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Slash Ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators The River Is Rising – Rest Of The Wold Tour ’24 With Special Guests

SLASH FEAT. MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS will be heading to Australia in February 2024 as part of The River Is Rising-Rest of the World Tour ’24 with special guests THE STRUTS and ROSE TATTOO.
 
A decade and four albums into their career, the universally acclaimed album 4 -which charted at #2 on the ARIA album chart also debuted as the #1 Most-Selling Hard Rock Album–is SMKC like you’ve never heard them before. A vibrant rock album fuelled by memorable guitar hooks and compelling melodies, big choruses, and even bigger riffs, 4 hits on a wide range of sounds, styles, and moods in 10 songs, and does it all with laser-sharp musical focus and a lightning-in-a-bottle sense of immediacy.
 
The fourth studio album from SMKC and SLASH’s fifth solo album overall, SLASH and his bandmates MYLES KENNEDY (Vocals), TODD KERNS (Bass & Vocals), BRENT FITZ (Drums), and FRANK SIDORIS (Guitar & Vocals), partnered with producer Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, John Prine, Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile), on 4 resulting in the band’s strongest album to date. Recorded at RCA Studio A in Nashville, Cobb shared the band’s desire to lay down the tracks live in the studio–including guitar solos and vocals–revealing a stunning, vital sound and style all captured live.
 
The album kicks off with opening track The River is Rising is one of the band’s toughest and most dynamic compositions to date, unravelling via a menacing, tightly-coiled riff and deep-in-the-pocket groove. April Fool followed the successful first single The River Is Rising. SMKC performed The River Is Rising which Rolling Stone hailed as “raucous” and Billboard acclaimed as “euphoric” with “a surging main riff, dissonant hooks, an infectious chorus, and a guitar solo that conjures images of a rowdy bar brawl on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
 
4 is a standout album that grabs hold, and never lets go, from the deliberate stomp rock of Whatever Gets You By, the bright-toned, heart-on-sleeve pop-rocker Fill My World, to the talk box-drenched guitar hooks of C’est La Vie, exotica-tinged psychedelic fever dream of Spirit Love, the anthemic swell of The Path Less Followed, to the cowbell-inflected boogie-shake of Actions Speak Louder Than Words, the grimy Aerosmith-esque funk of April Fool, to the rampaging attack of Call Off the Dogs, and climaxing with the epic, six minute album closer Fall Back to Earth.
 
4 has generated some of the most positive critical accolades in the group’s history including:

“musically stinging crunch-rock… beautifully melodic.”- USA Today

“On 4, the fourth record by Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators, he [Slash] captured the mojo he was after by recording most of the album live in a mere 10 days at Nashville’s RCA Studio A… For Slash, recording off the cuff was as liberating as he had hoped it would be, and not second-guessing himself contributed to the album’s eclecticism. There’s the heart-aching power ballad ‘Fall Back to Earth’ the glam-banging ‘Actions Speak Louder Than Words’ and the euphoric first single, ‘The River Is Rising,’ which features a surging main riff, dissonant hooks, an infectious chorus and a guitar solo that conjures images of a rowdy bar brawl.” Billboard

“From the insistent churn of the opening track and first single ‘The River Is Rising,’ to the slippery funk rhythms of ‘April Fool,’ the dinosaur-sized stomp of ‘Whatever Gets You By’ to the off-to-the-races sprint of ‘Call Of The Dogs,’ 4 hits with the immediacy of a great live show. …Slash & Co color outside the lines on tracks like the slinky, Eastern-tinged ‘Spirit Love’ and the uncharacteristically major-key pop-rock workout ‘Fill My World,’ as well as the widescreen epic ballad ‘Fall Back to Earth’ which closes the record in dramatic fashion. Overall, it’s a leaner, harder and more expansive take on the SMKC sound.”Guitar World

“The whole album is a masterpiece. If you want to know what real rock-and-roll sounds like, crack it up nice and loud.”  – Metal Insider

“The ‘River Is Rising’ marks the first new music in three years from Slash and his band, and it doesn’t disappoint. There’s a metallic stomp to the track, which opens with a tremolo riff that would be at home in a black metal song. From there, quintet lock into a four-on-the-floor groove as Kennedy alternates between epic singing and cleaner melodies during the chorus. Overall, there’s plenty to satiate both hard rock and metal fans”.Consequence Of Sound

 
Special guests are British rockers, THE STRUTS. They have been a live sensation since they first erupted onto the scene with their certified Platinum anthem, Could’ve Been Me, introducing the world to their triumphant, timeless rock sound. Following the release of their critically-acclaimed debut, 2016’s Everybody Wants, they set out on the road, bringing their energetic tracks alive on stage with larger-than-life performances and cementing their reputation as a must-see live act.
 
They’ve opened for the likes of The Rolling Stones, Foo Fighters, and Guns N’ Roses, while selling out shows across the globe and leaving a trail of unbridled rock collections. Their on-stage prowess and perpetual musicality have allowed them to reach the No. 1 Spot on Spotify’s Viral Top 50, more than 850M on-demand streams, and put them in the studio collaborating with Kesha, Tom Morello, Robbie Williams, Def Leppard and more.
 
