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[Review] Hilltop Hoods @ Brisbane Entertainment Center, Brisbane 27/08/2022

Over a ‘Great Expanse’ of 20 plus years, I would have seen the Hilltop Hoods perform live six or seven times now. While, yes, the sets and crowds continue to get bigger, and the pyrotechnics, lighting and venues continue to improve, what hasn’t changed – and what I suspect is the real reason thousands flock year after year to see the Hoods – is the energy the famous trio bring to every city they visit. Enamoured by fans young and old, Suffa, Pressure and DJ Debris blessed a sold out crowd in Brisbane on Saturday night. Here’s just one Brissie girl’s recollection of her time in ‘The Nosebleed Section’.

An X-ecutioners fan from way back, I was disappointed to not quite get to see all of DJ Eclipse’s set. Fortunately, Brisbanites can catch the Brooklyn born turned Aussie local fairly regularly. It’s obvious why Eclipse continues to receive accolades for his blending, scratching, and beat juggling. Having been in the business; the ‘Show Business’; for nearly three decades now, and having even being credited with helping to pioneer turntablism, Eclipse still knows how to hypnotise an audience. Previously, he’s explained the benefits of playing to an Australian crowd: a crowd noticeably more open to showing their excitement than those in the Big Apple. He takes us on a journey. His own journey emanates from every set performed – there’s no mistaking the sounds of the New York scene in the late 90’s, a time referred to as the Golden Era of Hip Hop for a reason. How appropriate then that the revered DJ is now signed to the Hoods label entitled, Golden Era Records. Fortunately for me, this also means Eclipse returns to the stage for A B Original’s set.

Until then though, crowds are treated to an all-too short set by young Kenyan powerhouse Elsy Wameyo. Like the Hoods, this talented vocalist grew up in Adelaide and though relatively new to the scene, it’s obvious she won’t be an ‘Outcast’ for long. Her flow is flawless, fast paced and frenetic. Her professionalism and range allow seamless switches between soulful ballads like Daily and festival-bound bangers like the River Nile. Come the third song, Promise, Elsy entices the Brisbane audience, initially hesitant to get involved, to sing along. Though just four of her usual 7-piece band join her this time, they too are exceptional. If you are yet to listen to Elsy, make it a priority. I genuinely can’t help but move when her beats drop.

When aptly named A B Original (say that quickly now) hit the stage, the energy continues. Unapologetically political, Briggs and Trials continue their mission of presenting young Indigenous Australians with a vision and a sound of what’s possible. Previously they’ve reflected on not having local Indigenous rappers to look up to as children. Like Elsy before them, they are initially – and visibly – disappointed with the audience replies, but soon get us joining into their passionate set which includes King Billy CokeBottle, 2 Black 2 strong, Black Balls and their version of Paul Kelly’s Dumb Things among others. Joined by a pianist, DJ Eclipse, guest vocalist for January 26 and the equally powerful and multi-talented Mo’Ju, A B perform passionately. They suitably warm the audience up for what is sure to be a killa night ahead.

At about this time, my friend and I start taking bets on whether the floor-to-ceiling maroon velvet curtain hiding the ‘real’ stage will drop or rise when the Hoods come on. It drops…revealing a 5 metre-high, platform for Debris constructed upon a massive HTH fluro-illuminated emblem. Perhaps the Hoods need to get better at keeping secrets though – ha ha – fans like me had already seen the set when they’d posted it on social media earlier that day. Hey, it’s understandable – as was Debris’ obvious excitement during footage of him first seeing his coveted office-space for the night. Who says working from home is the best?!?

