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[Review] Corey Taylor @ Metro Theatre, Sydney 28.11.2023

As a millennial Metalhead, few artists have been as prominent in my heavy music journey as Corey Taylor. Whether you know him as number eight the masked madman in Slipknot, the charismatic unmasked frontman of Stone Sour, affectionately as ‘The Neck,’ or the constant query in headlines and comment sections – ‘but what does Corey Taylor think?’ – his impact on the music world is undeniable. Tonight, we are lucky to see him stripped back, in an intimate setting performing a little taste of everything he’s ever been a part of ahead of his appearance at Good Things Festival.

Tonight, Taylor is backed by Clay J Gladstone, a regular on Sydney’s local AM//PM club circuit, delivering a punk rock emo fusion. Described on their Triple J Unearthed profile as a must-listen for fans of Violent Soho, The Used, and Stand Atlantic, Clay J Gladstone captivates audiences with their ‘heart on sleeve’ lyrics, emotive earworm bangers, and intense performances. Corey himself, recounting on stage, bestowed significant praise upon Clay J Gladstone, noting that while every potential support band that came his way was rubbish, Clay J had something truly special. You can’t get much more praise than that!

Not the weeknight or the pouring rain outside could dampen the energy of the jam-packed, sold-out show at Sydney’s Metro Theatre tonight. The anticipation is intense as “Corey! Corey!” chants begin before the house music fades away – this crowd is ready, unwilling to wait a second longer.

The band takes the stage first, launching into an auditory onslaught with precision. Mr. Taylor himself bounds on stage shortly after dressed in a suit jacket, kicking off Post Traumatic Blues from his latest solo album, CMF2. All five band members sport smiles by the end of the first song, clearly bewildered by the enthusiastic reception from the Sydney crowd. The time machine then transports us back to 2002 with a Stone Sour deep cut, Tumult. Since the inaugural Good Things Festival in 2018, Australia hasn’t witnessed Stone Sour live, making the revival of these songs nostalgic as many of us thought we wouldn’t hear them again!

While our love for Corey’s bands is undeniable, we are here to see him on his solo run. Strapping on a guitar he kicks off Black Eyes Blue which is such a beautifully crafted song bordering on ballad which had the crowd singing in unison. To everyone’s delight, they pull out a song for the couples (and bromances) in the form of Song #3 by Stone Sour. I wasn’t sure if he was being serious when he asked, ‘I hope you remember this one’. Multiple members of the crowd drape their arms around a loved one and sing it loud! I cannot wipe the smile off my face seeing Corey so comfortable on stage, his smile stretches ear to ear, interacting with his band members who all share the same energy and happiness.

In a brief break to chat with the crowd, Corey teases, saying “before I forget,” prompting a roaring response. Playing along, he asks if he’s missed something, building anticipation. After some playful banter, he declares, Before I Forget as the next song. Having seen Slipknot twice this year at Knotfest in Sydney and Download Festival UK, experiencing Corey sing this iconic track unmasked in an intimate 1,000-pack venue is unbelievably special.

There are few songs that artists turn their nose up at and flip off the crowd but that’s exactly what Corey does before dropping his head and giving into the peer pressure to play the Spongebob Squarepants theme. Quickly shortening the rendition, before asking if he can sing a song he actually enjoys playing, emotions were immediately switched on and turned to tears, to the sounds of the Slipknot heartbreaker Snuff.

The hits keep on coming, such as 30/30-150 and Through the Glass by Stone Sour, Midnight and Beyond from his solo work, it’s incredible that each projects songs are easily distinguishable. Usually when you have the same vocalist, they can be similar in style, although each are expertly crafted offering something different. The onstage chemistry between Corey and guitarist Christian Martucci is mesmerizing. Christian, who permanently joined Stone Sour in 2014 as Jim Root’s replacement, exhibits a seasoned partnership with Corey matching energy, bouncing off each other all night, Taylor even changes lyrics to praise his buddy.

After a brief intermission, the band returns for the encore. The unmistakable riff of Duality by Slipknot fills the room, as the venue begins to shake. Despite having just four members on stage, their performance echoes the intensity of the full nine (minus the keg). The night concludes on a high note with a cover of INXS’s Don’t Change, a choice Corey hopes won’t be considered meandering, expressing his love for the Australian band.