ROSE TATTOO is one of Australia’s most revered rock bands fronted by Angry Anderson. Hailing from the late ‘70s and eight studio albums under their belts, their first four albums yielded the hits Bad Boy For Love, Rock ‘n’ Roll Outlaw, Nice Boys and Scarred for Life and have persisted with many changes over the decades. They were inducted into the ARIA Hall Of Fame in 2006 and in 1993 re-formed to open for Guns N Roses on their Australian tour.
 
Grab your ticket and catch SLASH FEAT. MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS, THE STRUTS and ROSE TATTOO live in action when they bring their powerful, explosive, and high energy at a show near you.

 Early Bird Pre-Sale Tickets On Sale: Thursday 2nd November @ 12pm local time
 
Sign up to access early bird pre-sale tickets – https://daltours.cc/SLMKC24

General tickets on sale: Friday 3rd November @ 12pm local time
Tickets from destroyalllines.com

About Beasto Blanco

Destroy All Lines and TEG MJR Presents
 
SLASH FEAT. MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS:
THE RIVER IS RISING – REST OF THE WORLD TOUR ‘24
WITH SPECIAL GUESTS THE STRUTS & ROSE TATTOO
TOUR DATES:

THURSDAY 22 FEBRUARY 2024 – ADELAIDE ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, ADELAIDE
SATURDAY 24 FEBRUARY 2024 – HORDERN PAVILION, SYDNEY
SUNDAY 25 FEBRUARY 2024 – RIVERSTAGE, BRISBANE
TUESDAY 27 FEBRUARY – JOHN CAIN ARENA, MELBOURNE

 

General tickets on sale: Friday 3rd November @ 12pm local time
Tickets from destroyalllines.com

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FeaturedNews

Bring Me The Horizon Add 2nd Sydney & Melbourne Shows To Down Under Tour With Special Guests Sleep Token

Sydney and Melbourne, we have some great news for you! You sold out BRING ME THE HORIZON’s Rod Laver Arena and Qudos Bank Arena shows in under 24 hours and due to the huge overwhelming demand, we are thrilled to announce a 2nd show in Melbourne at John Cain Arena on Wednesday 10 April and Friday 12 April at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. Tickets for these shows will be on sale at 12pm AEDT time today.

BRING ME THE HORIZON‘s NeX GEn tour will head Down Under in April 2024 with special guests SLEEP TOKEN, MAKE THEM SUFFER and DAINE. Tickets are selling fast for Adelaide and 2nd Brisbane show. Purchase now to avoid disappointment as tickets won’t last long!

On the back of unleashing brand new single, DArkSideBRING ME THE HORIZON have been touring the world since their triumphant headline performance at Good Things Festival 2022. They headlined Download Festival in June 2023 to over 100k fans and have been adding the finishing touches to their highly anticipated new studio album, POST HUMAN: NeX GEn.
 
DArkSide follows singles LosT, AmEN!,DiE4u and sTraNgeRs, part of the globally acclaimed Post Human series, which have been streamed over a massive 310 million times to date.
 
BRING ME THE HORIZON have an impressive string of accolades under the belts including BRIT and Grammy nominations, multi-platinum selling releases, over 1 billion YouTube views, are the top 500 most streamed artists globally on Spotify and have had 4 x #1 ARIA Albums over the last 10 years. They kicked off their POST HUMAN era in 2020 with the release of the first of four EPs aptly titled POST HUMAN: SURVIVAL HORROR. The critically acclaimed release debuted at Number 1 on the UK Album chart and #3 in Australia on the ARIA chart. 2022 saw them appear at the BRIT Awards where they joined Grammy award winning singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran for an electrifying performance of Bad Habits
 
With fan worship more intense than ever, worldwide interest and intrigue growing at runaway speed, SLEEP TOKEN blew Australian audiences away on their anticipated first Australian headline tour in April which saw all shows sell out with a huge demand for more. Their acclaimed third studio album, Take Me Back To Eden debuted at #3 on the ARIA album charts and had fans and critics raving across the globe.
 
The record features some of SLEEP TOKEN’s heaviest material to date; yet stands out as a confident and explorative collection of music that highlighted the band’s stunning chemistry and connection to music itself. It’s a chemistry that has been replicated brilliantly live, leading to wildly successful the world over, including selling out their December show at London’s iconic Wembley Arena in 10 mins.
 
Perth’s MAKE THEM SUFFER have had their busiest and most successful years to date. Celebrating the tenth anniversary of their debut album Neverbloom with a sold-out Australian tour, the band have balanced touring with the release of some new music, with the arresting track Ghost Of Me arriving earlier this year.
 
Having just finished the Monsters of Oz tour of North America with Parkway Drive, The Amity Affliction and Northlane, the metalcore five-piece are lining up a return to the U.K. next, supporting Stray From The Path, before returning home for the summer and finishing off their year performing at the Good Things Festival 2023.
 
