A beautiful Melbourne day saw the punters turning out early for a night of wicked punked up covers with UK’s Punk Rock Factory. With the line snaking around to Sydney Road, Melbourne Music haunt Stay Gold was going to be pumping, so I jumped in line quickly to ensure I saw all the nights entertainment. Melbourne five piece Among The Restless opened the proceedings to a rapidly filling room. It was fantastic to see so many people coming early to take in all the bands and enjoy a bevie or two.
Among The Restless are no strangers to Stay Gold and it was evident from the get-go that they felt right at home. Giving us a quick-fire set of five they had heads nodding and people dancing from their opening song Torn. They are an energetic lot, instantly engaging, quicky winning over the crowd as they worked through their set. Lucy seemed to hit the spot as people progressed towards the stage keen to see a bit more of what Among The Restless had to offer. Finishing out with Someone Else their first single from back in 2020, they certainly made some new fans along with the ones I saw singing throughout their time on stage. Definitely one to check for an exciting live performance.
Also based in Melbourne are alt/pop punk group PAPERWEIGHT. Offering a red hot thirty-minute set, they left nothing in the tank as they got sweaty with the swiftly expanding dance floor of punk rock fans. Once again, these guys are regulars at Stay Gold having played their first gig there just a few years ago. With many fans in their own right, they had the room jumping as they ploughed through their set. Scapegoat was one I really enjoyed, PAPERWEIGHT’s refreshing take on pop punk created a terrific vibe in Stay Gold and set the scene for the headliners. Another appealing local band that I would recommend you check out. We are so flush with amazing music here in Melbourne please go out and find some new bands to support.
It has been a long wait to get Punk Rock Factory here to Australia, but we have been patient, knowing the day would finally come. So on this mild September evening with footy finals in the air the hoards still swarmed to get a piece of punk rock action. With almost 10 years under their belts pumping out punk rock covers of our childhood memories along with other favourites PRF have built a huge following. While I am not so ofay with Tik Tok I’m told that’s the place to be for PRF fans. So it was time to see what all they hype was about, hold on to your hats as I take you through a night with UK’s finest, Punk Rock Factory.
Stay Gold was fit to bulging with punk rock lovers, there was multi-coloured mohawks, there was plenty of tartan and leather but there was also a feeling of unity. People finding their tribe for a night, feeling comfortable in their own skin and dropping their inhibitions and losing themselves to the music. Opening with Pokémon to cheers and screams PRF were off and running, Under The Sea and Power Rangers was a ripping trifecta too get the fans warmed up, keen to see what other delights would make an appearance. Vocalist Peej kept up cheeky banter across the night, the friendship between these guys is apparent from the minute they set foot on stage. Offering up a $200 merch voucher to one lucky fan which quickly had people jumping on their phones to be in with a chance. Mamma Mia had everyone singing in their finest musical voices and You’re Welcome saw guitarist Ryan take to the crowd armed with two mobile phones filming the shenanigans. Of course the sing offs were many and the collective voices were loud and proud trying to claim their side of the room being the loudest.
With so many hits to choose from in their repertoire it was exciting to see what would come next, Thundercat filled that slot followed closely by Can You Feel The Love Tonight. The Farnsy classic You’re The Voice was up next and had everyone in the room raising their vocal range a cog or two, Kob smashing the drumkit to within an inch of its life. SpongeBob Square Pants, Defying Gravity and the Hamilton banger You’ll Be Back had hands waving in their air as they jumped into Running Up That Hill. Benj had the bass covered as We Don’t Talk About Bruno took it up a level, punters singing every word. Let It Go the Frozen classic that took the world by storm was up next, this punked up version was a standout of the night, even the punkest of punks singing with gusto. While the crowd was jammed packed they remained respectful all night, just there to enjoy the music and have a lot of fun. It was really encouraging to see such an eclectic group come together as one after years of missing out on the live music scene. Many would have been happy to end the night there, but I had a feeling they could pull a few more from their punk covers pot. After a brief exit they retuned with a fitting finisher in Down Under. This certainly got the blood pumping and our patriotic chests puffed out. Add to this the Moana ripper How far I’ll Go and it was a setlist of dreams.