And so, the stage alights – literally with fire -and Suffa and Pressure start their marathon performance with Leave me Lonely, running to and fro, jumping non-stop and leaving no doubt that these veterans can still cut it. In May I had the privilege of sitting down with Suffa Mc (see that whole interview here). During our chat he was telling me how earlier that day his personal trainer had nearly broken him – you can see why that’s necessary – neither him nor Pressure stop to take a breath for most of the 90plus minute set, a set they’re next taking to Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide. Though an older fan like me would have liked more from the first two albums, their inclusion of Chase that Feeling made me very happy, and reminiscent. It’s also during this song that I first realise just how far out into the crowd the rappers can come.. and they do so often. Indeed, making their crowds feel welcome and involved is clearly a mission of the trios. Favourites Nosebleed Section and 1955 come next, the latter of which sees guest vocalist, Nyassa, join the stage. She wears what has come to be her signature look including headband, and a boxy jumpsuit with shoulder pads that would impress even the 1980’s. Her mic seems quite quiet at first but this is later rectified. Like time travellers we’re suddenly thrown back to the present, with not one but two new songs busted out: first Show Business – normally featuring Eamon and the song that gave the tour its title and then Whole Nights Day, the tune that got ‘the 1955 band back together’.

By now I’m predicting a few slower tracks – surely these two are going to pass out at any minute…. but I’m wrong. They pick up the pace once again and get everyone back on their feet for I Love It. This track is hot, and not just because the flame throwers have come alive again. Suffa and Pressure alike are sweating. So are we but in the best way possible. Ok, so I was one song off. The pace does slow briefly for Let You Down. Clark Griswald follows – but where are those grey wigs, plaid vests and Chinos fellas? Nearly didn’t recognise ya!

Despite being a diehard fan, there are a few songs, typically those with guest vocalists, that I haven’t always appreciated as much as I should have. Songs that just ‘bang’ with so much more ‘buck’ when live. This is true of Exit Sign I think. It’s so much fun. Live and Let Go follows with the crowd singing along in the absence of Maverick Sabre and Brother Ali. It is at this point, during Through the Dark that the Hoods, and Pressure specifically, remind us of just how far they’ve all come, just how versatile they are … and how blessed. Written hospital bedside in 2014 while his son battled Leukaemia, Pressure explains this was one of the hardest songs to ever write. Thankfully, this prayer “to Hip Hop Almighty” was answered and post a full recovery, his son’s battle has inspired a collaboration with CanTeen offering young cancer patients Side of Stage perks. If you’ve never looked at the lyrics for Higher – the set’s next track- go check them out. With almost as many cultural references as an all-time fav of mine, Fifty-in-five, such writing reminds us that the Hoods are indeed dope lyricists, poets even, not just Emcees with flows for days. At this point, Nyassa leaves the stage. Though clearly a talented vocalist, the Hoods ever the professionals, are generous to a fault and gracious, even giving her literal centre stage for the entire time she joins them. Perhaps Suffa and Pressure instead envied Debris birds’ eye view – both joining him at different parts of the set. Counterweight channels eerie Radiohead vibes to start but also lets the drummer and the horns section show off their skills. This is a great example of a tune that should shut down any haters who might dismiss Hip Hop as lacking melody. Indeed, the Hoods don’t just “write rhymes” but have consistently pushed the boundaries of the genre – highlighted best perhaps by their ongoing collaborations with symphony orchestras both on stage and in the studio.

And just like that “they came and they conquered”… well not quite. I sometimes get annoyed at Brisbane crowds – often their demand for encores are not what they should be! But, true to form, the Hoods treat us to not one but two extra songs: Rattling the Keys to the Kingdom and, as predicted, Cosby Sweater. All supports are welcomed back on stage too and the Brisbane Entertainment Centre really lights up. “And it’s all good. And it’s all good. And it’s all good”.

Suffa, Pressure, Debris you continue to amaze. You continue to educate but “it would take a nation of millions to stop” me requesting that you play your millions of fans more of The Calling, The Hard Road and State of The Art next time. Cos, like you, “we’re still standing and we’ll be back again.”

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[Review] MONOLITH FESTIVAL @ Bella Vista Farm, NSW 20/08/2022

The inaugural Monolith Festival kicked off in Brisbane last weekend to a fantastic crowd. The all Aussie lineup is helping us warm up to festivals and live shows becoming a more regular occurrence, once again.
7 bands, 1 stage, NO clashes! 

The morning’s weather is less than ideal, a grumpy sky and some rain make any punter nervous about the day ahead in an open field in Sydney’s west. As the clock edges closer to the gates opening, the skies open to a beautiful blue, just for us.
Today’s venue, Bella Vista Farm is a large open green ground, with sheep grazing behind a fence, and natures amphitheatre at the foot of a hill, this is where the stage can be found. With only 1 bar, 1 merch tent and a few food trucks it is not regular festival programming today. 

