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Gig ReviewsReviews

[Review] Electric Callboy @ Hordern Pavillion, Sydney 30/11/2023

Review By Raelee Atkinson

Choo-Choo … climb aboard and let's ride the Tekkno train …

This time last year, Good Things Festival was in full swing and the German band formerly known as Eskimo, now Electric Callboy, took to the stages of Australia, wowing crowds and winning over new fans.  A few months later in February 2023, a headlining tour of Electric Callboy was announced and it was met with much excitement. It took no time to sell out and the venues were upgraded to house more fans, and again the entire tour was sold out quickly.  The buzz around this band has kept going throughout the year as they have been travelling the globe with their Tekkno World Tour.  

I’ll admit, I’ve been so excited for this concert that I’ve been counting down the “sleeps” like a kid waiting for Santa. 

Finally, its a balmy Thursday night and we’ve just fought off the peak-hour traffic and arrived in Sydney’s Moore Park, the location of the Hordern Pavilion, to be met by an eclectic sea of black clothed metalheads and neon attired techno-heads. Electric Callboy’s genre-bending mix of metalcore and EDM attracts an interesting demographic ranging in ages.  

Bro and I nick across the street to the pub for a quick pre-gig feed of French fries and a lager, then passed through the security check to the awaiting hordes. We joined the long line for merch that snaked its way around the outdoor area that enclosed the Hordern, eventually got our tee shirts and entered the venue. We were early so we were able to get up pretty close to the front. 

At 7.30pm it was time for the first support band, Future Static, a five piece band from Melbourne. Future Static are a fusion of alt rock, indie pop, and metalcore with a dash of prog for good measure. They have recently released their first full length album titled, Liminality. After a minor ‘false start’ they hit the stage running with an energy reserved for the young. Spinning like a dervish, lead singer Amariah Cook's clean vocals are lovely, then she surprised with some filthy harsh vocals and injected so much emotion into her performance. Bassist, Kira Neil complimented Cook’s vocals with some sweet harmonies and gave an indie/alt vibe to the performance. There’s three dudes in the band, but to be honest, apart from a random thought that they were good, the focus was on the women, who put on a great show.

Four songs into their set, they played a cover song titled Gasolina and I realised that this was the band that my brother had sent me the link to three times. I turned to him and he's grinning. Future Static entertained the growing crowd with a cracking 30 minute set, which included Waves, Venenosa, Chemical Lobotomy, Gasolina, The Hourglass, Roach Queen and Dead End

The next band up is Stockholm-based, Self Deception. The Swedish foursome enter the stage and it's obvious that there are sound problems. The singer isn’t singing in tune (and I know he's an experienced and talented singer) and every time the bass hits there’s a horrible vibration and popping sound emanating from the speakers which hurts my ears.  Part way through the second song the singer, Gabriel Keyes, better known as the current vocalist for fellow Swedes, Crashdiët, stopped the band and said that they are having ‘technical difficulties’. Roadies scattered on the stage looking busy while the bass player, Patrik, chatted with the crowd and announced that he’d like to do a “shoey”. It’s an obvious distraction that overseas bands seem to think Aussie audiences enjoy. The crowd cheered him on and then the band re-commenced by playing Scandinavian Dream. The sound is still horrible, so again the crew scamper on stage trying to “fix” the problem and this time the bass guitarist suggests that the guitarist, Ronnie, do a “shoey” now, again, the crowd cheer him on but it's getting awkward, thankfully Keyes, the singer took over and explained that they’d had a dreadful day. That their flight from Melbourne had been cancelled and they had been told that they were no longer going to be able to play the gig in Sydney, but the band wanted to come and play so much that they decided to hire a private plane and flew up, having not long arrived. The audience cheered encouragingly,  the technical issues seemed to be resolved and singer Gabriel introduced the next song, Roxette classic The Look. The audience dances and sings along loudly and the Self Deception set continues without the earlier sound problems. They have a heavy rock industrial-electro sound with a Marilyn Manson flavour. Their stage presence was a tad confusing to me as the drummer wears a mask, the man-buned singer prowls the stage semi (and eventually) shirtless and the bassist is dressed in a neon pink cowboy hat, matching Hawaiian shirt and shorts set and long pink socks, looking more like he's on an island vacation rather than playing at a metal gig. It’s definitely a “vibe” I'm just not quite sure which “vibe” though. I enjoyed their songs, the band were tight, and Gabriel Keyes is an enigmatic frontman. Bass player Patrik Hallgren ended up playing in the mosh pit crowd at one point. At the end of the set, they thank the audience for their patience and say that it had been the most memorable night of the tour.  Self Deception played an interesting 30 minute set that included, Six Feet Under, Scandinavian Dream, The Look, Psycho, Holy Water, Fight Fire With Gasoline

