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[Review] You Me At Six @ Forum Theatre, Melbourne 16/07/2023

Review By Cassandra Hale

The Forum Theatre Melbourne is an auspicious live music venue that is synonymous with the best of the best in the Melbourne music scene. So, what better place to see You Me At Six tearing it up with Set It Off and Aussie favourites Between You And Me?! I could think of no place I would rather be on a cold Sunday night, but getting in was a little harder than I anticipated. The line of die hards snaked up Hosier Lane taking in the latest artwork piled on the walls while waiting, but that was just the beginning of the journey. Once inside the merch line took over the whole foyer leading upstairs for those who wanted to grab a coveted keepsake. The turnout was up and about early which was fantastic for the night’s openers and local Melbourne boys Between You And Me 

These guys burst on stage with explosive energy, instantly winning over the whole venue. You could feel the rapid lift in the crowd with their momentum running like a freight train. While their set was only 30 minutes they packed in enough for an hour. It was a non-stop excitement filled with ripping music, cheeky banter, a trip into the mosh and even a shoey. Matt for YMAS happily jumped in to play bass while two of the BYAM boys were slamming on the floor, which brough a few excited squeals from around the venue. Between You And Me certainly had plenty of fans in the crowd, happily singing along knowing every word, and if you weren’t a fan at the start of the night you sure as shit were by the end of the set. Their Shit Yeah tour kicks off shortly and between you and me you won’t want to miss it.  

Recently chatting with Set It Off front man Cody Carson and being a new fan myself I was keen as mustard to check out their live show. They had a huge army of fans wearing their merch and screaming as they lights dropped, but that came as no surprise. Blasting out of the blocks with Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing, Set It Off gave an unrelenting set packed with all the hits. Cody left no corner of the stage uncovered as he held the punters in the palm of his hand. At one stage moving them from one side of the floor to the other, which I thought would end badly, but ended up being a whole lot of fun. Oozing stamina Cody took a quick-fire trip over the top of the pit, yes over the top. Walking from hand to hand supported by the hoards underneath, never missing a word as he stood aloft. Then taking the jump into surf mode and being passed back to the stage, singing for the entirety. If I wasn’t already impressed, let’s just say that was the kicker. Such a dynamic live performance by the whole band. Each song delivered with gusto and like it their last, the enjoyment of this tour constantly evident, Cody mentioned that he didn’t want it to end on more than one occasion. Guitarist Zach DeWall made the trip to my side of the stage almost as frequently as his own, dripping in energy no matter where he was. His smile as wide as the stage, happiness exuding from every pore. Their enjoyment radiated across The Forum, and I think every person in this iconic establishment could feel it. Clapping as a collective force, hands working on autopilot as Cody roused us constantly to join in and be part of the show.  

The boys ploughed through the hits including, Killer In The Mirror, Projector, Hypnotized and Win Win to name a few. We even got a little Backstreet Boys mash up which had the fans up and about.  Cody swapping out the mic for the drums as hard hitter Max Danziger came up front for a sing at one stage, then hold us down on the ground for a collective jump. Let me tell you this aging body is not primed for holding a squat these days, but I took one for the team and leant on a few pit buddies to join in the fun. Cody being a multi-instrumentalist also got out the saxophone and took it for a run. Holy shit is there anything he can’t do?! I felt like we got one with the lot as Why Worry and Punching Bag closed out the set. With promises to return Set if Off reluctantly left the stage but I have a sneaky suspicion we will see them back in Australia again very soon. 

You Me At Six are regular visitors to our shores, treating their fans to some sensational shows over the last few years. In saying that tonight’s gig took it to a whole other level. Could they really be better than last time? A resounding hell yes was the answer and it slapped you in the face with every song just to remind you. As the banner unfurled behind the drumkit you could feel the tension build to fever pitch, teasing us with what was to come. Then the boys took to the stage one by one and the roar that followed was deafening as the capacity crowd welcomed YMAS back as only a Melbourne crowd can. Dressed in matching black suits and white singlets in line with the cover of the Truth Decay album the boys looked sharp and ready to rock. Deep Cuts from the same album was the opener, Fresh Start Fever followed with the masses screaming back the lyrics of the songs we all knew so well. The mix of songs over the night was absolutely perfect, it covered old and new giving everyone what they wanted to hear. heartLESS, Bite My Tongue and No Future? Yeah Right were all graciously received with arms bouncing and feet pumping. The energy that YouMe At Six brought to this gig was electrifying, Josh Franceschi’s smile infectious and Melbourne’s love for this band could not have been clearer.  

