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Gig ReviewsReviews

[Review] The Killers @ Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne 13/12/2022

It wasn’t quite the summers night we were expecting but the fans turned out in force united by their love of music. The wait had been long, four very long years in fact, but the time had arrived, and The Killers were playing in Melbourne for the first of two capacity shows at Rod Laver Arena on their Imploding The Mirage tour. Hot off the back of their open-air show at Mt Duneed Estate Geelong which wrapped up to rave reviews, I was keen to see what all the fuss was about. Plenty had turned out early to nab a prime position, myself included, and I was thankful I did, as the crowd started packing in swiftly behind me.

Opening the coveted support slot was Alex Cameron who was looking the goods in his three-piece suit and definitely gave off the Brian Ferry vibes. Strutting through a 45 minute set he kept the fans entertained with lots of cheeky banter, endlessly reminding us of this sax player and business partner Roy Molloy and his backing vocalist/keyboard player Jess Parsons. He was shown plenty of appreciation from the ever-expanding crowd as he belted out songs such as Miami Memory and Sarah Jo. A terrific addition that had RLA singing along was a cheeky cover of Island’s In The Stream which was very well received. Having co-wrote quite a few tracks with The Killers he was quite comfortable on stage and had plenty of fans up front singing along to his songs.

Feeling well warmed up it was time to move on to the main event, the one we were all waiting for, Las Vegas rockers The Killers! The anticipation was building and the energy quite frenetic as the lights dropped to squeals of delight and the band filled the stage. Bursting out bringing the stage to life was vocalist Brandon Flowers was straight to it with My Own Soul’s Warning followed closely by Interlude. The stage was awash with lights, projections on the giant screens and confetti cannons turning Rod Laver into quite the spectacle as we were coated in the colourful offerings as they descended in slow motion. When You Were Young got the floor bouncing and showed just how tight The Killers are as a live band, Brandon making use of every corner of the stage as he delivered the mega hit with gusto. There was no time for chat between songs, packing in as much as they could in their allotted time, Jenny Was A Friend of Mine, Smile Like You Mean It and Shot At The Night flying out in rapid fire.

Human was coupled with intriguing videos on the big screen, covered with tiny boxes filled with dancing figures it was quite captivating.  Spaceman really hit the mark with Brandon easily making the transition from keyboard to launching off risers in a heartbeat. Engaging with the crowd on every level, and ripping out that stunning smile on autopilot, Somebody Told Me turned up the heat with red lights, smoke machines and lasers cutting a wicked picture across the stage, the energy was palpable in the arena as the floor moved as one collective group. Runaways gave us all a chance to catch our breath before we all welcomed a sing-a-long of “we can’t wait ‘til tomorrow” on repeat as Brandon told us to “think about it” it felt like a special moment and one I was glad to be a part of.

Another huge hit was Caution off the 2020 Imploding The Mirage album, this came complete with the whole rear of the stage igniting in sparklers projected out via baby smoke cannons, this was not just a feast for your eyes it was a whole banquet and we could not get a seat at the table quick enough.  All These Things That I’ve Done had all our voices primed and ready for ‘I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier’ which echoed back across Rod Laver as the masses didn’t miss an opportunity to be involved in this amazing spectacle as green and gold confetti exploded over us. With a speedy exit from the stage, it was time to start the chants and clapping to draw them back out, and it didn’t take long as they returned with The Man. With the arena on their feet, it was a glorious encore as the confetti cannons shot out million-dollar bills with Brandon’s picture showing he really is ‘The Man’ and of course I pocketed a few for prosperity’s sake. Bling (Confession of a King) from Sam’s Town was next up then the one we had all been waiting for Mr Brightside. Starting with a slower remix of the song I was left wanting but not for long as they jumped into the OG radio version and boy oh boy did Rod Laver erupt. Hands in the air, punters bouncing in unison, it was the perfect end to a spectacular live show and I now see why The Killers are one of the worlds biggest bands.

If you are yet to catch The Killers DO NOT miss this opportunity there are just a few shows left on the tour, so get out and see some live music and I guarantee the memory will make you Smile Like You Mean It for years to come!