The Hordern had now filled with people and everyone was hyped and excited for Electric Callboy to take to the stage. To pass the time, some people had brought a couple of beach balls and a spaceship shaped balloon, which the crowd tossed around ooh-ing and ahh-ing as they rose and fell.

The time had finally come, the excitement from the crowd was palpable as the lights dim and the big screen at the back of the stage is illuminated with a video clip of a woman dressed up as an airline stewardess announcing the beginning of the Electric Callboy set. Towards the end of the announcement, the band entered the stage, the lights came up, a confetti bomb exploded and the audience was bouncing and singing loudly to Tekkno Train. Vocalist Nico Sallach asked the audience to form a “Ninja Wall of Death” for the next song, MC Thunder (Dancing Like A Ninja) then when the song ended, Nico mentioned what we’d all been thinking, “where was Kevin?”. Sallach explained that after the Melbourne show the previous night, Ratajczak had to leave straight away to the airport to return home for “family reasons”. Then Nico asked us all to sing loudly for Kevin as Spaceman played. The Spaceship balloon from earlier flew around during the song. Then they played Love/Hate followed by the Cascade cover, Everytime We Touch, The Scene, Castrop X Spandau and Arrow Of Love.  At this point, the band left the stage leaving the drummer to perform his solo to Darude’s Sandstorm. The band then returned and to the delight of the crowd, and the much loved Hypa Hypa played next, followed by Parasite, then a stripped down acoustic version of the Backstreet Boys cover, I Want it That Way which had the audience singing along very loudly. Sallach explained that the next song is based on German Schlagger music and separated the crowd in the centre to form a space and encouraged everyone to “couple dance” to Hurrikan. They rounded the set out with MC Thunder, leaving the stage as the audience cheered and called out for an encore. They complied and returned to the stage to play Pump It to the excited and energetic crowd as another confetti bomb went off and followed it with Mindreader, leaving briefly once again. With more encouragement, the band returned once more to perform the hit single, We Got The Moves to a final confetti bomb and streamer bomb. At the end, the band lined up for the obligatory band with the audience in the background pic, then Nico spotted a couple of youngsters who had been perched on their dads shoulders during the show, singing along enthusiastically, and called them up on stage to join the band in the pic. The crowd cheered, everyone posed and then there was the scrum for the picks, sticks and set lists. The house lights come up at 10.45pm and everyone is buzzing as they exit the venue. 

What a night! Electric Callboy delivered a high octane set, even without their co-vocalist, Kevin Ratajczak. The sound and lighting were on point, the multiple confetti and streamer bombs added to the party atmosphere and the energy from the audience was like being at a dance club or a rave with everyone dancing, bouncing up and down and singing along loudly. This definitely felt more techno than metal and even though lyrically, the songs imply something a bit “rude”, the absolute silliness of the band and their songs appeals to all ages, so there were parents there with their children. The fanbase is varied to say the least, with the black parade of ‘core and metal fans mixed with the brightly coloured ‘fits of EDM fans. There were a lot of fans dressed up like the characters from their videoclips, with matching  outfits, wigs and headbands. The support bands were high energy and did their job of gee-ing up the audience and firmly established the party vibes. Venue staff were friendly and polite, and security kept everyone safe. Overall, there’s a legit reason why this band totally sold out this tour so quickly, because they bring the dance party 100 percent, even with a missing bandmate. The night was exactly what you would want for an event like this and I’ve walked away feeling like I could very happily do that all over again! I'm definitely up for seeing these bands again, especially Electric Callboy, so who’s coming with?