BRING ME THE HORIZON fans will already be aware of genre-bending artist and songwriter, DAINE. A key early introduction to the performer’s unique style and sound was in the Oli Sykes-featuring track SALT; a song that put their stamp on the scene, generating excitement for more music and directions to be explored. Since then, DAINE has continued to elevate across two EPs (2022’s QUANTUM JUMPING and 2023’s shapeless), with their latest track BITE BACK demonstrating yet another exciting vision forming for the Melbourne performer, still to come.
 
Line ups like this don’t come around often and tickets are flying outta the door!
 

Tickets for 2nd Sydney & Melbourne shows are on sale 12pm AEDT time today.

Tickets for other shows are available now https://daltours.cc/BMTH24

Destroy All Lines & triple j Present

BRING ME THE HORIZON
DOWN UNDER TOUR
WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
SLEEP TOKEN
MAKE THEM SUFFER
DAINE
TOUR DATES:

WEDNESDAY 10 APRIL 2024 – JOHN CAIN ARENA, MELBOURNE NEW SHOW
FRIDAY 12 APRIL 2024 – QUDOS BANK ARENA, SYDNEY NEW SHOW
SUNDAY 14 APRIL 2024 – QUDOS BANK ARENA, SYDNEY SOLD OUT
WEDNESDAY 17 APRIL 2024 – ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, ADELAIDE
THURSDAY 18 APRIL 2024 – ROD LAVER ARENA, MELBOURNE SOLD OUT
SATURDAY 20 APRIL 2024 – RIVERSTAGE, BRISBANE SOLD OUT
SUNDAY 21 APRIL 2024 – RIVERSTAGE, BRISBANE NEW SHOW

Tickets from https://daltours.cc/BMTH24

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Gig ReviewsReviews

[Review] Earl Sweatshirt @ Northcote Theatre 17/10/2023

Thebe Neruda Kgositsile has been in the rap game since 2007. At only 29 years old, he’s a veteran, and his show at Northcote Theatre proves just how much he’s a master of his craft. Kgositsile, or as he is better known, Earl Sweatshirt, rose to prominence as the prodigé of fellow rapper, Tyler, The Creator. Sweatshirt’s early days were spent as part of powerhouse rap collective, Odd Future, under the sculpting gaze of his contemporaries, including both Tyler, The Creator and Frank Ocean. It’s easy to see the lasting impact on his live work, bur dare I say that the student has become the master? Or, at the very least, the student has become a wicked good-time and unrivalled craftsman.

Despite his support cancelling due to illness, Sweatshirt is determined to give us our money’s worth. He comes on early, energised and with a drive I’ve never seen in another artist. I’ve seen Sweatshirt perform before, but it was outside at a large festival. Here, in such an intimate venue, you can really see that hunger in his eyes up-close. These are the venues he was born to play.

The projector screen behind him scrolls through everything from abstract, pulsating shapes, to Keith Haring style animations to old films, in a sketchbook style. Every song is a different visual track, each of them more beautiful and more alive than the last. The lights at the front of the stage face outwards, shades of orange, purple, blue and white, wash over us. It’s visually stunning, and borderline genre-bending, rivalling bands like Slowdive for visual prowess.

For hardcore fans and casual listeners alike, this current tour boasts some delicious treats from the LA-native. Within the first half an hour, Sweatshirt spits out two unreleased tracks. But you wouldn’t know that. His crowd is eating every crumb out of his hand, and whether or not they know the words is irrelevant. He’s filled the room with so much energy that no matter what, we’re going to be loving it.

But it’s not just the unreleased. I’m at the back of the room, groups of guys with cross-body bags and girls in tall platform sneakers crash into each other and cheer louder and louder for each song Sweatshirt pulls out. And, he pulls out a lot. His setlist for the night is nearly 30-songs long, and never does he let the energy drop. It’s an unbelievable display of musicianship, showmanship and self-discipline – I’ve never seen anything quite like it.  But no two songs go harder than the back-to-back combo that is Geb into Sirius Blac. The crowd is already going nuts after Geb, with cheering and applause so loud I feel it in my feet. But Sirius Blac is next level. All I can see are hands, heads and drinks held up above the crush of people. It’s a tidal wave of energy, clinging onto every word.

Tabula Rasa is beautiful, the sound mixing bringing out the soulful vocals in a way that’s so sublime. A very different vibe comes over the room, it’s a crackling, electric stillness. Time stops passing as we focus on nothing except Sweatshirt. As it comes to an end, he addresses us directly. “Put your hands up if you’re having a good time!” We put our hands up. “Y’all up the top, looking like John Wilkes Booth, put those motherfucking hands up so I know you aren’t about to shoot me like y’all shot Abe Lincoln.” The mezzanine puts their hands up. “There you go.” And then he throws us into EAST. Our hands start moving in unplanned synchronous harmony, and it’s magical.