I walk the perimeter on my arrival, making sure I absorb every aspect of the festival set up by the legends over at Destroy All Lines, I get a drink and prop myself on the hill to watch Perth based, experimental prog rock group Yomi Ship, kick off the day.
Yomi Ship are the first of 3 instrumental acts on the Monolith line up. Yomi Ship demonstrates to audience members that although vocals give a band more depth, they are not always required. As we observe and take in Yomi Ship’s ripping riffage and melodies as they perform songs like Seamonkey, Ice Drake, and S.H.A.M.A.N. as we appreciate the level of musicianship. 

The day is under way and with less than 30-minute change over intervals, we are treated to another healthy dose of live music with Reliqa. Their energy was infectious and thank goodness as the dampness of the ground had made everyone quite uncomfortable, we are on our feet! Sydney-based rockers came out with guns blazing. Front woman, Monique Pym’s energy does not come down once. There are many headbangers in the crowd, including one blue Power Ranger! With Mr Magic and The Halfway Point, Reliqa encourages punters to hustle closer to the barrier. Every song after this, including Safety, which was only released last week, is said to be a brand-new tune. 

The enigmatic and hefty introduction to Tundra introduced Sydney’s Sleepmakeswaves, an instrumental rock band with members Otto Wicks-Green on guitar, Lachlan Marks on guitar, Tim Adderley on drums, and Alex Wilson on bass, keys, and electronics. Sleepmakeswaves‘ heavy and layered sounds were pushed out into the crowd in melodic and energising waves, bringing skilful professional riffage! They played a well-balanced show, with tremendous energy and seamless transitions between songs. The air was painted with melodic and intricate works of art by the songs The Stars are Stigmata, Traced in Constellations, Great Northern, and Something Like Avalanches. Sleepmakeswaves left its impression on audiences with long-time fans happy and plenty of new fans excited to hear their most recent song, Pyramids, a gorgeous heavy piece. As they approach the microphones, used only to speak with the crowd, they are humble and appreciative of all in attendance. 

Plini is up next, rounding out the instrumental acts of the day. I have known about their music for some time now and their reputation for being astounding musicians. We audience members are being intoxicated by Plini songs like I’ll Tell You Someday, Every Piece Matters, and I cannot forget the fan favourite Electric Sunrise as their immaculate arrangements pulse and soar off the stage. They bring a different energy to the other 2 instrumental bands, and really stand out. 

The sun begins to descend behind the hill as the Ocean Grove backdrop is raised. Being the band, I most looked forward today, I leave the height of the hill and enter the pit for the madness about to ensue. From the moment they burst on stage with Superstar the energy of the day is lifted, and atmosphere altered as the crowd bellows in excitement.
OG stand out on this line up, as their flavour of nu-metal/rock/punk/oddworld is quite different from the other acts. Although I commend the organisers for throwing this incredible wildcard.
Front man Dale Tanner’s energy is endless, as soon as I see him wearing dark blue coveralls, I know we are in a world of trouble and there is a big performance coming. (Fever 333 fans will understand!) A packed set of hits including Junkie$ and Sex Dope Gold are thrown our way, opening the moshpit instantly. Bass player Twiggy Hunter was recently released from hospital although it did not hinder his performance, with a beaming smile from start to finish he lends backing vocals to many songs while holding down the bass with a style like no other. We are so glad he is on the mend!
Drummer Sam Bassal treats us to a fantastic solo on the song, Guys from the Gord, as we are swept into Thousand Golden People. It is an interesting song with a hard-hitting intro, some borderline rapping from Dale progressing into a huge chorus for the crowd to join in on.

Before they hit the stage someone asked me what genre Ocean Grove are, I simply replied ‘yes’.

