Review By Emily

Pop culture has forever been a universal language, consistently infiltrating the minds of the current teen population. The popularity of TikTok has opened the scope for influencers worldwide, globalising the music scene more than ever, and Loveless is no exception. Riding off the recent resurgence of the emo scene, the Los Angeles locals who formed in mid 2020 have amounted an incredible international fanbase in a matter of months. Making their Melbourne debut, the boys of Loveless lived up to their online hype – selling out the iconic 170 Russell with a sensational punk-rock set reminiscent of the early 2000s greats including My Chemical Romance and Evanescence.

Closer to home, Sydney locals Closure set the tone for the short-but-sweet evening. Having released their first single in 2019, the band have had years to perfect their sound. Fronted by the enchanting vocalist Lucy May, the set played out with a perfect blend of originals and covers, each track feeding energy directly into the crowd. Starting out strong with a rock cover of Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream, Closure demanded the room’s attention. A particularly refreshing element was the consistently heavy, screeching guitar riffs that rang through every track, adding a level of emotion that cannot be portrayed through lyricism alone.

Although leaning heavily into the punk genre, Closure’s music remains bright and energetic, capturing the highs and lows of the emotions of their young adult audience. Bleed Out (No Wonder), the band’s newest single was a sure highlight of the set – backed by catchy electronic elements and an overlay of heavy metal drumming, ‘this is a fucking angry song’. Lucy’s vocals on this new track sound very similar to the bright emo tones of early records from The Veronicas, paired with a screamo-style backing from the band.

Their debut single, Bedroom, may have been released a number of years ago, however the catchy guitar riffs and dreamy vocals make it one of the band’s strongest tracks. The relatable lyrics of loneliness and the ramifications of hook-up culture are as heartbreaking as they are empowering, and were the perfect way to rial up the audience one final time. Heavy headbanging and flying arms played out the set as the venue quickly hit its capacity in perfect time for Loveless to take the stage. 

Exploding into the mainstream charts in 2021 as a cover band, Loveless is ready to make a name for themselves as a heavyweight in the alt-pop scene. Blending modern hits with high-velocity hard rock and punk vocals, the band has nailed down their sound extraordinarily quickly, subsequently growing an incredibly loyal online fanbase. Putting faces to the screen names of their fans, 170 Russell found itself bursting at the seams on Sunday night to welcome the LA locals. Hitting all the conventional Aussie traditions, the band sunk a few VB’s, did a shoey, and became the captains of an ‘Aussie Aussie Aussie’ chant within their first 10 minutes on stage.

The simple production allowed all attention to be placed on front man Julian Comeau. The perfect leader for a band, Julian came out guns blazing, not only vocally, but in his incredible physical performance. Channelling an early rock god, Julian’s ability to make contact with every audience member adds a warmness to their set, and a complete obliteration of the fourth wall. Starting out with a single from their breakout, self-titled album; Haunting Me was met with the energy expected of an encore performance. Racing and jumping around the stage, it was unfathomable to think the band was going to keep up such high intensity, and quality instrumentalism for the entire hour.

I Hope I’m Not Sick showcased the leaning into a new rock genre. High energy, upbeat drumming making it impossible not to smile and dance, even through the dark lyrical themes of mental health struggles. The light that Loveless is clearly providing for their fans who may be struggling with loneliness and self-worth is immense, and their warm community is something for any band to strive for.

Julian’s vocals are undoubtably flawless, with a range and projection that perfectly fills out the band’s discography. Filled with emotion and life, these vocals paired with fast-paced rock drumming gives that perfect dichotomy of teenage angst, the replication of a racing heart and mind typical of adolescent years.

The time between each track was a comedic pause in what is such imposing music. The banter back and forth between Julian and his bandmate and guitarist, Dylan was abrupt, yet acted as a time for air between such heavy-hitting songs. The band’s ability to think on their feet as juvenile jokesters had the audience in fits of laughter, bridging the gap between artist and listener. Coming into the limelight as online personalities, Loveless has done an incredible job at transferring these fan relationships into meaningful face-to-face interactions – even stopping the show at one point to sing Happy Birthday to their many fans who were celebrating that night.

Powering though their two-album catalogue, Loveless touched on all their hits including sorry i’m a downer, For You, Killing Time, IS IT ME, as well as some of the fan-favourite deep-cuts. It was so clear the band were simply here to have a good time, rather than to perform a perfectly planned spectacle. Playing through a plethora of tech issues, they didn’t miss a beat, nor did they lose the captivation of the crowd. Still becoming accustom to their overnight fame, there was a genuine feeling of gratitude and excitement in the air as Julian pondered, ‘You know what’s weird.. this is our job’.

With such a unique and attractive sound, and an army of fans, this is just the beginning for the alt-rock duo. Closing out the night with a brightly lit, high energy tune Drag Me Down, it felt as though the audience was not ready to say goodbye to their idols. This extraordinary level of anticipation is set to lead Loveless into many more successful Aussie tours in the future, making a promise on their departure, ‘we will be back soon’.