We follow him on a winding journey through his discography, and when we hit 2010 he takes to the mic; “If I don’t play this, everyone’s like Play it! So you all better keep the same energy.” We don’t even need to think about it, and yet again come crashing back together. We are a ferocious wave of energy, and Sweatshirt smiles as he raps – he’s loving it just as much as we are.

By the tail-end of his set, he’s clearly letting his guard down. He’s shown us what he can do, so he eases up and talks to us again. The way he addresses the crowd, it feels like we’re old-friends hanging out in someone’s garage after the party’s ended. “Do you remember when that one girl (Katy Perry) was like

Do you ever feel? / Like a plastic bag?

We start singing the rest of the cultural icon that is, Fireworks.

“No don’t keep singing! Just process that. Like that’s crazy. That’s a lot. Do you ever feel like a plastic bag? We’re gonna talk about that in a second.”

He’s so funny, in this casual, laid-back, deprecating way. And before we get time to talk about it more, “Y’all would open up a pit for anything, so open up.” And I have to quell my laughter as I prepare to wrestle for my patch of ground again.

NOWHERE2GO is an absolute crowd favourite. And honestly, we kind of look like plastic bags, drifting through the wind. Erratically moving, making waving patterns with our bodies. I didn’t think such a left-field gag would be so fitting for this crowd of rowdy misfits, but it was.

We’re out of breath, sweat running down our faces, but Sweatshirt doesn’t look any different, he’s not even out of breath. “Honestly, bars! Like, do you ever feel like a plastic bag? Bars, man. I could never write something that good.” And, to prove how very tongue-in-cheek that point is, we get treated to, Shattered Dreams. God, this song is delightful. It showcases Sweatshirt’s past as a poet, shows he’s his father’s son, show’s he’s everything to us.

The rest of the set is a blur. Finishing with his encore, a Mac Miller cover, an emotional tribute to the late rapper. New Faces V2, isn’t what I expected, but it’s an amazing finish. It’s vibey, it’s got this driving beat live. Immaculate.

Grinning, sweaty, with aching feet, I am desperate for the cold night air. But already, I’m aching for more Earl Sweatshirt.

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[Review] The DMA’s @ The Enmore Theatre 14/10/2023

Australian rock trio DMA’s brought their unique blend of aussie soft rock and alt-pop to the stage at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre on Saturday night.

Formed in 2012, the band is composed of lead vocalist Tommy O’Dell, lead guitarist Matt Mason and rhythm guitarist Johnny Took. 11 years on, they are touring around Australia, stopping in for 2 hometown shows at the historic Enmore Theatre.

The night was opened by Fazerdaze, a Kiwi singer, songwriter and producer who was formerly part of Fremantle’s Indie-Rock band Spacey Jane, whose creative combination of alternative pop-grunge was just the warm up the crowd needed.

Before the band even steps out on stage, you feel the energy begin to mount. The feeling in the room is so unique to Enmore Theatre. With the high ceilings, the space is intimate without the claustrophobic feeling other venues can sometimes have, giving the room space for palpable excitement.

Finally, the boys appear on stage in their usual laid back attire, t-shirts, flannel shirts, jeans and sneakers. Something you would expect your brother to wear. And the crowd loves it.

The band opens the set with How Many Dreams, the second track of their latest album of the same name. Just like the song, the tension builds from the start and by the end of the song you can tell it’s going to be a special night.

The third song on the setlist, Silver, is one of the stand out performances of the night. The song begins softly and gently, by the end completely devolving into beautiful disarray. The opening guitar strum accompanied by the lyrics, ‘Did you feel like heaven’ puts the crowd on their toes. As the beat kicks in, it’s easy to see how listeners have drawn comparisons between 3 boys from Sydney and internationally renowned band Oasis.
The performance put into the music by the band is one that can sometimes be lacking in this genre of music. It feels like O’Dell takes the crowd under his wing, leading them into the chorus, inviting them to sing with him. This track seems to visibly connect each band member, while empty cans fly through the air and the whole crowd jumps in unison, singing ‘How do I redefine all my love for you?’.

Songs from their latest album are littered through the set, including Olympia, Something We Are Overcoming and Fading Like A Picture. But of course another huge moment of the night is when fellow Sydney boy, now international sensation Ruel, joins the stage to test out a work in progress unreleased track. Delighting fans was the way O’Dell’s vocals melted seamlessly with Ruel’s silky falsetto.

Not to be overshadowed by a night of big moments, was the band’s infamous cover of Cher’s Believe. Appearing first on Triple J’s Like A Version in 2017, the track has 12 million views on Youtube and couldn’t possibly be left out of the setlist. While the crowd sways and sings along, it’s clear that the live version is just as capable of giving goosebumps.

The band finishes their set with Feels like 37, a track from their 2014 self-titled EP, only to be cheered back on for an encore. The set of 3 tracks starts slow with In The Air, a song from their album For Now, and finds its faster tempo with their popular track Lay Down from their 2016 album Hills End. The band closes out the show with Everybody’s Saying Thursday’s The Weekend, a track from their latest album. The crowd sings ‘Everybody’s saying Thursday’s the weekend, Cold calamities from over-speaking’ while they dance to the catchy beat, seemingly aware that this song will sadly be the show’s last.