The only criticism I would have of their performance would be the lighting. It is back lit so extreme that I can only see Dale’s face when he is close to the drum riser, otherwise he is but a shadow on the stage. For a performer who is constantly moving and bonding with the crowd, it was a shame to not see more facial expressions and connect with the enigmatic front man especially being on the barrier.
Ocean Grove performed a tremendous show that will be hard to top, bringing psychedelic vibes with Ask for the Anthem and their collaboration track with Brisbane rockers Dune Rats, Bored. Concluding with their legendary song Sunny, which I am singing at the top of my lungs. Go ahead and put that song on now and tell me you do not want to scream the chorus.
The unconventional and funky flavours and electrifying energy of Ocean Grove made a lasting effect on attendees of the Monolith Festival. The sun was still in the sky as Ocean Grove took to the stage, as I turn around, we are covered in darkness. I leave the pit out of breath, elated and beyond happy. 

The crowd has amassed monumentally, ready for the two big acts to close out the day. It did not feel like all that long before Cog are before us. Fans begin to sway and fill the front of the stage as Bitter Pills begins with its lengthy and mysterious opening. 

COG‘s set, which is shaping up to be an excellent blend of their very early bangers that have stood the test of time and later material the crowd has fallen in love with, is best described as melodic, heavy, and intricate. We get to sing along to Anarchy Ok and What If, after the ferocious nature of Ocean Groves set the energy is lower and the songs longer as they create an ambient atmosphere.
The Middle and Open Up, two more recent songs, seamlessly blended into the nostalgic setlist. Bassist Luke Gower and vocalist/guitarist Flynn Gower bounce off each other, seeming extremely happy to be on stage together once more. The sense of comradery is extremely evident up there tonight. I am incredibly impressed by their ability to play almost identical to the recorded version.

Closing out the set with favourite Bird of Feather we are all singing in unison. For a track that was released in 2008, it seems the whole venue know it word for word as friends and strangers are arm in arm singing at the top of their lungs. This track transports me back to high school and I could not be happier to be here today with my best friend, as we dance around and adore every moment. 

As Karnivool‘s performance time drew near, a sheer black curtain went up, not blocking the view of much at all. The instrumental for Fear of the Sky began to play, lights and shadowy figures began to appear. As the stronger beats slowed down, the curtain fell, revealing Karnivool in a haze of light. The audience went wild! 

It’s no surprise most of the punters are here for Karnivool. Spotting Karnivool shirts at the train station, bus stop and more and more at the festival as merchandise is purchased. Fans are utterly devouring Goliath, Animation, Set Fire To The Hive as they swing their arms, dance, and headbang in the pit.
Ian Kenny’s vocals are astounding. If you have listened to but 1 Karnivool track and attempted to sing along, you quickly realise how difficult those songs are. Add on a festival appearance, cool wind snapping at your face and a smoke machine filling the stage every few minutes, Kenny keeps his top-tier vocals throughout the performance.
Simple Boy is an example of his remarkable vocals, as the crowd help, singing it as loud as they can. 

Kenny praises the superiority of Australian music. We all yell in unison. Who would have thought COVID lockouts would ever occur, and now that Karnivool is entertaining us as they have never left the stage? The drums of Steve Judd are strong and beat throughout the farm, he is hitting those skins so hard I question if he will need a change out midway through!
Roquefort and Themata from 2005’s album of the same name, Themata, are very evident crowd favourites. As a DJ of Sydney heavy clubs, I played/heard Themata every week for my entire 20s and I am brimming with nostalgia. The crowd dances and throws their fists to the sky, smiles across everyone’s faces until they close out their set with New Day. 

Karnivool is not done with us yet. The Aussie legends return to the stage for two more tracks for the hungry crowd who were whipped up into a frenzy more by with All It Takes, one of their more recent and heavy from 2021. With Fade, the great concert came to an end. The crowd went wild, making the most of the evening’s final song.
The audience was content by Karnivool, but they eventually wanted more! A tribute to the renowned Australian progressive rock group. 

The first Monolith Festival in Sydney went down in history for many as the black-clad crowd, many in Karnivool shirts by now, exit the green pastures of Bella Vista Farm. Without a doubt, the day was a huge success, each and every band put on outstanding performances that captured the attention and hearts of all.  

The size of the festival was spot on, no clashes meant every act got the attention they deserved and a moment to shine. A free shuttle bus was parked outside the venue to transport the droves home or to the pub safely, to no doubt, recall stories of the day well into the night and year.
Here’s hoping Monolith becomes a festival staple. 