Their set flew by in what seemed like minutes but after the warm welcome we afforded them we can only hope that Punk Rock Factory will be back Down Under again very soon. Bringing joy to our ears with the songs of our youth, slung with a modern twist made for an exceptional night of fun. I for one will welcome them back with my punk rock arms wide open.
Review By Terri Nas
A drizzly Wednesday night saw me headed northbound in the direction of The Night Cat in super-cool Fitzroy. Legendary Australian band, Jet, are touring the country to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of their first hit album Get Born. Wednesday night’s gig was a warm-up show to kick off their tour, their first show being Friday night at The Forum.
If there’s one way to make yourself feel simultaneously young again but old as hell, it’s heading to see a band celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of their first album that you played on high rotation during your youth. Wait… wasn’t it only yesterday that I was a perky, young and innocent 15-year-old, bouncing around at house parties to Are You Gonna Be My Girl? Where did these wrinkles come from? Why is my back killing me? This album stirs up so much nostalgia in me every time I listen to it, and I’m always instantly transported back to exact moments in time with each song.
This was my first time visiting The Night Cat, and upon entry into the hazy, red-lit room with its mismatched vintage light shades and killer vibe, I was instantly impressed. The stage is actually positioned in the middle of the room, giving the audience a full 360-degree experience of the talented humans who grace its stage. Booth style seating borders the perimeter of the room with a bar on the outskirts to boot. And for a few lucky ones there were small tables positioned on certain sides of the stage. I cut a few sweet laps to get a feel for the venue whilst the crowd was still slowly rolling in, and I soon found myself a nice little position side of stage and super close to the action.
Local Melbourne trio Neon Goblin kicked off the night and with their heavy bass lines and psychedelic sound, they set the mood for the evening. The crowd were suitably impressed with their set, and it was then time to bid these guys farewell.
The room gradually filled to its capacity of approximately 500 bodies for this sold-out show, and the crowd was starting to come alive in anticipation of Jet’s arrival. I was also interested to note the average age range of the punters there. Yes, I may be in denial about my own age, but I would say the crowd started at around 35 and up. Surprisingly a huge chunk of people would’ve been around my parents’ age. A true indication that music can touch any heart, of any age.
The lights dimmed and the intro music was turned up a notch – here come Jet.
Oh. My. God. My body was covered in goosebumps as they took command of the stage and flew straight into their hit Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is. Now it’s no secret that being a rockstar and the life that that entails can take its toll on the body and speed up the aging process. But is it possible that Jet have discovered the fountain of youth as they are looking better than ever. Just like a fine wine. Being so close to the stage that I could see the sweat on their upper lips, I know it wasn’t just an optical illusion of smoke, mirrors and good lighting.
The crowd were completely amped right from the first note and the energy that was emanating around me never faulted once. We were treated to She’s A Genius followed by Black Hearts. I loved that they threw in some other hits before they got right down to business – getting into their Get Born album track for track. Last Chance kicked off the album, followed by their first smash hit Are You Gonna Be My Girl. Yes, Jet, I will be your girl. There was not one person who wasn’t dancing or singing along by this point, as we were then led into the cheeky hit for all the DJ haters – Rollover DJ.
It was then time to kick it back a notch with the slow ballad Look What You’ve Done, which also had the crowd providing backing vocals. Get What You Need was the next cab off the rank, and with drummer/vocalist Chris Cester sadly missing in action due to family reasons, his brother and frontman of the band, Nic, took the lead vocals on this song and unsurprisingly smashed it. Nic then invited Melbourne-based singer/songwriter/musician Andre Warhurst on stage to join them for Move On. Bass player Mark Wilson traded in his bass for the harmonica for this track, and his kick-ass playing further convinced me that I really want to teach myself how to play this little free reed wind instrument.