For some reason this concert made me consider just how important live music still is, even just on a human level. With the progression of social media and the internet, communication between musicians and fans has never been so open and available. A musician’s popularity isn’t as focused on music sales, and is based more heavily on Instagram followers. We now have visible markers to see their popularity go up or down. But what feeling could ever be as wonderful, or as validating as a musician, as seeing a crowd of 1600 people jumping to the beat of your music and screaming your own lyrics back at you. By nature, live music, especially that of the caliber displayed by DMA’s, will never lose its magic.

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InterviewsTour Interview

Interview with Tony “Nail” Vincent (Devilskin)

Get ready to rock and roll at LAGERFEST 2023, the ultimate fusion of heavy metal and Oktoberfest revelry! Presented by Kegstand Productions, Music Management Inc., and Wall of Sound, this extraordinary music festival is set to take Australia by storm. Prepare yourself for a mind-blowing experience as we bring you world-class bands, delicious beers, and an electrifying community atmosphere like never before.

The lineup is nothing short of legendary, featuring THE HALO EFFECT, a powerhouse composed of past members of In Flames and Dark Tranquillity. This will be their first-ever performance in Australia and New Zealand, making it an absolute must-see event! Their raw yet melodic performance will leave you breathless and craving for more. Joining them are BEYOND THE BLACK, the German symphonic metal shooting stars who have taken the world by storm with their chart-topping albums and awe-inspiring live performances. And let's not forget DEVILSKIN, hailing from New Zealand, and featuring the incredible vocal prowess of Jennie Skulander, whose unerring gift for melody will captivate you from the first note.

But that's just the beginning of the epic lineup! Prepare to be blown away by LAGERSTEIN, the Australian party pirates who have taken their unique and fun stage show to an astounding 22 countries. With a reputation for delivering an explosively energetic and debaucherous live performance, this will be the 6th time they host LAGERSTEIN, and it promises to be the wildest and most unforgettable yet!

Mark your calendars for the following dates:

11/11/2023 – Auckland – The Powerstation

12/11/2023 – Christchurch – The Ngaio Marsh Theatre

15/11/2023 – Brisbane – The Triffid

16/11/2023 – Sydney – the Manning Bar

18/11/2023 – Adelaide – Froth & Fury Festival

19/11/2023 – Melbourne – The Northcote Theatre

Tickets from: https://www.lagerfest.net/

Secure your spot now and be a part of the Lagerfest legacy! Tickets are available exclusively at www.lagerfest.net. And remember, this year's festival will also feature a thrilling competition where fans can compete for 'The Lagerfest Cup.' So don't miss out on the metal mayhem and epic party vibes—grab your tickets today and let the countdown to Lagerfest 2023 begin!

If you want to take your experience to the next level

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💰 15% off Official Lagerfest Merch: Enjoy 15% off on a range of Lagerfest merchandise.

Premium Bar Line Access: Skip lines with a separate service area.

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Or Discover Lagerfest 2023 VIP Tickets 🎟🤘:

🎟️ General Access Ticket: Your gateway to the ultimate heavy metal Oktoberfest fusion!

🤝 Meet & Greet: Get up close with 1 band of your choice.

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🖼️ Signed Poster: Take home a piece of the festival, a poster signed by your chosen band.

Elevate your Lagerfest experience at www.lagerfest.net! 🎸🍻

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[Review] The Chicks @ Rod Laver Arena 16/10/2023

It has been six long years since country music royalty, The Chicks, last graced Australian shores. Returning in the light of their 2020 studio album, Gaslighter; The Chicks once again echoed their routine sell-out of Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena. Coupled with Ohio’s country-pop royalty Elle King, this Monday night hoedown played out as a dream come true for eagerly awaiting country music enthusiasts.

From the first beat, Elle King had transformed Melbourne’s inner-city arena into an all-American bluegrass festival. Carrying such strong Midwest influence in both her musical performance and stage persona, Elle’s presencewas intoxicating. Not only do her classic americana vocals bring an authenticity to the set, but so do her incredible four-piece band – who played a rhythmically flawless catalogue of upbeat hits.

Elle comes across to audiences as a multi-dimensional performer. At once being a bright, pastel Barbie sweetheart, before seamlessly tapping into a raw and unapologetic female powerhouse persona. Although, after spending the better part of an hour with her, it is likely Elle’s ‘persona’ is less of a façade, and more an upscaled display of her gorgeous, bubbly personality. The most anticipated moment of the set was experiencing the chart-topping hit Ex’s & Oh’s live. Perfectly positioned as an audience vocal warm-up, the single also acted as a way of signalling an obvious post-virality change of pace in the songwriter’sdiscography. Since 2014, Elle has retained her angsty lyrical undertones, whilst leaning into a more authentic bluegrass, country-rock sound.