The sweaty, happy crowd pour out of the venue all raving on about a different part of the set which was their personal highlight. Collectively we know we witnessed something special tonight, treated to almost flawless renditions of songs we’ve cherished for over two decades. Corey was incredibly heartfelt with his thankyous, telling us that the reception he continues to receive is the reason why we are one of his favourite destinations on earth to tour.

Tonight’s performance was the first of 4 in Australia and if you are heading to Good Things over the weekend, catching Corey Taylor and co is a MUST. You will not be disappointed! I will be speaking about this show for a very long time.

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[Review] Mushroom 50 Live @ Rod Laver Arena Melbourne, 26/11/2023

Australia’s population is easily united by large-scale events and entertainment, particularly in relation to sport and politics. However, it is not often that our country, separated by vastness of land, cultural differences, and generational divides comes together over a musical event. Mushroom 50 Live was one of these once-in-a-lifetime occasions. A transcendence of humanistic differences, 50 Songs for 50 Years bought together the best of this nation’s talent, both past and present – a culmination of 50+ years of musical greats.

Acting as Australia’s founding father for aspiring musicians, a deal with Mushroom Records is one of the hallmarks of commercial success. Founded in 1972 by the late Michael Gudinski, Mushroom’s legacy has continued on both a national, and international scale. The excitement that filled Rod Laver Arena as thousands of lucky fans, music industry professionals, family, and friends, took their seats is simply irreplicable. With a line-up comprised of multiple generations of artists, there was bound to be something for everyone.

Long-time member of the Mushroom family, and a household name, Jimmy Barnes, opened the night in true rock and roll fashion.  Head to toe in leather, and pyrotechnics ablaze, Jimmy’s performance could not be faulted. Working the crowd as the rock icon he is, the energy was simply electric. As we were transported back to the 80s, long-time fans of the pub rock scene were given a moment to relieve their youth, whilst younger punters got a taste of what remains a legendary era of Aussie music. Powering through two of his hits, No Second Prize, and Working Class Man, 48 songs remained, and the bar was set astronomically high for the acts to follow.

Continuing the momentum, sisters Vika and Linda stole the hearts of the audience with their cover of Living in the 70s, the debut hit single from Mushroom’s own, Skyhooks. The pair’s angelic, ‘golden-age’ vocals paired with a jazz inspired musical arrangement created what was a uniquely surreal, cinematic feel. Stripping things back even further, Australian music sweetheart Missy Higgins gave a flawless performance of Wide Open Roads by The Triffids, which she had also re-recorded for the Mushroom 50 album. This set also bought with it a sublime 10-piece choir, whose performance in many of the evening’s acts was an absolute highlight. Treating fans to a familiar hit Scar, Missy had the room on their feet, swaying in gorgeous synchronicity, bonded by a shared love of music. The Rubens made a brief appearance, nailing their 2015 hit single Hoops. Flaunting the aesthetic of a highly polished garage band, The Rubens, are the epidemy of Aussie band music – and the foundation for many up-and-coming Melbourne indie rock bands.

The night at Mushroom 50 Live followed the ups and downs of moving through genres, and across eras from one song to the next; but what remained constant was a sense of family, and of celebration of life. Almost every artist who took to the stage, and every television host placed between acts could not help but to praise the beautiful character of Michael Gudinski. Michael founded Mushroom off his own passion for music, and for Australian artists the legacy he left for the industry is irreplaceable. Michael supported artists from all walks of life, regardless of their background. This became more and more evident as the night progressed, as we witnessed the stunning array of talent, all of whom were backed from the beginning by Mushroom Records.

A celebration of Australian music would not come close to complete without the inclusion of First Nations performers. Singing Australian anthems from the heart, Christine Anu gave a delightfully genuine rendition of My Island Home, sung from a pop-up stage at the back of the arena. Throughout the night this stage was turned to as a more intimate performance mode, away from the lights and cameras of the main spectacle. Goanna were up next, with their undeniable fan favourite, Solid Rock. The inclusion of Aboriginal instruments including digeridoo and clapsticks providing a feeling of authenticity and pride.