Stay With Me was polarising as Josh sang with such sentiment, the fans taking over singing the familiar lyrics back. Next up from the latest album was Mixed Emotions, drummer Dan Flint showing us his awesome skin hitting. With risers set across the whole stage rear, Dan’s kit on the left sharing the step up with guitarist Matt on the right. It was a brilliant concept and gave Josh plenty of room to work every piece of the stage. Of course, it wouldn’t not be an Australian show without the obligatory shoey and Josh not only did it, but did it from some randoms shoe from the crowd. That took courage even I was gagging at the thought! Take On The World was absolutely stunning, a beautiful sing-a-long with the crowd, all with phone torches held aloft for the occasion. Australia certainly holds a huge place in the hearts of You Me At Six, and Josh constantly lets you know how much they love coming here to play. They are always warmly welcomed, Australia showing them the love and respect that they deserve for making the massive trip to the other side of the world to see us so often. Room To Breathe and No One Does it Better finished out the set to rapturous applause, but I was pretty sure there was a few left in the tank. As it was, it was not just a few but four!  

Josh’s effervescent stage presence just kept bubbling out as they returned to the stage. SUCKAPUNCH had us down on the ground again and while my thighs were already feeling the burn I just punched through and launched up bouncing like a bloody teenager. The spell that is cast by YMAS is like no other and if they can get me jumping on the spot maybe I should employ them as personal trainers! The fans lapped up this large encore, and no more that Aussie fan Scott who made an appearance on stage and played his freakin heart out to Underdog. So generous from all at YMAS and a memory to last a lifetime for Scott.  

Musically perfect all night guitarists Chris Miller, Maxx Helyer and bass player Matt Barnes were the glue holding this amazing outfit together and as they launched into Reckless and Beautiful Way. The Forum’s walls shook a little and I swear the floor moved under my feet as the fans sang it out loud showing You Me At Six that the long haul to visit is appreciated by each and every fan here tonight. With waves goodbye and not just drumsticks, but a cymbal, taken straight from Dan’s kit passed to the adoring crowd, it was over. 

This tour for You Me At Six felt different and in some ways final, and if that is the case, I will live off the memoires of all the times I have seen them perform live and the joy those shows brought. But perhaps if the YMAS boys have a little room to breathe we might see them back in their home away from home for one last hoorah. Here’s hoping!  

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[Review] Kings of Thrash @ Max Watts, Melbourne 14/07/2023

Review By Cassandra Hale

Melbourne metalheads rejoiced at the news that Dave Ellefson and Jeff Young, both elder statesmen of Megadeth, were coming to Australia.  Not only that, but they were playing So Far So Good So What and Killing Is My Business..And Business Is Good! in their entirety.  Kings of Thrash the Mega Years was something to get excited about and the line of fans waiting outside Melbourne’s Max Watts was a testament to how keen we were. The cold winter night was no deterrent as the stream of unending people flooded into the venue, necks ready to be snapped with unending headbanging and thrash hits that we all knew and loved for way too many years.  The demographic was of the older generation but there were a few youngsters leading the charge and keeping thrash metal alive.

Up first to open the nights proceedings was Melbourne trio Resistance. Only forming earlier this year it was a big spot to fill and the boys were keen as mustard to get us warmed up and ready. It was easy to see from the get-go that these guys all had previous band experience. They were tight and energetic and made some big noise for a three piece. I really enjoyed their 30-minute set which was crammed to the brim with enough thrash tunes to have the expanding crowd banging their heads. They are playing at the Bendigo soon and I definitely recommend checking them out.

Next up and with the punters piling in at a rate of knots was Alarum. These guys have been making music for many years now and were happy to bust out all their heavy goodness. They unleased a 35-minute set that was fully loaded with thrash metal madness and had the fans well and truly ready for the big guns. They played hard and they played fast with so much going on it was enough to make the roof of you head lift off. They were super tight and gave the crowd exactly what they wanted as glasses were charged and the black t-shirt brigade were pumped and ready to mosh.

Max Watts was fit to bursting and the air was electric as we counted down to showtime. As the lights dimmed fists pumped the air in allegiance to the two Megadeth heroes in Ellefson and Young.  Busting straight out with So Far So Good So What and that killer interlude Into The Lungs Of Hell the boys were off and running. Although there were a few small changes to the order of songs they all got one hell of a run. Set The World Afire, Mary Jane and 502 kicked things off and by now the floor was a mass of twisted bodies revellers making the most of every minute. Singer Chaz Leon was the perfect fit for the band. He had his flying V strapped on and sang with vigour. He was extremely engaging with the crowd, and I was left well impressed with his vocal and shredding skills. Insert massive drum solo here ……Peruvian slayer of the kit Fred Aching gave us a mind-bending solo, showcasing his amazing talent as the band worked through all the Mega hits. In My Darkest Hour was a standout for me and the punters, they sang with gusto and lapped up every second of the Megadeth classic. Liar and Hook In Mouth were both impressive, then the boys finished out the album with Anarchy In The UK. It was an hour of power like no other and had the floor pulsing as one for the duration.

