seen any international live bands perform, as was the case for so many but it was apparent early on that I was going to be in for a great night. All three bands playing on tonight’s bill were greeted with a great and very loud crowd which was awesome to see, many who had arrived before doors had even opened, no doubt in anticipation of a killer show.
Not only the bands; but the entire crowd were in great spirits, with plenty of smiles and laughs on stage and amongst the faces in the crowd which was so cool to see from the moment doors opened until the last sweaty bodies walked outside the venue!
Kicking off proceedings tonight was These Four Walls. Originally from New Zealand, the band that is now based on the Gold Coast came out swinging and swinging fucking hard! The crowd was treated to a killer balls-out hard-rockin' set and the band certainly rocked! Having released new material during the pandemic fans in Sydney were treated to hearing some of those songs played live finally for the very first time and they were amazing! This was my first time seeing this band live and it will not be my last, they left a great impression on me well before their set came to an end!
Next up was Shepherds Reign and these guys I was extremely excited to see perform. A friend had introduced me to these bangers from Auckland just before covid really hit and I became a fan the moment I first heard them; so finding out they were on this bill was incredible. The guys took to the stage and did not disappoint. From the moment the lights went out and the intro music started the crowd became more vocal, and the energy in the room was electric! The band kicked off their set with one of my favorite tracks ‘Aiga’ and this gem set the tone for just how amazing the next hour of metal was going to be. It was awesome to see the band perform live finally, visually they are amazing to watch, high energy, plenty of headbanging, plenty of hair! The setlist was killer too, smashing through tracks such as ‘Legend’, ‘The World Bleeds’, and most certainly a crowd favorite ‘Le Manu’. There is no doubt that heavy music fans at the venue who didn’t know too much about this band certainly left highly impressed with the set that Shepherds Reign delivered! Considering this was the band's first-ever Australian tour, I have no doubt in my mind that it will not be the last time we see them on our shores!
Closing the show was our killer headliners and ever so energetic Kiwi’s Devilskin! It had been too long between shows for me with these guys having seen them perform at the Download Festival, then again supporting Slash, I was overdue to see these guys kick out yet another amazing set! It was also nice to finally see the guys doing a headline show giving us the full Devilskin experience. I’m not too sure there’s a lot I can say about this band that I haven’t said in the past…. What I do love about these guys is that they all hold their own on stage, no one member stands out for me. All four members are so enjoyable to watch perform and at any given time one of them is doing something that has you constantly shifting your focus…. Musically… I love this band live; they are tight, loud, and put together a setlist that simply kicks your ass!
For me tonight’s show had plenty of killer standout tracks including ‘Start a Revolution, ‘Pray’ and ‘Until you Bleed’. From start to finish the crowd was going crazy for Devilskin and whether this was the first time you were seeing them live or you had seen them countless times it was easy to see why this crowd was singing, chanting, and headbanging their way through the bands set. Altogether, the band smashed out a killer sixteen-song setlist which also included ‘Covet’, ‘Never See the Light’, and ‘All Fall down’. There is no doubt in my mind that loud and heavy music is alive and well and after starving for it for the best part of two years it's clear the fans are thrilled to be back in the venues and the bands are equally as happy to be back on stage performing. If you are wondering if you should get along to any of the shows these guys are currently doing around the country…. Stop thinking about it and go buy tickets, you will not be disappointed, this is one kick-ass bill that’s not to be missed!
You still have a chance to catch these guys at the venues below:
Adelaide - May 5 @ The Gov
Perth - May 6 @ Amplifier
Melbourne - May 7 @ Max Watts
Tickets still available at Silverback Touring