Guitarist Cameron Muncey then took the reins on lead vocals and slowed the pace with Radio Song. Get Me Outta Here fired the energy back up again, and then this little Cold Hard Bitch was “shakin’ her hips, and it was all that I needed” to hear my most favourite Jet song. I wasn’t the only one loving this song, as I spotted a keen crowd surfer floating along the top of the crowd before swiftly disappearing back into the pack. The beauty of the stage being completely accessible from all sides meant that from my vantage point at the side of stage, I was privy to the band’s view of the audience. It really is such a warm feeling seeing those extra die-hard fans right at the front of the stage emanating pure awe and singing every single word to every single song, just as hard and as passionately as the band.
Come Around Again & Lazy Gun started to slowly round out the set, before it came to a close with the heartbreaking song Timothy, with Cameron back on lead vocals. With its melancholy melody and gut-wrenching lyrics, the song hits hard and the audience absorbed every moment. Nic then acknowledged that it was the point in the show where they would pretend to leave the stage and do an encore. Rather than doing that though, the band exited the stage and left Nic to do a beautiful acoustic rendition of Shine On. The rest of the band came back to join us with Andre Warhurst in tow, and we got to preview their new song Little Fish, which was extremely catchy and had me trying to sing along despite never hearing it before. Jet then decided to Bring It On Back before succumbing to multiple requests during the show to “get on your feet” and Rip It Up.
Jet have etched themselves into the Australian songbook of legendary rock bands, and their live shows do not disappoint. I have been to hundreds of gigs in my life of all different sizes, but this was by far one of the best. As I ventured home I was still buzzing and was wondering how the hell I was going to get any sleep with this intoxicating music high still running through me. The band were tight and Nic’s vocals are still in absolute tip-top shape. Their presence is subtly commanding and from the first beat, they own that stage and every single soul watching them. All I can say is Jet are better than ever, and if you nabbed tickets to this tour then you will be in for an absolutely awesome ride! And for those that missed out, my condolences on missing a shit-hot show.
Walking into the iconic venue that is The Palais Theatre last Friday night, we were met with a sea of people, flashes of bright lights and waves of sound. Guitars, singing, gleeful screaming – the foyer was alive with the sounds of tonight’s support act, James Johnston. I had no idea what to expect from the night, I was asked whether I wanted to cover this gig because of my love for country and folk music. But this sounded more like stadium country than the melancholic yeehaw I frequent. I was intrigued, nervous and eager to hear more.
Australian Idol finalist, James Johnston has come a long way since 2009. He’s moved from the living rooms of Australian families and is playing to nearly 3,000 people. The Palais is at full capacity. All I see when I peak in, is a swath of bright-wide strobes. James Johnston is wearing a simple singlet and jeans and has the crowd going NUTS. People are standing and swinging their shirts around. “I’ll be out in the foyer signing anything you have and taking photos!” He exclaims happily as his band takes a bow and exits the stage. His backup vocalist’s amazing shiny silver cowboy boots glitter in the lights and dazzle the senses as she walks off. The usher turns to my housemate and I, who had left the heat to get a drink, “You’ll have to move to the foyer, sorry.” We’re confused, why are they so frantic to free up space? We were fine a minute ago. But almost instantly, I understand. We wind our way upstairs as a thousand people flood the foyer and grab a place in line to have their bags, books and arms signed by the Mid-Coast legend.
It’s a crowd of big hats, and bigger mullets. Some opt for cowboy hats, and others are adorned with large trucker hats. Boots of varying persuasions clink across the floor. One woman is wearing shimmery pink frills and knee-high pink cowboy boots, I love her. Someone is wearing a pink cowboy hat with an LED light trim. Three of the biggest mullets I’ve ever seen in my life walk past me. Mostly, the crowd is what you would expect from stadium-country fans, a far throw from the bluegrass enjoyers I surround myself with. But within the crowd, there are people dressed as if they’ve only listened to Joni Mitchell’s, Blue, and I feel a wave of calm. Tonight, will give everyone a little bit of something.
Armed with a Sprite and a Pepsi Max, we make our way into the theatre and take our seats. Without any warning, tonight’s headliner, fellow Novocastrian, Morgan Evans, takes the stage. After a flurry of frantic white strobes, there he is. Centre stage, he’s surrounded by one of the best backing bands in the country game right now. Let’s get to meet them, shall we?