Many iconic acts graced the stage over the four-hour set, including Diesel, Ian Moss, Frente!, Deborah Conway, and Kate Ceberano. But the star-studded line-up had only just begun. The Temper Trap gave a strikingly poignant act, boldly choosing to perform two of the most recognisable tracks in Australian music history; Under the Milky Way by Australian rock band The Church, and their own smash hit Sweet Disposition. The sublime instrumentalism paired with an ethereal feeling backdrop of floating stars felt so out of place for an Aussie rock concert, yet was so perfectly received. An excited hum remained throughout the arena, as the crowd knew something special was still to come.

Closing out the first half was Aussie Icon Paul Kelly with his mega hit, Before Too Long, and a cover of The Sunnyboys’ Alone with You, joined by the band’s original guitarist Richard Burgman. The epic rock jams didn’t end there, as the First Nation’s band Yothu Yindi played their classic dance tracks Djapana and Treaty, embellished with flames, haphazardly flashing lights and the most intricate of rock instrumentals.

Beginning with a politically charged video compilation, the second half of the show dove deeper into the importance of messaging through music, and the influence of music icons on everyday people. Bliss n Eso put this message into practice with an emotional and moving rap set, alongside the ten-piece choir from earlier in the night. The phenomenally captivating stage presence didn’t end there, as international supergroup DMAs rocked audiences with their 2016 garage-band style single Lay Down. At first thought, viewers may have assumed 50 Songs for 50 Years was to deliver a few hit performances, alongside other ‘filler’ acts. However, these notions continued to be demolished by the incredible show of talent, all proudly Aussie-made. Household names including Machinations, Dan Sultan, The Teskey Brothers, Skyhooks, and Amy Shark left audiences wondering what final surprises were in store, as the catalogue of artists left on the bill grew smaller.

Birds of Tokyo were a personal standout, performing two of their international hits, Lanterns, and Good Lord, the arena was ignited – transformed from a glossy TV broadcast to an intimate early 2000s rock concert. The world class performance was breath-taking to experience, not only when viewing the stage, but after turning my head to the back of the arena, my eyes were met with the light of thousands of torches, glittering in the darkness like a magical sea of stars.

Mushroom 50 Live unfolded like a timeline. Fifty years of making noise, each decade equally represented – but now the time had come to hear from the future of the label. Recent signings including Logan, Wilson, and ‘Merci, Mercy’ gave performances worthy of international accolade. With such a solid foundation of music in this country, the sky is limitless for these young performers and their careers, and with backing from the best of the best, they are more than likely to become household names in the future.

As the star-studded evening comprised of live performance, and video cameos from the likes of Robbie Williams, Delta Goodrem, Vance Joy, Sam Smith, and Kylie Minogue came to a close, the nights successor Mark Seymour of Hunters and Collectors graced the stage. A digital duet of Aussie classic, Throw Your Arms Around Me, with none other than Ed Sheeran was adored by fans, but the finale Do You See What I See, truly took first prize. With the mighty revolving stage revealing the night’s band one final time, 2023’s biggest concert had come and gone. Left with nothing but rouge confetti in our hair, and wide smiles on our faces, it is safe to say all that attended Mushroom 50 Live have taken with them a sense of the ‘Mushroom family’. Closing the cover on the last 50 years of Australian music, and building a concrete and sacred foundation for musicians in the many decades to come.

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[Review] Robbie Williams @ AAMI Park Melbourne, 22.11.2023

Hell is gone and Robbie’s here there’s nothing left for you to fear, 

Shake your arse, come over here, now SCREAM!!!  

The surrounds of AAMI Park were awash with people, food & merch stands, glitter, and more people, and I excitedly approached the stadium because tonight I had a date. A date with a man that I have loved for a very long time and who doesn’t actually know that I exist. But a date, nevertheless. Enter: Mr Robbie Williams.  

It was an expected older crowd who were flooding through the gates and jostling for position to catch a glimpse of the global megastar. Whether you’re a fan or not his music is undeniably catchy, and you will always find yourself at least humming along to his familiar tunes. My partner in crime for the evening is a dear friend who loves Robbie as much as me. I dare say there would be bloodshed between us if one of us had’ve nabbed Robbie for ourselves. We found our seats promptly and despite Robbie not gracing the stage for another 2 hours, the excitement was pulsating within me already. 