Dave Ellefson is a name synonymous with Megadeth and let me tell you he plays the bass like a 4-string assassin. Believe the hype my friends, Dave is just as fresh as he was in his prime and his enjoyment was written all over his face. He spoke of how he really enjoyed playing the songs from Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good!  as they were ones he seldom got to play. He also mentioned that a lot of the room weren’t even alive when it was recorded, and to that end I leant in and gave my son standing next to me an elbow in the ribs. Yes, folks that is parenting done right and I for one am passing the baton to the next generation of metalheads! Jeff Young was still strutting the stage with enthusiastic high kicks and exemplary shredding skills.  He worked the stage like a man in his prime and was happy to jump on the mic and chat throughout the night. Clearly knowing of Melbourne’s rivalry with Sydney he was keen to stir the pot and raise a challenge to those north of the border to step up and take the coveted live music crown that Melbournites proudly hold.

It was back to the old-school snap your neck thrash metal as Last Rites and Rattlehead rang out. Again, the order was mixed but that left a little mystery as to what was coming next, and I for one loved it! Chaz had the saccharine growl down pat as he ripped out the Skull Beneath The Skin and Looking Down The Cross. Then it was a new level of crazy in the pit as Killing Is My Business opened the mosh up with bodies flying from one side the other. Shirts waved aloft as half naked sweaty men tried to stay upright and keep their drinks from dousing their pit buddies. Loved To Deth, Chosen Ones and the banger Mechanix were an assault on the senses and the album was finished out with These Boots. We were now one and a half hours deep into the show and thinking it was about to wrap up. But the Kings Of Thrash had other ideas, no encore, no leaving the stage just straight back into it with Dawn Patrol and a medley of Megadeth intros including Holy Wars and Hangar 18 which certainly whet the appetite for a few more classic Megadeth songs. The boys gratefully obliged with Wake up Dead, a cheeky cover of Riot’s Swords and Tequila and the one and only Peace Sells. If one song alone could raise the roof this would be it and the pit slammed for its duration. With a deafening applause and metal fists raised we saluted our metal saviours as they left the stage, leaving us with many tales to tell about this night of metal madness with the Kings of Thrash!

Hardline Media have been knocking it out of the park with their recent tours and Kings Of Thrash was no exception. Having the opportunity to hear some of these killer songs live was any Megadeth fans dream come true, thank you to all involved. Now I am off to book an appointment with my chiropractor, I may have overindulged in the head banging department but it was worth every bloody minute!

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[Review] Among The Restless @ Night Cat, Melbourne 23/06/2023

Review By Cassandra Hale

Closing out their All I Want Is Everything East Coast tour at Fitzroy’s The Night Cat, Among The Restless were ready to celebrate this huge milestone.  While Melbourne had delivered a freezing winter night it did nothing to discourage the punters from turning out in droves, the venue steadily filled with the cult like following who were ready to rock. I have watched Among The Restless grow over the last few years, the venues have got bigger, the fanbase has grown exponentially and their music has taken on a force of its own. Their songs show a maturity garnered by hard work and dedication and I was keen to take in the show in front of their home crowd in Australia’s capital of live music.

The Night Cat is a brilliant Melbourne nightspot, with its stage positioned in the centre of the room it cuts an amazing visual. Add to this an eclectic collection of lightshades hanging from the ceiling in varying hues of pink which instantly gives a chilled vibe. Being able to see the band from every angle gives a new perspective, and while the bulk of the fans gathered front and centre, many wandered to gauge a new angle over the course of the night.

Opening with Define, Among The Restless were off and running and the turn out were more than ready to throw themselves into the pit and get a piece of the action. Underground and Missing Pieces were up next, the Night Cat was warming up, with the cold of the outside night checked at the door. Torn had the floor bouncing as one, singer Rhett James working the crowd like a pro, his exuberance and lust for the live performance ever present. He is dripping with charisma and sings flawlessly every damn time. Crowd favourite Wastecase had the mosh up and about and Jaidyn Hale entered beast mode behind the kit. His precision skin hitting brought to the forefront in this drum laden tune, the fans lapped it up with chants of ‘Jaidyn’ spurring him on to deliver a mind-bending assault on the kit.