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[Review] Be’lakor @ Corner Hotel, Melbourne 20/08/2022

Tonight, is a night full of incredible melodies, whether it’s from a black, death or just a straight up metal riff, there is melody in the air coming from all these bands. It’s been a little while for me since going to a local Melbourne scene gig, it was a great reminder of how supportive and kind the scene really can be. This is a sold-out show and it’s great to see a line outside at a venue for a local gig, its been years since seeing that kind of thing, the patch vests are out, there are familiar faces around and the Jack Daniels is flowing!

Opening the festivities is Black Lava, bringing on their melodic black sound with killer riffs and an absolutely cracking snare sound, that thing cut through the mix perfectly and the drummer was hard-hitting, perfect combination. Being a Black Metal 4 piece band can be hard, you need to consider how everything gels together live, clearly, these guys know what they are doing because they had a full band sound with just the one guitar, you could hear all the intricacies of the music without it sound thin. While watching though, I realise I’ve seen the beast of a vocalist before and note that it’s the singer of local Black Metallers Blackhelm. Anyone into Watain or Satyricon-style bands should check them out. They played to a half full venue at 7:30 but they got everyone there into their music.

Next out for this night of tightly played melodic music is Andy Gillion and his band, featuring 2 members of Orpheus on bass tonight, Chris and Leon. This is a completely instrumental set and this type of thing can either be really entertaining or drag on, lucky for me it was the first option. Andy and his band are incredible to watch, these guys make playing guitar look easy. Their playing was so fluid, their right hands just seemed to wash over the guitars while their left was all over the fretboard, it felt like I should be taking notes at a masterclass. Andy states that he has been living in Australia for about 5 years now and this is his first Melbourne show played, the appreciation is genuine, and I don’t think he stopped smiling for the entire set.

At the end of Andy Gillion’s set, the curtains close and the crowd starts to move closer to the stage, Orpheus Omega are starting to set up. The curtains open with the band coming out to play Within These Walls, the new single that happens to feature Andy in it, who pops back up on stage to shred his solo. Chris has complete control over the crowd with quick and ground-setting speeches, laying down the law of “no crowd surfing” Yeah.. thanks Captain Buzzkill Jeez! (I’m kidding Chris, if you’re reading this… I promise) but he does make up for it at the end of the set with “I’m not telling you people what to do but IF you know what USUALLY happens in this last song and happen to do those things if you are so inclined.. that’s on you” with a massive grin. Orpheus smashes out a killer set of the hits from over the last couple of albums and dedicate Lighthouse from the latest album, Wear Your Sins to a member of the local scene who has recently passed. As I said earlier, this was just the night for the Melbourne scene to catch up and show its solidarity.

The curtains close once more and Be’lakor are now taking their turn in getting ready to darken the room with their progressive blackened sound. The crowd is now at full capacity, and you can no longer move around the venue, the anticipation is high, and the crowd doesn’t seem to have lost any energy at all. These guys know how to write a song, they remind a bit of Insomnium or something along those lines, epic, big-sounding LONG songs, they had about 90mins to play, and I think that was about 8 – 9 songs. These songs though are jammed packed with killer riffs that had the crowd moving and headbanging from start to finish. There were people singing along to most of the songs and their fans were ranging from old schoolers to the next generation, it’s great to see that their music has that kind of reach. Their live sound was amazing and did not disappoint, the amount of reverb on the drums made it sound like they were playing a massive open hall and just gave the music so much more atmosphere.

It is great to see so many people out and about for local gigs once again, I hope this makes everyone else just as hungry to go out and find more local bands and get the scene back to its former glory. I will be humming or playing these damn songs that are stuck in my head for weeks now, thanks guys!

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[Review] KISS @ Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne 20/8/2022

The wait has been long, and the KISS Army have been patiently biding their time, finally the day was upon us and the time was NOW! KISS are literally the hottest band in the world right now, and while that mantra has followed them for almost 50 years there has never been a truer statement.  The KISS juggernaut has been a staple in almost every Australian home, in my case they even had their own dedicated room! Hugely loved and welcomed with open arms every single time they touch down, their fans are loyal and fiercely devoted which makes the experience of a KISS concert memory to treasure forever.