The first support act for the evening were Lufthaus, an electronic dance duet who originate from Melbourne. They’ve spent a lot of time overseas building their following, and interestingly enough have actually collaborated with Robbie on a number of tracks. They got everyone in the mood with their continuous electro tracks, and they let everyone know how pleased they were to be playing to a home crowd for the first time. 

Next on the bill was British singer and former Supergrass frontman, Gaz Coombes. His music is a mix of pop and rock, and people seemed to be really digging it. Gaz and his band were energetic and rocked the stage for their entire set, right up until they exited the stage. It was interesting to note the contrast in the 2 support acts, which no doubt ensured everyone’s music tastes were met.  

As the sun dissipated and dusk was upon us, my heart was bursting and the butterflies were in full force causing havoc in my stomach. I knew the arrival of the great man was imminent, and that he was nearby and ready to blow the stadium away. The remaining lights went down, there was movement on the stage and the crowd started to get riled up. We were met with the introduction of Hey Yeah Wow Wow, and as the 3 cubes that doubled as screens started to rise from the stage, There. He. Was. Donning a black sequin suit, accessorised with a white Elvis-style scarf, there was the legend we had all been waiting for. The song was over in no time, and it was then that the instantly recognisable piano riff of Let Me Entertain You began, as Robbie marched down the catwalk stage that led out into the middle of the general admission area. Robbie piped up during the song with “Let me reintroduce myself, I’m Robbie Fucking Williams”. The crowd were completely beside themselves by this point, dancing and singing along to every word. This was my 3rd time seeing the British superstar, and despite being nearly 20 years since our last date, hot fucking damn this man has not lost a thing.  

The next song he led into was a cover of Wilson Pickett’s Land of 1000 Dances, which is a party starter at the best of times. There was more audience participation, and at one point Robbie had a little sit down because as he put it, “I’m fucking nackered, I’m nearly 50!” Robbie told us he was going to take us on journey, on a 33-year musical odyssey of his career. The way in which he did this was hilarious and heartfelt with a great dose of nostalgia. Robbie checked in and asked his crowd, “Am I amongst friends, Melbourne? Am I in a safe space to share with you?” The crowd went ballistic in support because yes Robbie, we are here for you ALWAYS.  

Next up was one of his early hits Strong, in which he jumped down into the crowd to get up close and personal with his fans. It was hilarious watching this unfold on the big screen as there were a sea of female hands grabbing and groping him from every angle. Come Undone followed, and during it’s musical intro he incorporated a bit of JPY’s Love Is In The Air. This is one of my most favourite Robbie songs, and I was belting it out as loud as I could, along with the rest of my fellow concert goers.   

It was then Robbie wanted to take us on a trip back to 1990. On this trip he told us the Berlin Wall hadn’t long come down, Nelson Mandela had been released from prison, a young Australian cricketer was preparing to make his debut (this little tribute sent the crowd wild – R.I.P Warnie), and most importantly in that year a little boy band was formed called, Take That. There were a lot of Take That fans in the audience, and when we were treated with the music video to the band’s song Do What You Like, in which we were exposed to a close up image of 16-year-old Robbie’s arse in the clip, the crowd were THIRSTY. He then went on to play their song Could It Be Magic, in which he bailed on halfway through as he exclaimed “Na, I can’t be arsed!” He then shared a little anecdote of that era, when he went to Glastonbury with a bag full of drugs and champagne and hung out with 2 brothers from a popular UK rock band at the time. This was of course a segway into a cover of the Oasis classic, Don’t Look Back in Anger. Robbie took on the iconic Gallagher stance at the mic as he sung the song and at this point, I wasn’t sure that life could get any better than that moment.  

The Take That fans then got what they wanted with a version of Back For Good. Robbie went on to tell us that despite all the struggles he’s had to endure with his career, life, mental & physical health etc, that now he is actually the happiest he has ever been. If you’re someone who has followed his career both on and off the stage, then you know that this is a huge deal. This led into his song I Love My Life. Better Man followed and the audience took it upon themselves to provide backing vocals once again, and I found this song and its lyrics hitting me differently than they had ever done previously.  

