Making my way to the venue I am thankful mother nature has given us a reprieve from the heat. That being said I have a feeling that Hindley St Music Hall is going to be a sweat-pit tonight. It’s been a few years since Canadian five-piece Alexisonfire have played here and talking to people around the place over the last few weeks it seems that their fans are extremely keen for this gig. Releasing their latest album Otherness in 2022, the band have some new material to show us along with all the crowd favourites.
Hailing from Tasmania, Luca Brasi are up first performing their cool style of indie punk. Playing to a reasonably packed room of hardcore fans may have been a daunting experience for some, but it didn’t seem to deter the boys. Opening with Dying To Be Alive, we got a taste of the bands catalogue through songs like Anything Near Conviction, Aeroplane and Tangled; Content.
A laid-back stage presence, along with their catchy melodies was a pleasant way to start the night. Some one yelled ‘Tassie represent’ which enticed some banter between the crowd and the band. This was a prelude into the boys playing Let It Slip “a song about how fucking sick Tassie is”. Fans grooved along with Party Scene while Tyler Richardson’s vocals smoothly washed over us. One punter was over eager to see the main act yelling “Play some metal” to which the boys obliged with a quick AC/DC riff and a laugh.
I need to be honest here, I know who Alexisonfire are but haven’t really listened to them a great deal, much to the surprise of my gig date. Over the years I have heard the stories of Alexisonfire live shows. Monday night I witnessed it. Honestly, I don’t even know where to start and I don’t think words can even come close to describing it.
The venue is plunged into darkness. You can feel the atmosphere on the ground change. Blue light swathes the stage, some lovely symphonic music plays and five mates wander casually into our view. Grabbing their instruments, they shuffle around and strum a few notes. Screams erupt from the around the venue as George Pettit grabs the microphone. Next minute all hell breaks loose. Drunks, Lovers, Sinners and Saints assails our ears while absolute chaos reigns on the stage. Bassist Chris Steele resembles a man possessed as he twists and grinds his way around the stage, ducking and weaving around the other band members.
For the next hour we are taken on the most amazing journey, not only musically but visually. Alexisonfire are taking no prisoners tonight. Song after song is shot at us like a machine gun with no chance to catch our breath. Scanning the crowd, punters eyes are darting this way and that as they try to focus on each band member, which I have to admit was damn hard! Having three vocalists brings an amazing dynamic to listening to Alexisonfire. The voices of George, and guitarists Dallas Green and Wade MacNeil meld to form some of the most manically sublime sounds, which is just crazy when they barely stand still.
Each song took the crowd closer to the pinnacle of ecstasy, inducing a fevered pit where bodies of all ages appeared above the sea of heads. Boiled Frogs, Sweet Dreams of Otherness, Blue Spade and 44. Caliber Love Letter all led us to the first notes of Crisis when the crowd completely lost their minds, yep the pinnacle had been reached. Bodies that had floated became more frenetic in the air as the barrier came alive. This is what live music is all about, exchanging energies and feeding off each other. The Northern’s slower tempo gives momentarily relief, the crowd gather their thoughts and breath briefly. The familiar drum beat starts, and Young Cardinals spirals us back into the vortex. Honestly this is one of the highest energy gigs I have witnessed, this is five mates having the absolute time of their lives and we are privileged to witness it. Summing up our night, Happiness by the Kilowatt is an apt song to take us home. Walking out onto Hindley Street, apart from the odd car horn, the only sound you can hear in the street is the crowd singing the chorus of Neil Young’s Hey, Hey, My, My along with the band. My biggest tip from the night is that an Alexisonfire gig is something that everyone needs to experience once in their lifetime regardless of their taste in music.