As I made my way towards Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne for the first show of the End Of The Road Australian tour, surrounded by my fellow KISSaholics, the ripples of excitement were brewing. There were painted faces, KISS T-shirts for miles, and families bringing their kids along to witness what would be the show of a lifetime. I took my spot on the floor, ready to get up close and personal with the band that has shaped my musical life. I felt overwhelmed with excitement and emotion, The End Of The Road is just that and I am not sure that I was ready to say goodbye just yet. But alas, I was glad I was there to soak up every bit of the tour, surrounded by like-minded fans all there to bask in KISS glory.

Melbourne hard rock outfit Dead City Ruins nabbed the coveted opening slot on night one, playing to a sold-out arena and thousands of adrenaline-filled punters. I can only imagine the high they were riding on, and it sure did come alive during their set. Blasting through their songs they engaged with the crowd and put on an amazing show. If there was ever a band that was a walking advertisement for good hair care it was them, luscious locks aplenty as they shredded their set. Booming vocals from Steve Welsh had the crowd up and about, many wearing their merch and singing the songs. Being a local Melbourne band, it was fantastic to see such great support for them. They have a new album out next month and we were treated to a sample of what is to come. It is one you do not want to miss, go check them out, and you will be glad you did.

Now it was time to bring out the big guns and they come no bigger than KISS, the arena was electric, carrying its own pulse in anticipation. The start time came and went which added to the nervous tension, but as the lights dropped the roar was deafening. Lowering from the ceiling on pods, KISS appear belting out the classic Detroit Rock City, accompanied by pyro, flames, and a light show that left me speechless. I have seen KISS more times than I can count but I still cannot explain the overwhelming feeling of joy that they bring to each and every show.  It was a non-stop thrill ride as they smashed through Shout It Out Loud, Deuce, War Machine, and Heavens on Fire. The stage hid all sorts of party tricks that kept coming nonstop.  The heat from the flames was intense as Gene worked his magic during I Love It Loud, there was a lot of crowd participation, and came complete with the obligatory fire breathing display that we all know and love.  Cold Gin was Tommy Thayer’s time to shine as he ripped out his guitar solo and fired rockets across the stage. He has stepped into the Spaceman’s boots in a fluid movement and has looked at home from day dot.

Lick It Up was definitely a favourite and one that had Gene literally licking everything in sight with his trademark tongue out more than it was in. Gene Simmons, the backbone of KISS is such a consummate professional onstage, blasting his bass to within an inch of its life but always making sure the show runs like clockwork and every piece of the action is delivered one hundred percent every single time!  I hope that I can channel his energy when I am his age, he made me tired just watching last night, never taking a break, it was go go go from start to finish.  KISS always have, and always will, until that last show give it everything they have and leave nothing in the tank, that’s just how they roll.

The setlist was extensive covering most of the huge catalogue of albums, Dr Love, Do You Love Me, the hits just kept coming. Then as were saw a merge of Psycho Circus and 100,000 years, Eric Singer came to the forefront. His enormous drum kit catching the laser lights was a truly beautiful thing to see, his playing exemplary as always. Getting the crowd involved as he belted out a solo that echoed throughout the arena and had all eyes on him. Wowing the fans as he spun cymbals and sticks his drum riser raised to the roof and had everyone losing their minds, smoke pouring from underneath, it really was quite the spectacle.

Would it even be a KISS show if Gene did not spew forth blood during God Of thunder? Absolutely not, so we were all delighted when the green hue of lights and smoke swamped the stage and Gene treated us to his best ever party trick. Treating a lucky fan to his blood-spattered towel as he tossed it to the punters almost causing a riot. His riser taking high to the ceiling to watch over us as he sang, almost like a preacher with his congregation.

Frontman and KISS itself, Paul Stanley is still shaking his bootie with the best of them, playing his guitar over his head while giving us all a sexy shimmy. His stamina is undying as he jumped on a zip line to whizz across the venue to a second stage to play Love Gun and I Was Made For Loving You. The stage lighting up with disco balls and setting a bit of a frenzy amongst the fans, it is always a great one to sing along to and gets everyone jumping. Time to hear from Eric on vocals as Black Diamond rings out, it is one from the inception of KISS but still holds so much weight now in 2022. In classic KISS fashion, the drums rise again showcasing the cat motif and spinning pinwheels of sparks and explosions.