The upbeat track Candy followed, before a moody and atmospheric performance of Feel with an intricate light show that perfectly set the vibe. After watching Robbie’s new Netflix documentary (which I highly recommend by the way), I realised during the show that songs like Feel, Better Man & Come Undone and their lyrics certainly hit a lot differently than they did previously. The lyrics are obviously raw and confronting and despite following his career for a long time, the doco really was an eye opener into his mental state over the years and the struggles he’s encountered, putting everything into a different light. 

It was time to pick the pace up again, as the intro to Kids started to play out. I did turn to my friend and say, “oh my god I wonder if Kylie is in town??” Sadly she wasn’t, so Robbie’s talented back up vocalists rotated the female vocal part of the smash hit. Robbie then ‘had a proper giggle and was quite polite’ as he then led into Rock DJ, in which the crowd were well and truly going off by now. Just to clarify, the crowd were psyched for the show’s entirety, but there were just some songs that amped them up even more. Robbie then departed the stage to indicate the end of the show, however of course he was just playing with us because there would’ve been a riot had there not been an encore. 

The stage lights went up again and the music started. It was now time for everyone to stand for the national anthem, as the intro to John Farnham’s You’re The Voice played out. The 3 cubes at the back of the stage rose again, revealing Robbie wearing an Australian Cricket Team t-shirt. John Farnham in all his mulletted glory appeared on a screen behind Robbie singing along, and it wasn’t until Robbie pointedly turned around to show us, that we realised the back of his shirt was emblazoned with WARNE 23 on the back. Cue goosebumps, tears & and an overwhelming response from the crowd for this lovely tribute to an Australian legend. Robbie then singled out a lady in the front row to dedicate She’s The One to. In a hilarious interaction, there was another woman standing there who was so overwhelmed with emotion and was trying to get in on the action too. Robbie’s cheeky banter with them both made it extra entertaining, and I truly envied the woman in which the song was dedicated to. 

To top off the night Robbie rounded out the set with his usual finale of Angels. This time he dedicated it to the lady who tragically passed away after having an accident at one of Robbie’s Sydney shows. Once again it was a touching moment, and with a sea of phone lights before him (gone are the days of the old lighters swaying in the crowd), it was a magical sight to behold and be a part of. Robbie and the band then took their bows to exit the stage, but it seemed Robbie was just having too much fun to leave. Long after the band had departed, he hung around singing the start of a few of his songs acapella and then encouraged the crowd to finish it. He of course had to get one last cheeky quip in, and asked who in the audience were Carlton supporters. You can imagine the response that got with a lot more boos than cheers, and Robbie found it hysterically funny and said, “I love asking that, that is fucking hilarious”. He then started singing the first few bars of Better Man in which the crowd continued as Robbie then snuck off stage and into his waiting van side of stage to whisk him away. 

“I just wanna Feel, real love” … and Robbie, real love is what you gave us. Robbie’s charisma alone is a show in itself, and his extended interactions with the crowd throughout the night were nothing short of entertaining & hilarious. He also has the uncanny ability to stare straight down the barrel of a camera, and have you believe he is looking and singing directly to you and you only, which is how I felt every time I watched the big screens. I may be bias, but you really can’t dispute the fact that he is a brilliant showman and knows exactly how to get the audience eating out of the palm of his hand. I truly didn’t want the night to ever end, and I was a mix of elation and sadness leaving the stadium with my raspy throat from singing and screaming, and my sore cheeks from the permanent smile that was plastered to my face for the night. The first song to play in the background after the show was finished was Time Of My Life from Dirty Dancing, and the audience were singing along with it even after they’d departed the stadium. Once outside the stadium I could still hear the crowd singing it and thought it was quite poignant, given that each of us really did have the time of our life that night. 

If you’ve never seen Robbie Williams live then he definitely needs to be added to your bucket list, as he is one singer even the most minor of fans need to see at least once in their lifetime. We love you Robbie, Australia loves you, and I hope you come back to our shores sooner rather than later!!   

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[Review] Joji @ Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne 20.11.2023

No one loves an artist the way Joji fans love him. On Monday night, Rod Laver Arena is a swarm of people in pink morph suits, their Nike best and excited chatter. It’s a school night, but still the kids are out. Ready for a night of high-energy debauchery and soul-sucking ballads.