Without You had the floor grooving one minute then exploding the next as the epic build lashed them, Rhett leaving no corner of the stage uncovered. There was so much to love about the show, the engagement with the fans was next level, the quality of music impeccable and the collective voice knowing every word of every song a testament to their fierce following. Seamus Glenn delivered his most recent penmanship with Star Crossed, bloody hell this song rips hard. With such a catchy chorus it was an instant winner and had the venue pinging with happiness, smiles as wide as the stage at every vantage point. Seamus showed he is much more than a guitarist, his writing skills also of the highest calibre. No Sense // No Feeling brought out the crazy again as Lachie Dunn shredded like a psychopath, one of their heavier tunes this one had the floor slamming with gusto. Lachie’s backing vocals also prevalent throughout the night, he is the complete package and a pivotal part of the ATR dynamic.  

The upbeat cover of UFO was a crowd pleaser followed by the first single released by ATR, Someone Else. This song still rocks as hard it as did when I first heard it, it also comes complete with yet another epic breakdown that had the revellers throwing themselves into the pit.  Slave Within The Change delivered all the neck snapping feels that the fans wanted and it was everyone for themselves as the sweaty melting pot of a pit expanded to a blur of limbs. Let’s talk bass for just a minute. Josh Marra keeps the bassline well and truly covered and if you want to hear some of his epicness just check out the latest single Ego.  Josh worked all parts of the stage even taking a trip into the crowd with Seamus on one occasion, this four-string slayer certainly keeps you entertained.  Ego showcases the growth in ATR and when it is backed up by the classic Lucy you know you are in for a bloody good time. Their most popular song to date, Lucy never disappoints and had the crowd taking over the vocals for the duration.

These boys just tick every box and then some, and as the punters called for ‘one more song’ they did not disappoint jumping into a blistering cover of Bulls On Parade. This has become a firm finisher for ATR and one that brings out every level of crazy, the melting pot of a floor surged and jumped as one, making the most of every last minute. I saw girls facetiming to the unfortunate that couldn’t make it, I saw selfies snaps if you could pin down a band member, and I saw an unending merch line. Everything you would expect from a band of the highest level. Among The Restless prove time and time again that they are here for the duration and ready to mix it with the big guns of the industry.  If you are yet to see these guys live, add it to your ‘to do’ list immediately, they leave nothing in the tank and put on the show of a lifetime EVERY SINGLE TIME!

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Gig ReviewsReviews

[Review] Billy Ocean @ Palais Theatre, Melbourne 20/06/2023

Review By Cassandra Hale

Winter had dealt us a freezing Melbourne night and the breeze blowing off the bay was fierce, but it did nothing to dampen the excitement of seeing Billy Ocean play our Iconic Palais Theatre. It has been a few years since he last graced our shores, and the jammed packed theatre was a testament to Melbourne’s adoration of seeing Billy live in the flesh.

There was not a spare seat for love or money as I made my way in to enjoy the evenings support. The duo, Mutherson, gave us an opening set of classic covers including Fleetwood Macs’ Landslide and Waves by Dean Lewis. Their thirty-minute set certainly got the fans warmed up and ready for the Billy Ocean onslaught that we were all waiting for. The buzz in the venue was electric as the clock ticked down to showtime, voices grew louder as excitement levels rose. It was then that Australian radio veteran Gavin Wood took to the stage to start proceedings.  

With introductions done Billy graced the stage wearing a full white suit to match his goatee and dreadlocks. All charisma and sophistication, his 1000 watt smile as wide as the room as he launched into One World, followed by Love Really Hurts Without You which had the crowd instantly on their feet singing along. Working through a jam-packed list of hits, of which there are many, Billy delivered There’ll Be Sad Songs and Love Zone, engaging with the fans with waves and hellos and even a kiss on the hand to one lucky lady. Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car made an early appearance and had the theatre on its feet for a rousing sing-along followed closely by Colour Of Love and Red Light. I was pleasantly surprised to hear the cover of the Bob Marley classic, No Woman No Cry make an appearance, the venue swaying in their seats, everyone taking in the Jamaican vibes clearly enjoying this added extra.

Mystery from the latest album One World was next, and then the sublime Suddenly, which melted hearts and brought out all the feels. The stage awash with blue lights setting a stunning background to Billy in his white suit crooning to this mega hit. One of my personal favourites, Loverboy, was next. It had Billy cutting all the moves as he worked the stage with ease, the crowd applauded with gusto with every spin or piece of fancy footwork he performed. Let’s talk about the phenomenal band that accompanied the show, including Billy’s daughter on backing vocals. While I only had eyes for Billy, they certainly kept the show running like clockwork and provided the perfect accompaniment to each and every song. With sensational saxophone solos and celestial harmonies, I was left well impressed by the amount of talent on stage.