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THE DARKNESS Announce VIP Upgrades For Australia & New Zealand Shows!

The countdown is on for the return of multi-platinum UK rock royalty The Darkness, who are all set for their highly anticipated 20th Anniversary celebration tour of their classic debut album, Permission To Land and taking to stages for their Let There Be Rock shows in early 2024!

With all shows selling fast, The Darkness have unveiled a handful of exclusive VIP upgrades for Australia and New Zealand, making these the hottest tickets in town and even a great Christmas present.

A once-in-a-lifetime experience, VIP fans for the Let There Be Rock and Permission To Land shows can arrive early for soundcheck, take a photo with the band or catch iconic songs “I Believe in A Thing Called Love” and “Love Is Only A Feeling” from side of stage! Here are the rock star VIP upgrades on offer


VIP Premium upgrades include an exclusive VIP laminate and early access to the show and merchandise stand.

Upgrade your ticket to VIP Premium Class here.


VIP Business Class upgrades include an exclusive VIP laminate and early access to the show and

merchandise stand, plus…

  •  A signed tote bag
  •  Access to the soundcheck
  •  Chance to play a song on stage with the band at soundcheck*
  •  Q&A with the band
  •  Photo with the band
  •  Guided tour of the stage
  •  Early venue access for the show

Upgrade your ticket to VIP Business Class here.


This top tier VIP First Class upgrade includes an exclusive VIP laminate and early access to the show and merchandise stand, plus…

  •  Signed tote bag
  •  Access to the soundcheck
  •  Chance to play a song on stage with the band at soundcheck*
  •  Q&A with the band
  •  Photo with the band
  •  Guided tour of the stage
  •  Early venue access for the show
  •  Watch the show from the side of the stage with snacks and drinks provided.

Upgrade your ticket to VIP First Class here.

*You must be a general admission ticket holder or purchase a general admission ticket to the show prior to purchasing a VIP product.

Igniting the mainstream rock scene in the early 2000s with their trademark falsetto, spandex, guitar riffs and theatrical live shows, the band’s album topped the UK charts almost overnight, surpassing 5x Platinum and selling over 1.5 million copies in the UK alone. It’s no wonder the album swept The Darkness into a whirlwind of global success, sharing the stages alongside rock icons such as Queen, Guns ’n Roses, Black Sabbath, Def Leppard, and the immortal, KISS.

Prepare to have the sounds, fashion and extravagance of classic hard-rock resurrected before your eyes with a touch of The Darkness’ trademark British flamboyance. Fans can expect a bucket list rock show experience when “Permission to Land” comes down under.

Don’t miss your chance to catch The Darkness in Australia and New Zealand in 2024!

Tickets On Sale now via

www.thedarknesslive.com and www.sbmpresents.com

The Darkness VIP Upgrades on sale now via


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Gig ReviewsReviews

[Review] Jackson Browne @ Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne 29/11/2023

Review By Terri Nas

Wednesday night was a wet and soggy occasion(classic Melbourne Summer), and it was baby boomer central as I headed over to Margaret Court Arena to see legendary American singer, Jackson Browne. If there’s one thing I love as much as going to gigs, it’s people watching. As I stood outside waiting for my friend to arrive, I watched the crowd roll in and it occurred to me that never have I been to a gig where a huge portion of the crowd had to enter via the accessibility entrance. These boomers were here for a damn good time, and absolutely nothing was going to get in their way.

Browne is currently touring Australia after having to postpone his tour earlier in the year due to illness. Supporting him on his tour is Australian singer-songwriter, Liz Stringer. This is one home-grown talent that I am admittedly ashamed I have never heard of until now. Stringer has an absolutely incredible voice that has the ability to stop you in your tracks. It’s raw, husky quality is equally matched with refined smoothness and during a couple of her slower songs, if I’d closed my eyes I would’ve sworn I was listening to Christine McVie from Fleetwood Mac. Stringer is a true storyteller and her songs really struck a chord with me. Her song The Metrologist is brilliant and the intensity of the bridge had me holding my breath, waiting for her to come up for air during the fast paced lyrics. I thoroughly enjoyed her entire set, and she now has a brand new fan in me.