“All the way from upstate New York, he makes the best margarita this side of the Mexican border, and he plays drums alright too. Make some Big Melbourne Noise for Pete Wilson.”
“To my left, all the way from Knoxville, Tennessee. He’s a trained psychologist but he prefers to play on this thing (bass guitar), he’s on a mission to drink all the beer in Melbourne this week (of course, the crowd cheers), and he’s got a burgeoning love affair with Hungry Jacks (we cheer more). Make some noise for Andrew Brown!”
“And last but not least, on electric guitar, keyboards and more, the youngest member of the band. All the way from a little town outside Dallas, Texas. He’s taken such a liking to Australia, and he’s also single, might be looking for an Australian wife actually. Ian Bawley.” Ian, if you’re reading this, I’ll be your Australian wife.
And so, we have our guides for this evening’s journey through the Life Upside Down tour.
Morgan Evans might be from Newcastle, but he sings with a heavy southern drawl. Listening to the crowd drawl along with him as he opens with Young Again, I’m taken back to my time growing up in the US. This is like, the weirdest version of culture shock. It feels like a familiar culture to me, but in entirely the wrong venue. It’s all hoots and hollers, and I swear I can smell corn on the cob. This is the crowd who loves Monster Trucking, and who hold each other up when the going gets tough, and the tough gets going. Country music has become a global sensation, that much is clear to see. And the County Fair Community vibe belongs to no one nation, we’re adopting the colourful slang and drawn-out rhythms of our American brothers. Except his shoes are off. The dogs are out. Can’t take the Newcastle out of the boy.
While this is not my genre of choice, I just lean into it. I embrace the cringe, and I sing along and whistle and cheer with the rest of them. Country Outta My Girl has me and my housemate singing along and grinning ear to ear. People are standing up, whipping their shirts around, fist’s pumping in the air and snapping photos, They’re a rowdy bunch for sure, but their energy is just too contagious. Evans seems so totally comfortable onstage. He radiates this effortless charisma, and we eat it up.
“Last night was good, but I can tell tonight is gonna get a little crazy.” Evans smirks into the mic. A sea of middle-aged women and mullets in caps cheers back at him. We launch into Kiss Somebody, and I just have to say it, what a banger. It’s still stuck in my head.
During his next song, I Do. My housemate says she’s going to make it her wedding song. And while it is a little Hallmark-y, it is undeniably lovely and oh-so romantic. The walls of The Palais are alight with projected roses, which swirl around the walls and dance over our heads as the lights onstage flicker from purple to orange to pink and back again.
Now, by this point, I’m completely onboard with whatever Mr Evans is serving. So when he suggests a competition, I’m immediately in. For Love Is Real, he divides the room down the middle, and we have a sing (scream) off to determine which side are the best and the brightest. East vs West, we dual to the death, to the glory. We sing,
I am Yours! You are Mine! Love is Real!
Evans high-fives some kids, sings back to us, smiles, and laughs and it feels like we’re hanging out with old friends. Speaking of old friends, it’s his guitar-swapping roadies’ birthday. And while we’re fired up, he gets us to shout, “Happy Birthday Jeff!” Into the wings. And so, of course, we do. And we do it loud.
Over For You is a change of pace. Slow, sad and beautifully played on the keys. “This is the part of the show where I can do whatever the fuck I want, because it’s just me and you.” Full of heartbreak, Evans really shows us just how good his vocals really are, without the strobes and the over-the-top drawl. He has beautiful control. And the entire crowd is still, for the first time that night. The stage is ablaze with individual lights, he is playing piano in front of a sea of stars. For any Didirri fans, this could be worth checking out.
Determined to never let us get bored, Evans changes pace yet again. And we jump along into maybe the most iconic heartbreak banger I’ve heard this month. It’s an unreleased track, but when I tell you, he’s SO REAL for this one. “This is a new song for everyone who has an ex they can’t stop talking shit about.” Absolutely feral shrieks leave people’s mouths. And the lyrics on this thing, scathing, funny and oh-so good to sing along with.