Joji, or George Miller, started his career on Youtube, way back in 2008. Making videos under the pseudonym, Filthy Frank, Miller’s videos were confronting dark-comedy that took the internet by storm. During his time as Filthy Frank, he started releasing music, including an album called Pink Season. His musician alter-ego at the time, was a weird little guy in a pink morph-suit, aptly names Pink Guy. And then, suddenly, Miller retired from YouTube and his music. The edge lord king had fallen. Three-ish years later, he was back with the absolute gut-punch that is BALLADS 1. Joji was his new identity, and he had shed that strange exterior, for the squishy insides of a heart-broken twenty-something, spoken over the driving heartbeat of an R+B track.

The Pandemonium tour is an homage to the Duality of Miller. A set divided up into three sections, it lets him croon, lets him misbehave and lets him drive us wild. Joined by US Rapper SavageRealm as both his support and “mix-master”, as well as a four-piece band who look straight out of a Weezer cover band, Miller is about to blow the roof of this arena. The stage looks beautiful. Five or six boxes rise out of the ground, bordered by LED lights. Each one of them is a projection screen. So is the floor. So is the back wall. Everywhere is awash with light and swirling imagery. It’s breathtaking.

To open up the night, we are hit with some of Joji’s more up-tempo songs. I can barely hear Miller sing over the top of the beautiful choir of voices pouring out of General Admission and the stands. From Sanctuary through to Yeah Right and Daylight, the crowd knows every word. They’re putting on a show of their own, desperate to put all their energy to good use. It’s like we’re playing a game of energy-tennis with Joji, and each side is hitting a grand-slam (I don’t know tennis metaphors). Moving towards the crowd, Miller smiles down at GA. “You. I know a pretty boy when I see one.” And in we go to Pretty Boy. The soy-boy anthem, it’s a personal favourite of the night. It’s funny, it’s catchy it’s a little sexy – it’s a nod to Miller’s days as Frank. It also represents one of the many energy shifts of the night. He pulls out a merch gun and starts firing it into the crowd. At only 5’8, he is getting some serious air on those shirts. What a pro. The night is gearing up to be something high-energy, and unlike anything I’ve seen before.

Miller understands the unholy grip artists saying the name of the city they’re in on their audience. I think during every song, and every interlude, Miller screams a guttural scream of “Melbouuuurneeeeee!!!!” and everyone goes ballistic. Every time. The first time, and the fiftieth time, are both set to make Rod Laver Arena’s sunroof fly open. I peer down and spot a couple on facetime with a middle-aged man in high-vis, he looks blank-faced but on the verge of tears. There’s a young couple in front of me, she’s looking at him, and he’s glued to Joji. There is something about the masculine experience Joji captures, and you really see that at his live shows.

In the middle of his set, Joji and his merry band return, as the absolute insanity that is Yebi Labs. My jaw is on the floor. What the fuck is going on? Blow up balls, pool straws and confetti are thrown onto the crowd. The lights have turned towards us and are moving through the air, covering us in strobe, green beams of lights and yellow dots. Yebi Labs is like… Hardstyle?? Covers of rap tracks. I don’t know my electronic music well enough to describe it, but trust that it’s deeply unhinged, unexpected and an absolute vibe. Once I’m done being shocked, I really lean into it. The camera is swirling around GA, and looking at all those beaming grins, dinner-plate pupils and friends moving around like they’re at the best festival none of us have ever heard of. Yebi Labs close out with a ridiculously fun version of a song that makes me want to stick my head under water and scream; a Joji original, Glimpse of Us. And on that note, they’re finished. To prove how amped up we’re feeling, the second they leave the stage, people groan and scream and beg so loud I feel it all the way up in the stands through my feet.

As they saunter back onstage, suddenly the tech crew have got a game of Super Smash Bros on the back projection. People shove a controller into Joji’s hands, and the hands of his keyboardist. “I always whoop your ass, man. Better to play without me.” SavageRealm brags, casually. Joji mournfully and earnestly agrees. As the game starts, I’m rooting for him. Of course. I love an underdog. And in a shocking turn of events, from only two wins out of their many tours, Miller clinches it. We go crazy, and Miller leans into his Australian roots to reward us with the ultimate symbol of love; the shooey. He slurps down a full can of beer in his shoe, more than anyone asked for. When it’s done, he just stands there, real quiet. “Oh…. Oh man…. Give me a second….” And looks wavey on his podium.