Once Liz Stringer departed the stage the roadies did their seamless stage changeover, and it wasn’t long until the house lights would go down in preparation for the main event. The stadium was stripped of light, and Jackson walked onto stage alone under a single spotlight to a huge round of applause. Guitar in hand and decked out in jeans and a blue plaid shirt, he opened the show alone with a moving version of Don’t Let Us Get Sick.

His band of 7 then entered the stage and took us on an upbeat ride Downhill From Everywhere, which then led to For Everyman where the stage was completely bathed in red lighting to really set the tone. Jackson’s two incredibly talented back up vocalists then joined him down the front of the stage to sing Until Justice Is Real, in which he dedicated it to those all around the world fighting racial injustice.

Fountain of Sorrow and The Long Way Around were next on the list until we got to Somebody’s Baby, in which Jackson confessed that it took him 20 years to love this particular song. He also acknowledged with humour, that “a guy with a white beard singing about a baby, is not good”. He then went on to explain that in his mind he doesn’t have a white beard and he’s definitely not 75. Those of us that have begun the ageing process certainly found this hilariously relatable.

Jackson then jumped over to the piano to play his favourite song, a cover of Warren Zevon’s The Indifference of Heaven. We then were treated to a beautiful and moving rendition of For A Dancer, which he explained was written about his first friend that passed away.

The lyrics are completely heartbreaking and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one with a lump in my throat at that point.

Hecklers in the audience started piping up with requests, and The Pretender was one that many called out, which was met with a chuckled response of “we’ll get there”. Jackson opted to play Boulevard next before succumbing to peer pressure and playing The Pretender, which was met with a hugely excited response from the crowd. Jackson explained that he’s actually been in Melbourne for the past week seeing the sights and lapping up our incredible restaurants, and couldn’t help but cheekily stir us about our “great weather” in response to the consistent summer rain we’d had for the past week.

Call It Alone and Time The Conqueror were up next, despite the audience still shouting requests in between. Jackson, in a good natured way said in response “we’re gonna play what I want.” Whilst the odd harmless heckle or request can be funny, when people consistently do it throughout a show it does wear thin and I find myself getting as annoyed as what the performer must be. As we started to navigate to the final leg of the set with more hits, That Girl Could Sing was a great experience with an awesome harmonising guitar battle, and then we got to the classic Doctor My Eyes which the crowd couldn’t help moving and singing along to.

Late For The Sky took things down a notch before the set was rounded out with a finale of his iconic hit, Running On Empty. The crowd were going wild and dancing in the aisles to the legendary tune. Those that weren’t up dancing, were then up out of their seats for a standing ovation at the end of the song. Jackson and his band deserved this overwhelming reception and more. We then went through the usual motions of being wished goodnight and pretending to say goodbye, until SURPRISE! Encore time!

There was no way he could finish up his 2+ hour set without singing an ode to all the roadies out there with The Load-Out, which naturally led into the crowd favourite Stay. There was a lot of audience participation and backing vocals during the entire encore because in fact, yes, we did “wanna staaaayyy, just a little bit longer”.

It was then a final goodnight to the brilliant Mr Jackson Browne and his super tight and talented backing band. Jackson and his formidable talent is a great example that age doesn’t necessarily mean limitations, given that his voice was still just as superb as ever, and I did love seeing him float between his guitar and piano throughout the course of the night. His music has that wholesome ‘Americana’ feel with long instrumentals and meaningful lyrics that reach your heart, which also have the staying power to reach multiple generations. Despite being one of the youngest there and not knowing every single song I thoroughly enjoyed my night with such a talented legend, and judging by the conversations I overheard on the way out, that was the general consensus of everyone that was in the room that night. Until next time, Mr Browne!

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