Showcasing her latest LP, Come Get Your Wife, bluesy keys and guitars played out the set. Bouncing around the stage, the performer boasted about the joys of being a mother, eventually bringing her gorgeous two-year old son to the stage – the inspiration behind her 2023 single Lucky. The warm, homely energy mustered on stage acted as an easy sell for fans of The Chicks, who at their roots are a fanbase built upon female strength and empowerment.

Counting thirteen GRAMMY Awards, six Billboard Music Awards, and four American Music Awards is only the tip of the iceberg when considering the huge success The Chicks (formally Dixie Chicks), have amounted over their more than three-decade long career. Returning to Australia for the fifth time, Melbourne fans were more than ready to experience The Chicks once more, but this time with a fresh name, and an even fresher sound. Gaslighter is a ground-breaking album for country listeners – pairing the best of bluegrass instrumentalism with country-pop lyricism, and bound by bold, feminist undertones and branding. This new era of The Chicks has broadened the scope for the band’s fanbase, reinforcing them as a household name year after year. 

Sparkling cowboy boots and wide-brimmed hats filled the arena floor, as the night’s main act took to the stage. Anticipation filled the air, and was completely devoured by a trippy, television-static visuals on stage. Disorientating the crowd with the hums of instrumental tuning, radio segments, and distorted snippets of their discography; we were in for not only a musical concert, but a high-production spectacle. Hypnotic imaging and artistically skewed feminist propaganda of the past joined the iconic opening harmonies of title track, Gaslighter. Suddenly dropping the halfway curtain on stage to reveal a multi-level six-piece band, along with three freestanding mics for the leading ladies. Dressedto the nines, founding bandmembers Emily Strayer and Martie Maguire made their way downstage, maintaining the pace of the upbeat, country heartbreak anthem. Soon after being met by lead vocalist Natalie Maines; the band had once again been reunited, ready to treat fans to a two-hour ‘best of’ special.

Sin Wagon was a major change of pace, fulfilling the crowd’s need for some classic country dance music. Accompanied by fast-paced banjo and fiddle, the musical talents of The Chicks is beyond belief. Playing with such versatility and effortlessness, it was impossible to take your eyes off the trio dressed in gorgeous, classy black and bejewelled leather. Performing their new album in close to its entirety, Texas Man and Julianna Calm Down continued to serve bad bitch, cowgirl energy, whilst showing-off Natalie’s incredible vocal range. A standout element giving continuity to the show was the ethereal feeling violin accompaniment, played beautifully by Martie throughout. Even in the darkest of lyrics, the upbeat and hopeful fiddler gives the tracks a signature ‘Chicks’ sound.

Diving deeper into their impressive and extensive music catalogue, the band gave us all there was to be desired. ‘We are The Chicks, and we are going to attempt to entertain you this evening’ and entertain they did. Filling the first half of the set with hit after hit including The Long Way Around, Ready to Run, and Wide Open Spaces.

A change of pace came as the band moved downstage, breaking the fourth wall in a more intimate, campfire-jam style. A standout for fans was the ladies’ several covers from their early archives including Beyonce’s Daddy Lessons, Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide, and Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton’s Rainbowland. The clever meme-style humour of The Chicks was not lost on audiences either, as the screens behind introduced the band members using videos tapes of them as small children, and displaying song lyrics using a bouncing unicorn teleprompter.

The singalong came to a jarring end as seemingly random numbers flashed on stage – which became apparent were signifying numbers of mass-shooting fatalities, which mainly resided across the US. March March, For Her, and Everybody Loves You created a striking, politically driven segment of the show – displaying images of early LGBT and women’s movements, as well as recent riots and protests. There was no one issue which stood out as more significant than another, yet these demonstrations through music signal a need for global change, for peace and equality. Everybody Loves You is another painful, gory truth. A heart-breaking, personal insight into the mind of a survivor of sexual assault, battling with wanting to overcome their oppressor, but struggling for forgiveness; ‘It’s my body and I’m trying to forgive you, I don’t want to… Why does everybody love you?’

‘It’s time to get serious’, exclaimed Natalie, before the band ironically breaks out into a banjo-led, high energy, square-dancing track, White Trash Wedding. After such emotional ups and downs, it was refreshing to end the show with strong feminist-led narratives; Goodbye Earl, being the bookend. With the entire arena on their feet – the superstar trio played out the night with electric guitars and a rockstar personas. Leaving the stage with a standing ovation, there was no hesitation in the room when Natalie shouted, ‘We hope you’ll have us back Melbourne!’

I doubt there would be a soul who would not be back for another round of The Chicks. Though it may be years into the future, the trio have truly stood the test of time, and are guaranteed to pack out venues across Aussie shores for decades to come.