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going was started with a little sing-along from the crowd, it felt like we were a part of the show and everyone was happy to oblige. This song was a fan favourite, and you could see smiles for miles as Billy sang and danced up a storm. Still shaking hands and even signing a record for one fan to treasure for ever, Billy was ever the people person, and everyone adored him for it. After the magnificent band were introduced, Billy mentioned how cold Melbourne was and asked if we would “like to warm up with a trip to the Caribbean.” Ahh, yes please Billy!! Of course, there was no introduction needed as Caribbean Queen closed out the night to rapturous applause, the Palais capacity on their collective feet to sing and dance the night away. Billy so appreciative of each and every person, high fiving his way along the front row and professing his love for us as he left the stage.

The satisfaction that comes with seeing a live show of this calibre is still mind blowing to me, seeing an idol from my childhood still sounding and looking so amazing is a testament to Mr Ocean himself. The joy that his show brought to me, and every other person in the theatre was evident as I left the venue hearing people singing and smiling with exhilaration. Thank you Billy Ocean, I took a step back in time, relived my youth and I loved every minute.

You can still Catch Billy Oceans last three shows. 

Darling Harbour Theatre, Sydney
Thu 22 June, 2023

 Royal Theatre, Canberra
Thu 25 June, 2023

Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide
Thu 27 June, 2023

Tickets available now

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FeaturedInterviews+2

Interview with Josh Franceschi (You Me At Six)

The highly successful modern rock band, YOU ME AT SIX, is ecstatic to announce their upcoming Truth Decay Tour in Australia this July. They will be accompanied by the Los Angeles-based trio, SET IT OFF, for what promises to be a remarkable national tour.

The tour marks YOU ME AT SIX's first Australian headline tour in five years, in support of their immensely successful eighth studio album, Truth Decay. With over half a billion streams across all digital platforms, the band has an impressive list of accolades, including gracing the covers of various global magazines, two UK Number 1 albums, and five Top 10 records.

After completing multiple sold-out tours in the UK and Europe, the band is excited to return to Australia, where they have a loyal and enthusiastic fan base. They recently finished a massive European tour, sharing the stage with The Hunna and supported by Australian pop-punk favourites, Yours Truly.

Lead vocalist Josh Franceschi expressed his enthusiasm about the upcoming tour, stating, “Really looking forward to coming back down under. Australia has always been our favourite place to tour, and our fans are special there. Nothing like an Aussie crowd. Truth Decay is coming!

Joining YOU ME AT SIX on tour will be SET IT OFF, known for their unique pop-infused rock sound that features bold electronic elements, catchy guitar riffs, and an overall feel-good, dance-worthy vibe. The Florida-based group has previously released four albums, and their Top 10 Spotify tracks have garnered over 528 million plays. Their latest release, Elsewhere, is a moody and forward-thinking album that showcases their growth and development as artists.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to witness one of the most thrilling and explosive live shows of the year!

Tickets from destroyalllines.com
Destroy All Lines Presents

YOU ME AT SIX
WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
SET IT OFF
TOUR DATES:

SUNDAY 9 JULY 2023 – MAGNET HOUSE, PERTH 18+
TUESDAY 11 JULY 2023 – THE GOV, ADELAIDE LIC AA
THURSDAY 13 JULY 2023 – THE TIVOLI, BRISBANE 18+
FRIDAY 14 JULY 2023 – ROUNDHOUSE, SYDNEY LIC AA
SUNDAY 16 JULY 2023 – FORUM THEATRE, MELBOURNE 18+

General tickets on sale now
Tickets from destroyalllines.com

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[Review] Static-X @ Northcote Theatre, Melbourne 19/05/2023

Review By Cassandra Hale

The Northcote Theatre has been a musical hot spot of late but It was my first journey to the venue so I was keen to scope it out. The initial trauma of trying to find a car park was quickly forgotten as I stepped into this beautiful heritage listed venue, steeped with history I knew it would hit the mark perfectly. After seeing Static-X in 2019 and knowing how crazy the crowd was I chose to watch from the balcony tonight and what a vantage point it was. With an unimpeded view of everything I was impressed with my decision and settled in for a killer night of metal madness.

Melbourne’s own Witchgrinder got the night off and running and let me tell you these guys rock hard.  Every time I see them they show more and more growth as a band and are super tight. The theatre was already packed with the fans turning up early so they had a mass of punters cheering them on for the whole set. Treating us to a thirty-minute thrill ride full of all the best of their catalogue which included Bloodlust, Rigor Mortis and their new single Dead by Dawn which was lapped up by the eager hoards. I certainly recommend getting along to one of their shows you will be glad you did.