You’re fingerpainting, and thinking they’re Picassos / Say what you want about me / But what does that say about you?
My ex was working the bar upstairs, but I hope he put his ear to the door for this. I hope very bad ex ever puts their ear to the metaphorical door for this. Because it’s brutal, it’s sobering, it’s funny. Get ready for this release.
Out of nowhere, Evans pulls out a guitar and starts playing the instrumental opening to Waltzing Matilda. At first, I think it’s just a segue into another song. But oh-no, I’ve underestimated just how Okka this crowd is. Without missing a beat, the entire crowd is singing Waltzing Matilda – without Evans. He just strums as we sing so loud, and so out of tune.
YOU’LL COME A WALTZING MATILDA WITH MEEEEEE
Voices crack, people whoop, people stifle laughs. It’s an experience I literally can’t describe to you. It feels like something out of a book. It was wild.
And after a rousing cover of the Slim Dusty classic, his band comes back onstage. By this point, I have a full-blown crush on his guitarist, Ian. So, to that handsome, southern Cowboy with a moustache, I yet again sexily wave my Australian Citizenship. He sits down on a stool, with a fully steel guitar, a resonator, in his hands. “Take us on a little trip to Texas.” And he starts to play something so southern, so sexy, it immediately makes me think of Tumbleweeds and oil drilling. A guttural “Yeaaaahhhh!” leaves my housemates mouth and everyone whistles. “I think that only took us halfway to Texas, how about you take us all the way?” And everyone cheers. Next is the most insane display of instrumental talent. He absolutely rides that resonator to Dallas and takes us with him. Painting incredible landscapes with his strums, Evans sneaks up behind him and places a cowboy hat on his head. The lights turn orange, with gorgeous sunset-yellow spotlights illuminating our iconic 4-some. Andrew Brown joins in on bass and starts to dance his signature two-step. This is southern bluegrass cowboy realness at its finest.
The rest of the night continued this trajectory of outrageous fun, big whoops and hollers and lickin’ guitar solos. Apparently two people vomited in the foyer from too much booze. So, the staff may not have been having that much fun, but I sure was. The sound mixing was incredible, the energy unlike anything else I’ve ever seen, and I was so enraptured by Evans’ performance that I forgot he wasn’t wearing shoes.
So try something new. Go to that gig you think you might hate. Stick it out. And I promise, the Music will reward you.
Review By Mitch Charlton
Cattle Decapitation were the last international band I saw play live back in Feb 2020 before the world was struck with the plague and everything went haywire! It was an incredible show, it made a lasting impression and made me a fan of their music. Hearing that they were coming back I was so keen to hear and see this incredible band live once again and my god! They did not disappoint but, on to that later.
3 years later, Cattle Decapitation are back in Australia with their latest destroyer of an album Terrasite and Melbourne is sold out! This is my second sold out show at The Croxton Bandroom and the one thing I notice about this place is, it fills really quick. For anyone that hasn’t been there yet, just make sure you move to where you want to be for the night, otherwise you might struggle to get to the bar and back later.
Melbourne Deathcore quartet, Body Prison come on promptly at 8pm and kick things off with some solid chunk style bass riffage or at least that’s all I’m able to really make out. Unfortunately, I couldn’t hear much of the guitars for most of their set, even standing in front of the mix desk, as is tradition, wasn’t helping me tonight, from the looks it had a fair bit of tremolo strumming but I’m not gonna hold that against them because their frontman had some incredibly fast paced phrasing skills and definitely got that crowd warmed up for the rest of the night, throwing some merch in to the crowd to fight for it, getting more movement than I’ve seen for an opener for a while. I want to go check them out again to hopefully hear them properly.