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[Review] Archspire @ Corner Hotel 14/10/2023

It’s been a fair while since I’ve been to a gig at The Corner Hotel, I think the last time was Bel’akor in 2022. Tonight is sold out and this place is a hell of a lot smaller than I remember but the one thing I do remember is that damn pole in the middle of the pit, anyone that’s been there knows exactly what I’m talking about. As the doors open and people flood the room, the merch line goes across the entire venue floor to the back-end bar, the bar line is then crossing over through the merch line, there are people everywhere and no one knows what line they are in, its chaos, but the sure fire thing is that everyone is keen for the line up tonight and it’s great to see a packed venue from start to finish.

Local Black/Death Metal trio Werewolves walk out on stage to a full crowd, who clearly have the local following behind them, being greeted with a whole room screaming for you as an opener must be an incredible feeling. I’ve now caught these guys 3 times and they are yet to disappoint; they are always tight and I’m sure everyone knows how freaking good Dave Haley is at drumming, the guys is a machine! They run through their set, smashing out track after track trying to fit in as much as possible with the like of Crushgasm, I Don’t Like You and Under The Ground. They get the crowd all riled up and energetic stating they are filming a clip for No More Heroes, to which they get a lot more movement going. Definitely a local band to check out if you haven’t seen them already.

Next up is probably the most talked about band tonight, Ingested. This UK based Death Metal band have come over here for their first time and are clearly loving the trip. I’ve never heard of these guys before tonight, but I walked away a fan. Right from the get-go, the singer had the crowd moving and screaming, there would have been some sore necks the next morning. Ingesteds sound reminded me of Thy Art Is Murder but with a heavier vocal style, it was unreal. They performed a tight and energetic set with the only issues being that some vocals were missing either from a mixing issue or even a vocal style mix. I noticed that some of his highs weren’t coming through and then also some of his faster phrasing work but goddamn, when it came through, it came through! What a scream on the guy! And the other issue being that the low end was a bit lost, but I think that may have been where I was standing, I was moved about a fair bit by just general crowd flow. About three quarters of the way through the set, the singer gets the entire venue floor to cut in half for a wall of death, to which, everyone happily obliged, and I saw some old hardcore moves I have seen in a long time, clearly there are some older style fans here tonight. The announcement of “This is our last song” is met with a chorus of BOOOO’s to which the singer smiles and thanks the crowd for making their trip one to remember.

Archspire, tech death from USA, I have listened to these guys a little bit since the announcement of the tour and I was keen as hell to witness the guitar work and singer live in action, the did not disappoint. Straight off the bat, wicked guitar solos and melodies are being played with the bassist following suit with some incredible handiwork, I wish I had a better view because it sounded incredible! The next thing that hit me was the drummer! This guy just didn’t make sense to me audially, and I wish I could have seen him, he just constantly blasted but the sound of his snare hits was amazing and crisp, cut straight through the mix. The vocalist had me in awe at how quick he was phrasing, it was just rapping but with a death growl style voice, I can’t imagine how hard that is to actually do and I would love to know HOW he actually does it. The whole band are incredibly skilled at what they do, and they are just as funny. In between songs was band banter of crazy introductions of members, an “I love you” snuck in at the end of a song, “First one to kiss the disco ball gets a free shirt!” and damn! I’ve never seen a guy climb up on top of people fast enough to kiss a disco ball. The ultimate thing of the night was watching people play “Twister in the middle of a moshpit! “Right hand Red!” I can’t say I’ve ever seen that in a show.

It’s these kinds of things that make a night great, unexpected, fun, incredible musicianship, packed rooms and a game of twister! It’s also what I love about the metal scene, people just want to come out to have fun and see some incredibly well played and performed music.

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[Review] Peach Pit @ Northcote Theatre 11/10/2023

For me, no band, ever, has better captured the feeling of nostalgia, of warm summer days, of platonic love and the happy-go-lucky experience of solo travel quite like Vancouver indie-rock powerhouse, Peach Pit.

During the depths of COVID lockdowns, I’d seen them play a “live” show through zoom. But I’d given up hope they’d ever travel down under. But then, on some glorious weekday – they announced their tour. Instantly, I scarfed up tickets. Since then, it’s been an exhilarating wait, that honestly made me a bit nauseous with excitement. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one. Their first show sold out so quickly, even with a venue upgrade. And their second show was essentially sold out as well, with a mere straggler of tickets left. We were certainly showing the 5-piece our appreciation.

The energy at Northcote Theatre was absolutely infectious. There was a buzz in the air that made the hairs on my arm stand up straight. Australian up-and-comers Eliza and The Delusionals played an ultra-short, ultra-punchy set. Ripping through some excellent tracks from their new album; Now and Then, as well as their superb collection of singles. We were in the mood and absolutely ready to rumble.

The next hour and a half have made writing a review nearly impossible. It’s rare you see a perfect set. But there is no better word for it than, perfect. Neil Smith on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Chris Vanderkooy on lead guitars, bassist Peter Wilton and drummer Mikey Pascuzzi have come such a long way, even in three years. They are not the same band now as the band I watched, cooped up in my room, playing thousands of kilometres away. The addition of multi-instrumentalist Dougal Bain McClean (some people have all the luck), has undeniably helped push them into new heights of “chewed bubble-gum pop” perfection.