Tonight’s show was SOiL’s first in three years and what a treat it was. Playing their hit albums Scars in its entirety for the rapidly filling theatre. Recently talking with bass player Tim King I could feel his excitement about this tour and winding back the twenty or so years and reliving this album back on the stage. They worked through the tracks verbatim with the exception of Halo which I knew would be the last of the night. Opening with Breaking Me Down they were off and running stirring the crowd with Need To Feel and Wide Open. Hands clapping in unison as they powered through the set, Understanding Me, My Own Unreal and Inside played out while singer Ryan McCombs worked the stage with his energy filled performance. Two Skins, The One and Black 7 were smashed out, time flying by so fast and before I knew it the killer intro of Halo was ringing out. The packed crowd happy to take over the vocals and let rip enjoying the last song of the night. Ryan jumping in to the pit holding out the microphone for a tad extra amplification. What an absolute delight to have SOiL here in Australia, they crushed their set and certainly set the bar high for Static-X.

The hoards were pushing forward and you could not get another person in Northcote Theatre with a shoehorn, and let me tell you it was hot, damn hot. The place was amped, and the white noise was deafening as we waited for the climax of the night Statix-X. For the uneducated, the original band are back in place with XerO at the helm on vocals. The most fitting tribute to Wayne is a celebration of his insanely good music, so here we are tearing it up celebrating the belated 20th anniversary of MachineNeil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline rang out, the crowd more than happy to deliver the bom, bom bom’s on queue, taking the energy up another notch, and in a strange twist the Time Warp lead into the start of the show. The night was peppered with hits from this Machine and plenty of other gems to keep the hoards satisfied. Permanence, This Is Not and Structural Defect was the opening trifecta, and I thought XerO was impressive last tour, but holy shit has he had some serious upgrades!! He stood in Wayne’s shoes and filled them to the brim, in fact he overflowed them. He was perfection, his voice, his movements his whole persona wreaked Wayne Static, it was encapsulated in every pore and I was well impressed.  His new look comes courtesy of none other than Eddie Yang, and he absolutely nailed the concept of ZerO and what Staic-X hoped to portrait. He captured the theme of Machine in spades as ZerO came complete with glowing red eyes and a mohawk made from cables, the industrial feel was alive in him, and it was a sight to behold.

Tony Campos had the bass covered adding his growls to the tunes for good measure, he worked the stage like the seasoned professional he is, and was clearly having a lot of fun.  Love Dump and Wisconsin Death Trip and Bled For Days blasted out as Koichi Fukuda ripped it up on guitar, this pocket rocket bounced from one side of the stage to the other with undying energy. The stage set up was one of epic proportions, although I think the show should have come with its own seizure warning! The screen and lighting itself was a sensory journey that burnt my retinas on more than one occasion. Pulsing with lyrics, flashing lights and images it took the show to the next level for the whole night. It was well suited to the music and made for a holistic feel of industrial metal. Kudos to the lighting team, job well done!

It was just over an hour of power like no other, Static -X pushing the songs hard and fast, Terminator Oscillator, Destroy All and Get To The Gone to name a mere few from the setlist. The fans were surfing across the top and the mosh was in full flight, everyone happy to be back involved in all the craziness of an unrestricted live gig. I did a quick trip downstairs to gauge the vibe just as ZerO said “everybody fucking jump” and you could feel the floor move underneath you as the bouncing ensued, it was electric to say the least. Ken Jay was a demon on the drums, what a treat to see them all together playing as Cannibal and the Nine In Nails cover of Terrible Lie which they released this year blasted out.  XerO paid respects to Wayne with Cold and the fans united with arms swaying side to side taking in the love for Mr Static, it was quite emotional to be part of, his images gracing the big screen in a mark of love and respect. Then things ramped up with I’m With Stupid, fans running on pure adrenaline by this time of night as huge balloons were released into the theatre. What a spectacle it was from my vantage point in the balcony, these massive gas bags being punched with reckless abandon.

Tony stepped forward to show his appreciation to the Australian crowd as he introduced the band and then it was the one we had all been waiting for Push It!! To say the Northcote Theatre exploded would be an understatement, it was every man for himself as the floor became a blur of bouncing and moshing and all things that we love about a metal gig. As they left the stage for the final time, my heart felt full, a most deserving tribute to the great Wayne Static and if he was watching I am sure he would have felt it too.

Thank you Static-X, you came, your saw and you kicked out mother fucking arses!