Fallujah, another band I hadn’t heard before tonight and I was interested to see how it all came across especially after Body Prisons mix and somehow things sounded incredibly different, I could hear everything but bass this time. These guys have come across with Cattle Decap from the States and brought their version of Tech Death to show off. These guys had more backing synth and clean style vocals, incredibly melodic and some incredible musicianship, it was such a shame I couldn’t hear the bass player, some of the tapping and riffs looked unreal. These guys had the room nodding along and from what I could see a bit of a mosh pit, the room was pretty much sardine packed by this stage. It’s awesome to think that you’re coming to a Death metal show and that all bands have an incredibly different style of play and how they go about their stage, Fallujah stood out from being the most melodic sound tonight, definitely a band to check out.
Just when I thought the room was packed by the end of Fallujahs set, apparently you can fit more people in, as the crowd got nice and cosy, the anticipation grew whilst waiting for Cattle Decapitation to come out and blast us all away. Coming out to album opener, Terrasitic Adaptation, its instantaneous to everyone tonight as to why these guys are one of the best in the business and this show is sold out. First time seeing CD I couldn’t look away from either the frontman or the drummer, don’t get me wrong, the entire band is incredible but how Travis can get his voice in both of those styles live is seriously mind blowing. It must be fun for bands to come to Australia where swearing is just part of our language and culture “MELBOURNE!! How the F$#k are you C&%nts!?” Travis yells and grins, he just looked and sounded like he is having fun saying that, he does drop the C word a few more times throughout the set with a massive grin, pretty funny to watch.
The mix became crystal clear, I could hear and feel the bass and kicks running through the floor, the pit explodes as they run through the first tracks off Terrasite as well as a killer set with the likes of Bring Back the Plague, Finish Them, Forced Gender Reassignment and coming out to an encore of Kingdom of Tyrants. They know how to work their crowd and you can see that all members are incredibly grateful to be back here once again.
Review By Raelee Atkinson
Most people generally aren’t fond of the mid-week gig, but when Sydney Metalcore band, Polaris announced a mammoth tour with three other ‘core bands from the USA and coinciding with the release of their new album, Fatalism, Novacastrians put aside the fact that it was a weeknight, and bought up their tickets quick smart! In no time, the concert was sold out.
At the last minute, the gig was moved outside and a few extra tickets were released for the stragglers.
Finally, Newcastle’s turn to headbang and circle pit had arrived.
This mammoth metalcore extravaganza was held at Bar On The Hill, the University of Newcastle's student union bar. Upon arrival at 6pm I could hear that the first band had just begun their set. I made my way swiftly to the outdoor area to watch Currents, from Connecticut, USA, who played a cracking 25 minute set consisting of Living In Tragedy, Remember Me, The Death We Seek, Monsters, Better Days and ending their set with Into Despair. Currents’ melodic, riff heavy, djenty sound, while singer Brian Wille alternates between clean and harsh vocals was the perfect way to start the evening. Personally, I would have been a happy camper if these guys played for at least another half-a or so.
After a quick stage changeover, the next band who walked on stage were Kublai Khan TX, hailing from Texas, hence the TX in their name. The band's main sound consists of heavy, slow breakdowns, heavily downtuned guitars and raspy, harsh vocals. It’s like treacle in your ears. Kublai Khan TX played a 25 minute sludge-fest of a set that included, The Hammer, Self-Desctruct, Boomslang, Resentment, Swan Song, Theory Of Mind and ended with the crowd favourite, Antpile. The crowd gave Kublai Khan TX respect by making dog noises and circle moshing themselves into a lather of sweat.
It was time for another efficient stage changeover and then the crowd welcomed Grammy nominated, Pennsylvanian metalcore minotaurs, August Burns Red, to the stage.
August Burns Red’s signature sound is a combination of progressive and djent metal elements which include melodic guitar riffs, technical time signatures and heavy breakdowns. Unlike most other melodic metalcore singers, lead vocalist, Jake Luhrs generally does not mix clean vocals with his screams and growls. The other element that sets August Burns Red apart from other metalcore bands, is that most of their songs do not contain a chorus. ABR played a powerful 45 minute set that kept the crowd entertained with circle pits, headbanging, moshing, and even a spot of rowing, the crowd was warmed up and ready to give their all for the main band to follow. ABR’s set included bangers old and new such as The Truth Of A Liar, Meddler, Invisible Enemy, Backfire, Revival, Bloodletter, Paramount, Composure, Mariana’s Trench and rounded out the set with White Washed. Bro’s mate was frothing these guys, a long time fan, who growled along with Luhrs – it was impressive. I admit, I’ve struggled to connect with this band, listening on Spotify leading up to this gig, but live, OMG, live these guys shine.