As the stage turns red, and spotlights flicker over the crowd, I see Smith’s bouncing mane of hair before anything else. Quickly, he’s followed by Vanderkooy, The Moustached Maestro as I affectionately call him. The rest of the band appears onstage, and we are faced with 5 dudes, in t-shirts and jeans. Not too baggy, not too tight. They’re Just Some Guys. But don’t let looks fool you. These averages Joe’s are about to do something crazy to my brain chemistry.

For context, Peach Pit have a melancholic take on surf pop. Their songs are heavy with slow, soulful vocals and driving lead guitar breaks. So, I was a little shocked when the fellas launch into a cover of Slayer’s Raining Blood. Smith steps up to the microphone and in his best metal voice growls for us to “get the fuck up motherfuckers”. He is a whirling dervish of curly hair and devil-hands as the instrumental cover rages. Suddenly, it stops, and we are taken into Being So Normal. There are perhaps no two songs less compatible. But god does it work. Instantly, I’m taken somewhere else. “Show ‘em Chris!” Neil moves over to let his high school friend work his magic on that fretboard.

The volume of songs Peach Pit have in their repertoire, is unbelievable. For a band less than a decade old, the setlist is 22 songs long, and there isn’t a weak link amongst them. Having released their third album, From 2 to 3, last year, I was expecting that to be the track list for the evening. I was wrong. “Because this is our first time here, we’re going to be playing lots of older stuff! For all of you who’ve bought our merch and waited so patiently. Thanks, so much guys! We love you!”

The next hour is a blur. From driving drums and twinkling guitars of 17-year-old Nikki’s favourite song, aptly named Seventeen, to the shredding guitars of Psychics in LA – this set has it all. Old fans, new fans, stragglers off the street – everyone is jumping around, waving their hands in the air, transported to another plane of musical ecstasy. Go with your friends! That was when Smith says “This song is for when your best friend really pisses you off” you can share a look and laugh through the opening notes of Vicky. Go with your heartbroken friend, so you can scream the permanently-stuck-in-my-head hook of Shampoo Bottles. Go with your stoner friends so you can sway to the stoned lullaby that is Tommy’s Party arm-in-arm. Remember the better times. Be like the two guys in front of me, hugging and looking into each other’s eyes.

I’m so glad you’re alive!

I’m glad I’m alive too!

Fuck yeah, dudes. It’s hard not to be with Peach Pit as your soundtrack.

Private Presley has been in my top 5 favourite songs since its release. Wedged between the melancholic love-song that is Figure 8, and the summer picnic banger to end all summer picnic banger’s, Up Granville, it’s a surprise. Those early, gentle guitar notes slide over my eardrums, and I’m spellbound. Vanderkooy’s guitarwork and Smith’s pitch-perfect, dulcet vocals lull me into a dream. McClean comes out on fiddle, and the way he plays is so mournful, so beautiful, so heavenly it makes me want to scream. As we hit the climax of the song; all messy guitars, feedback, and flying hair, I realise this show is going to be one for the ages. Peach Pit is many people’s first introduction to the band, it’s slow, it’s sad, it’s iconic. Smith barely has to sing as the crowd carries us from verse to verse, chorus to chorus. A high school anthem for some, breakup song for others, and something else entirely for most – it’s an absolute showstopper.

Undeniably, and unsurprisingly, one of the highlights for the evening is Alrighty Aphrodite. The lights go orange, Smith abandons his guitar for his iconic, stoic dancing and I pick my jaw up off the floor. This song is So. Fucking. Sexy. It starts slow, with delayed guitar so it sounds like it’s wafting through fog. It’s gentle drumming feels like footsteps. The bass is present and driving. Smith’s vocals are haunting, gentle and sturdy. Exactly like the goddess for which it’s named; it’s magical, mysterious, thalassic, beautiful, and hot as hell. It infects my arms and legs, and my body is no longer mine, I follow where Peach Pit take me, and I happily resign myself to my fate.

As our penultimate finale, Chagu’s Sideturn is so high-energy, so fun, that the ache in my legs from standing is gone, and all I can think about is summertime. It’s so quintessentially Peach Pit. It reminds me of growing up in Seattle. I taste the ocean air of the Pacific Northwest; I stand under those blue skies. I want to curl up in a lawn chair with a Carlton Dry. Chris is an absolute God on the guitar. A force of nature. These guys are proof that simple, skilful musicianship can never be beaten. They dance together, hug while playing and are grinning ear to ear. They might be more stoked to be here than us.

We do a cheer for their Aussie guitar tech, Adam, and with another laugh and lick of the guitar strings, they’re off. Immediately, I’m aching for more. Luckily for me, I had bought tickets to experience the joy, the mystique and the indescribable resonance that is Peach Pit. Whatever it is, these guys have it. Go on and get a taste for yourself. But be warned, once you try some, it’ll become your favourite meal.

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