After a brief moment off the stage and cheers for more a stunning grand piano appears and Eric breaks into the beautiful ballad Beth, we are all singing along lighting up Rod Laver with our phone torches, knowing the night is getting close to being over and not being anywhere near ready for it.  Being like a second home for KISS, we are always treated to an exception to the regular setlist, last night it was Shandi, and what a sight it was as supersized KISS balloons rained down on us as they crooned the much-loved hit from Unmasked.

The drums started and that famous intro to Rock and Roll All Nite rang out, with smoke and confetti cannons on steroids we were awash with excitement and adrenaline as the boys brought it home.  We were answering the call as Paul worked us close to delirium, Rod Laver was heaving, and we were singing the oh-so-familiar lyrics I Wanna Rock and Roll All Nite and Party Every Day! The risers were headed to the sky with Gene and Tommy on board as Paul smashed his guitar and handed it over to one very lucky fan.  With more pyro and fireworks than New Year’s Eve, the show was over and we were left raw with emotion but on a high from the most amazing show of all time.

There are still a few tickets for the last Melbourne show on Tuesday night, and I recommend you grab them fast, believe me, this show will change your life. Then you too can wear your badge with pride and say you have earned your place in KISSTORY!

There will never be another band that can compare to KISS, their love and dedication to their loyal KISS Army have been ever present and all we can do is say thank you. Thank you for the music of our childhood, thank you for the music that shaped our lives, and thank you for being THE HOTTEST BAND IN THE WORLD EVERY SINGLE TIME!!!!

Tonight the play to another SOLD OUT show, but you still have a chance to catch them Tuesday MELBOURNE!!!!! 

Get your part of remaining tickets here : TUESDAY 22nd AUGUST 2022

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Primitive – With The Rats And Snakes

Melbourne’s Metal Quartet Primitive are back with their second EP With the Rats and Snakes and they are here to show the world just how far they have come since their first back in 2017. Already having strong foundations of solid Heavy Metal songwriting, Primitive bring you 5 killer tracks that will slam a sledgehammer to your chest with chugging riffs and then slice you up with some sharpened and refined melodic leadwork that is strewn throughout all songs which you will be needing to be put back together at the end of the ordeal.

Summoning their own version of Melodic Thrash, there is always a head banging riff, melody in the background and then add in some wicked riff/drum syncopation for good measure and you have a well-balanced EP. Their sound is heavily influenced by the American Metal sounding bands, guys like Lamb of God, Chimaira or Sylosis come to mind chucking on either this or their self-titled EP.

These guys have knuckled down hard over the last couple of years and improved on everything they did in their first EP to produce a stronger sounding recording and overall band. I would be interested to see how they go with a live scene; they have always been a tight playing band, but I can imagine how they have hit that bar, if not raised it for themselves as well from this process.

The EP starts off with an acoustic intro that builds the anticipation to lead into the single off this EP, the title track, With the Rats and Snakes. Smart move by the guys to make this the single, it shows off all their skills they have in their arsenal and a nice taster for things to come as the EP progresses. Tim’s vocals have become a lot harsher and stronger this time around, there are times where the vocal tracks are doubled up and it creates more depth to his style as in The Last Nail. God is Beneath us throws in some great use of overlapping vocal lines and uses them as whispers or panning, it has a wicked effect on the delivery of the verse.

Primitive have really nailed their tone for this recording, everything is audible and crisp, but you don’t lose the harshness that they are portraying. Once again working with Chris Themelco and Monolith Studios to engineer and then sent off to Tom Cadden at Violent Sound for mastering, they have perfectly captured the little intricacies that are in the riffs, like the melody runs in Broken Hands.

Overall, I’m glad to see Primitive back and releasing new tunes, they are good at what they do, they are incredibly tight live and hopefully they get to show off these new songs and work the live scene hard again. Definitely get out to a show to check this out.

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