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Album ReviewReviews

Ghost – Phantomime

Hot off the back of the long-awaited Australian tour announcement, Ghost are throwing us a bone with the latest release EP Phantomime. There is barely a conversation between music lovers of late that does not consist of the word Ghost. Their all-consuming sound and unique take on music is hot property, and we Australians cannot get enough!

The musical genius of Tobias Forge is once again on full display and Phantomime takes us on a journey of classic covers with a diverse collection of songs. Who would have thought that putting Tina Turner and Iron Maiden of the same album would work? Well, Tobias of course, and it works in spades, with refreshing new takes on somewhat unconventional partners.

Opening with Televisions’ See No Evil we are taken back to the seventies with a nostalgic twist on this decades old tune. While losing none of the original feel Ghost have wrangled See No Evil to give it a modern-day spin while still keeping close to its original counterpart. A brilliant way to kick of the album, instantly grabbing your attention, leaving you eager to see what comes next.

The Genesis hit, Jesus He Knows Me is next in line and was released to coincide with Easter Sunday. Which solves the mystery of the “Jesus Is Coming” reference in the Good Friday premiere of the webisode series Chapter 17, Nap Time.  It isn’t the first time we have seen Ghost challenging authority figures via music and this one is an absolute banger.  Their version of the Grammy award winning song is a blinding rendition and let’s just say the accompanying film clip will leave you with a strange awkwardness. Never one to shy from controversial subjects, Jesus He Knows Me is up there with the best and is one of my favourites on the EP.

The Stranglers have been in everyone’s ears for almost fifty years, so it was no surprise they made the cut on this album. The cover of Hanging Around has a fresh aspect that I really enjoyed. Tobias has a way of spinning songs to suit his distinguishable sound but still gives the song its own identity. Hanging Around is this and more and is worth of its spot on Phantomime.

They do not come more synonymous in the metal music scene than Iron Maiden. The Phantom of The Opera is a mammoth song and one that needs to hit the mark if you are going to replicate it.  Fortunately, the Ghost version knocks it out of the park with a punchy sound that resonates instantly in your mind with a song of such gargantuan proportions. It is magical to listen as Ghost intertwine with Iron Maiden in an almost cathartic experience, while this song is a long one you will not be disappointed, and it will have you swept up for the duration.

We Don’t Need Another Hero was made famous after featuring in our very own cult classic movie Mad Max Beyond – Thunderdome. While Tina Turner did an outstanding job with the original, Ghost certainly set the bar high with their own version. It is packed with feeling and sentimentality and is a fitting end to this exquisite EP.

The thought involved in putting together a group of cover versions that will resonate with the listener is a tough ask but as with this eclectic mix, it just works. Once again, this falls to the insightfulness and innovation of Tobias Forge and his extremely gifted ghouls that cement the sound and round out the perfection that is Phantomime.

Phatomime’ will be released on physical and across streaming services from May 18.

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Gig ReviewsReviews

[Review] Udo Dirkschneider @ Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne 08/04/2023

Review By Cassandra Hale

Seventy-One years in the making and finally the man, the myth, the legend Udo Dirkschneider touched down in Australia to unleash the best of Accept. The black t-shirt brigade turned out early to line the footpath outside the Croxton Bandroom ready to rock with their metal hero after years of waiting. The demographic was of the older generation, and I fitted into that slot somewhat perfectly. The excitement was bubbling down the line as we waited for doors, and being a very brisk Melbourne night, it was welcome relief to get inside and nab pole position front and centre on the barrier.

Opening the nights proceeding were thrash five piece Nothing Sacred, a name well known in the scene, these guys have been plugging away for 30 years and their experience showed. They powered through a rapid fire thirty-minute set delivering some tasty tunes and wicked riffs. Singer Chris Stark has a most powerful set of pipes and I was left in awe just watching. With punters up and about early they have a massive audience and the vibes were nothing but positive. Ending the set with Deathwish we were more than warmed up.

Melbourne’s Elm Street were up next, and they certainly blew my hair back, the gravely vocals of Ben Batres set the tone for the neck snapping set. A well-oiled machine, their stage time was seamless and had heads nodding in approval from the opening song. Can I say if there was a drumming Olympics Tomislav Perkovic was taking home gold, fast, furious and freaking insane, his use of the kit was next level. Elm Street were engaging, exciting and kept the thrash lover’s levels peaking. Metal Is The Way and Elm St’s Children were standouts for me, and if you are yet to listen to these guys I suggest you do so without delay!