The final changeover progressed quickly, then the stage lights dimmed and the PA played an assortment of classic songs that had the crowd singing along loudly. At 8:45pm it was finally time for the beloved ARIA nominated Sydneysiders to take the stage. The crowd swelled and shuffled towards the front, Polaris appeared on the stage amid a thick fog with cheers and applause, opening with Harbinger followed by single, Nightmare. The audience was divided in half and as Hypermania played, and as the chorus hit, the crowd ran towards each other in a ‘wall of death’. After With Regards was performed, the mosh pit began rowing enthusiastically. During Lucid, All Of This Is Fleeting, Landmine and Overflow, there were several circle pits, some crowd surfing and a lot of energetic moshing. Girls were perched upon shoulders bobbing in the crowd as the audience sang and danced. Vocalist Jamie Hails, informed the audience that it was the largest headlining audience that Polaris had ever had in Newcastle and expressed his gratitude for making their recently released album, Fatalism, Number 1 on several ARIA charts.
Midway through the set, Vocalist, Hails quieted the audience as he spoke of their recent loss of guitarist, Ryan Liew, and thanking the crowd for the outpouring of love, support, and messages, he talked about the importance of finding someone to talk to and how difficult it is for the family and friends who lose a loved one by suicide. He encouraged everyone to “be there” for each other. The crowd was quiet and respectful during this chat then the band played Martyr as the audience held up their mobile phones with the torch on, lighting up the area, making the courtyard look as if it were lit up for fairy lights as everyone sang along loudly. I could feel the outpouring of love and respect for this band by the audience.
Then it was time for more circle pits, crowd surfing and moshing during Parasites, Consume, Dissipate, Massochist and the set was rounded out with Fatalism single, Inhumane. The band left the stage briefly while the audience cheered and yelled for an encore. Polaris complied and returned to perform Pray For Rain and ended the evening with fireworks and The Remedy.
Post gig wrap up:
What an epic night! I’m still buzzing. Three killer bands from the United States and a much loved Aussie band for eighty bucks! That’s a freaking bargain!
Each band gave their all, each giving a tight set, entertaining the audience, and taking time between songs to communicate a similar message, that the metal community is a family so have fun, do what you want, express yourself any way that you wish, but also that we need to be there for each other, to listen, to care, to share our grief and to pick each other up if we fall. I definitely felt that there was a sense of community amongst the crowd and during the memorial for Ryan there was a shared sadness as we all stood quietly listening to Jamie sharing his thoughts. I no longer hang in the mosh pit, choosing a safer spot at the side instead, but as an observer, the pits looked like so much fun (for youngsters whose joints don't creak and ache), people looked happy and I think the bands really enjoyed the enthusiastic vibe of the audience.
Polaris put on an incredible performance. The band are energised, riding high on an almost sell out headlining tour, and the massive support for their current album, Fatalism, which is positioned at number one on several charts. I didn’t catch the name of the guitarist, but the dude can shred! It was a pleasure to listen to and watch him perform. The band sounded at least as good as their recordings and Jamie Hails was in fine voice! Expectations surpassed!
The light show was well coordinated and included quite a bit of fog / smoke and fireworks at the end. For an outdoor gig, the sound was ok, we all know the best sound is back up next to the desk, so from our position on the right side and closer to the stage, the vocals were muddied in the mix, but what you lose in sound quality you gain in vibe and energy. And we got that in spades! From my observation as we exited the venue, everyone appeared to be highly impressed and thrilled with the evening's entertainment.
There are only a couple more dates left on this tour, so if you are Brisbane or Sydney, get your skates on and grab one of the final tickets available. I highly recommend fans of metalcore go and check out this tour – Details on the Destroy All Lines website.