Once the shooey trauma has left him, we get the Third Act of his tour. My personal favourite, this final third is packed to the brim with Joji’s saddest and most heartbroken ballads, his crème de le crème if you ask me. Opening with Die For You, I am absolutely sucked onto the stage. I can’t tear my eyes away from him. His voice is so good it sounds like the recording. On Die For You, his vocals are perfect. They’re buttery and soft, yet decidedly assured. In another life, he could’ve been a crooner, but for now, he’s paving out his own genre. Winding his way through this final act, he leaves after Gimme Love, which of course has everyone out of their seats. Even those of us not in GA are standing and moving and letting it all out.

I hate encores, but Miller is self-aware. As he comes back, voice dripping with sarcasm, he leans into the mic; “I think I forgot a few songs. My bad.” Slow Dancing in The Dark is a showstopper. Handing the mic over to us for the chorus, it’s stunning to see nearly 15,000 people scream those lyrics at the top of their lungs. The backing track goes quiet as we yell, and the arena air bounces around our voices, like a choir in a church. Goosebumps.

Glimpse of Us is such a gut-punch of a song. But Miller has decided that he’s been a little too earnest with that last tear-jerker, and first major hit, so he’s going to be a little silly to finish off. The lyrics normally go:

A Glimpse of us

Tonight, they go more like:

A Glimpse (Of WHAT Melbourne?!) Of uuuuuuussssssss

Even as he add-libs, the camera is floating through the crowd again. Men in bear hats, minion costumes and morph-suits stare up at the stage, tears brimming. Phones are mostly down as an audience is spellbound, and people embrace. Joji can’t disguise the power of his music. And we are all the better for it.

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[Gallery] Froth & Fury Festival, Adelaide 18/11/2023

The Butterfly Effect

Suicidal Tendencies

Sunk Loto

Alien Weaponry

The Halo Effect

Ocean Grove


Caligulas Horse


Ocean Sleeper

Beyond The Black




Hidden Intent


Mannequin Death Squad


Nocturnal Animals

Emergency Rule

Descend to Acheron

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[Album Review] Helmet – Left

Helmet to me was one of those bands who were always mentioned, songs were played, I got into them but never really deep dived into but after listening to Left, the brand new album, I will be going to change this. It’s clear that Helmets soundscape has influenced a fair amount of music over the years with their brand of alternative Metal, Punk and even aspects of hardcore influence to assist the evolution further still. You’ve got to give credit where it’s due.

Going back to have a listen to some previous albums while writing this review for comparison, Left is nothing new to their already well-established sound but a solid reminder of why Helmet are still relevant and noteworthy. Bringing their classic gritty hardcore DIY sounding production to the table once again, it brings songs like Bigshot, Bombastic and Gun Fluf to the forefront of the album, these 3 tracks were the top ones for me. Gun Fluf has this solid snare beat that just drives that song like a nail in a coffin, its killer but if you are putting on Helmet, then you know what you are wanting and won’t be disappointed in what they are doing.

The opening track Holiday sets the pace for the Left, which is fairly mid – slow tempo with Gun Fluf being the fastest track on here and an incredible moody acoustic, strings attached track titled, Tell Me Again, being the slowest, but don’t let the lack of speed turn you off, that song is worth the listen. The song starts off with some steel guitar work leading into acoustic guitar and strings behind it with melancholy vocals about that lovely narcissistic friend, yeah, you know.. THAT mate!

The album ends on this wicked jazz avantgarde style track named Resolution, completely instrumental with some great guitar work, because you know, why the hell not!? With Resolution, Tell Me Again and another track Reprise, the album inherits a decent contrast of sounds from start to finish. You have everything from open punky chorus’ with catchy vocals that will have songs stuck in your head to a chunky palm muted riff that will get you headbanging as well as the previously mentioned, mellow track Tell Me Again, that will have you reflecting on everything you thought you knew.

Left is a great album to give to someone who has never listened to Helmet, it will definitely gain them fans and surely keep the old ones happy. Go out and try a left field album of your own music tastes and find something new! You never know what you will find and like.

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