The bandroom was turning in to a sauna as the latecomers filled any available space, the hoards were pushing up close behind me and anticipation was at bursting point. I was starting the rethink my barrier position, but I decided it was go hard or go home, so I planted my feet and got ready for the onslaught. Sven Dirkschneider entered the stage and took his place behind his impressive kit, arms raised in the air saluting us as the rest of the band launched onto the stage to massive applause, but nothing compared to the ROAR as Udo graced us with his presence. Opening with Starlight and Living For Tonight the show was off and running like clockwork. Udo impressive from his first note, his voice still amazingly fresh, he has lost none of his sharpness and was still hitting the high notes with ease. He did say when we chatted recently that he was thankful that he still was able to sing so well for his age, and I can confirm with a resounding yes, he certainly can!

There were so many highlights to this show, every song on the setlist was a winner, and with such a massive array of songs to choose from I think they knocked it out of the park with their selection. Midnight Mover, Breaker, London Leathberboys and Neon Nights had everyone up and about chanting for Udo singing the well-known lyrics back with gusto. A standout for me was Princess of The Dawn, the crowd taking over with whoa whoa’s happy to share the spotlight. Udo’s enjoyment was paramount, he was loving every minute and it radiated from him tenfold. Guitarists Dee Dammers and Audrey Smirnoff were sensational, their solo interludes were pure perfection, their shredding skills exemplary. Let’s talk bass guitar, Peter Baltes has recently been reunited with Udo and boy what a duo they make. Also hailing from Accept the songs were second nature and he played them with precision, his stage presence was awe inspiring and I was so glad to see him in the flesh. There are drummers and then there is Sven Dirkschneider. His raised drum kit a throne and he played it like a king, he was a slayer of the skins and his timing was that of the finest Swiss timepiece. I can not reiterate the calibre of Udo’s band. They are one tight united front and it shows with the delivery of every song.

A mash up of Restless and Wild and Son of a Bitch followed by Midnight Highway had The Croxton at boiling point, I was still standing strong but I could feel the punters behind me winding up the cogs and I knew that my days were numbered. Screaming For A Lovebite and I’m A Rebel upped the ante, fists punching the air charged by alcohol, driven by the songs of their youth, we wanted more and as the band departed the stage it was time for the chants to start. After thunderous applause and calls for more the band return to deliver an onslaught of three of the finest Accept songs, Metal Heart, Fast as a Shark and of course, Balls To The Wall. I could feel the surge behind me, punters driven on adrenaline and enough alcohol to forget their age. The charge was imminent, and I ducked as boots came over the top, none quite making it over the barrier, but damn they tried. The frenzy these three songs brought was beyond insanity, the singing voices of the punters enough to raise the roof, the Croxton a veritable melting pot and I absolutely loved every bloody minute.

With waves goodbye and throwing of his black leather gloves to the crowd Udo was gone and it was time to survey the damage. As I de-pretzelled myself and made way to the long line to grab some merch the smiles went for miles on the faces of every person I could see. With this tour being such a success, we can only hope that Udo won’t leave it too long to return. The hoards will be waiting our ‘metal hearts’ pumping German music at its heaviest, ready to do it all again.

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Album InterviewsInterviews

Interview with Udo Dirkschneider

Hardline Media are very proud to announce for the first time ever in Australia, the man, the legend, Mr UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER, performing nothing but the best of ACCEPT, just the way we like it! Backed up by his long serving band that now features original ACCEPT bass player PETER BALTES.

Former ACCEPT lead singer UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER has a long career spanning almost five decades that helped to shape German Heavy Metal. His unique and raspy voice approach and his taste for huge choruses formed a huge part of ACCEPT's appeal and have made him the one of most recognizable characters in Heavy Metal history. Albums like Breaker, Restless & Wild, Balls To The Wall, Metal Heart… hear them live with UDO for the first time in Australia.

Two Exclusive shows only! All shows will sell out, so get in quick. There will be extremely limited VIP meet and greet tickets available – Meet Udo, Peter Baltes and the band.

Tickets via www.hardlinemedia.net

 

LIMITED VIP MEET & GREET with UDO and band, includes:

– Early access to the show and merch stand

– Get a photo on your phone/device with Udo and band

– Australian tour poster to get signed by Udo and band

– Exclusive VIP lanyard/laminate

– Bring along 3 personal items to get signed

– VIP TICKET includes entry to the show

Don’t miss seeing one of the most iconic voices of our Metal/Rock generation – Mr UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER!

TOUR DATES:

Thursday 6th April – SYDNEY – The Manning Bar

Saturday 8th April – MELBOURNE – The Croxton Hotel

 TICKETS ON SALE NOW FROM: https://hardlinemedia.net/

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