Wed 14 Dec, 2022 Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne – Lic. All Ages

Sat 17 Dec, 2022 Hope Estate, Hunter Valley – Lic. All Ages

Mon 19 Dec, 2022 Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney – Lic. All Ages

and newly announced intimate show

Mon 19 Dec, 2022 Liberty Hall, Sydney – 18+

Tickets available: https://www.frontiertouring.com/thekillers 

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InterviewsTour Interview

Interview with Rich “The Duke” Ward (Fozzy)

It has been a two years for Australian rock fans with no new international tour announcements but that changes now. With borders finally open and restrictions lifted Silverback Touring is saying “f**k it” and giving fans a 1,2,3 count of unashamed rock n roll with two of the hottest live bands on the planet, BUCKCHERRY and FOZZY. 

BUCKCHERRY recently dropped their incredible new and possibly best yet, album Hellbound and just this past week a frantic new video and single ‘5,4,3,2,1’. Whilst FOZZY have been tearing up the U.S. Billboard charts with their latest single ‘Sane’ whilst their anthemic track ‘Judas’ continues to amass huge numbers. 

Multi-Platinum selling rockers BUCKCHERRY return to Australia armed with a new album Hellbound. BUCKCHERRY staunchly uphold the commandments of rock music with an arsenal of anthems primed to explode on impact live on stage and teeming with riotous energy, sexy swagger, and primal chops intact.  It’s something that the boys have done since day one, but it’s more necessary now than ever. With an array of classic such ‘Lit Up’, ‘Crazy Bit*h’, ‘Sorry’, ‘Say F*ck It’ and ‘All Night Long’, BUCKCHERRY are ready to once again party down under. 

BUCKCHERRY is unique, complex, simple, passionate, explosive, original, and always a good time. BC has been my love, my pain, my passion and I'm so proud of what we have accomplished. I never knew when I started this that dedicating myself to music would be taking on so much responsibility. For a guy who never thought he was going to live past 30 this has been an incredible journey. Our ninth record Hellbound marks 22 years since our debut self-titled release and what an amazing roller coaster we have been on. From hit songs to platinum and gold records and millions of fans worldwide – all during a time period when traditional sounding hard rock bands didn't exist – except for BUCKCHERRY. We beat the odds and built our reputation on the live shows, and our “one of a kind” approach to every opportunity. – Josh Todd

After touring the world with the likes of Metallica, Kiss, Iron Maiden, Avenged Sevenfold, Shinedown and building a loyal fanbase for the better part of twenty years, FOZZY is the epitome of what a great rock n roll band should be: catchy, groovy, hooky, sweaty and most importantly, an AWESOME F**KIN TIME! With five consecutive TOP 30 singles, FOZZY is steadily becoming one of the most successful bands on Modern Rock Radio with one of the most electric live shows.

Buckcherry Tour Dates

NOV 30
Max Watts
Manning Bar
Lion Arts Factory

Ticket link here: https://www.silverbacktouring.com.au/buckcherry-fozzy-australia-2022/

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An Exclusive Evening with TLC @ Palais Theatre, Melbourne 8/11/2022

Melbourne had delivered a stunning day as I made my way around the bay and into my beloved Palais Theatre. The picturesque sunset was breath-taking and it made you feel good to be alive. It has been a long time and yet I felt like I was being welcomed back by an old friend as I entered the iconic theatre.  There was a buzz back around live music, and it was so exciting to be part of it again.

The wait has been long, but TLC have made it back to our shores and we are absolutely ecstatic to get a dose of hip-hop and R & B with the one of the most influential female artists of all time. You could feel the crackle of electricity as the fans took their seats and hum across the venue was alive. It is such a testament to how badly we have missed this and how delighted everyone is to get back to life again. With over 65 million albums sold worldwide it is suffice to say that the diehards have flocked out for this standalone show after the Fridayz Live juggernaut has been rolling across the country.

Melbourne hip hop artist KYE opened the nights proceedings after a short DJ set from DJ TJ, KYE warmed up the crowd with vigour and had peeps bobbing in their seats within minutes. It was terrific to see the hometown support and KYE lapped it up, still quite stunned to be opening for her idols. Her last two songs saw the arrival of six dancers join her onstage, the crowd loved the new addition and it lifted her set to a new level.  With only a 30 mins slot, time flew by but it was filled with some very cool tunes and killer moves which I really enjoyed, KYE was engaging and worked the stage like a professional, definitely one to check out.

After a brief interval the hum had doubled and the fans were champing at the bit to get their share of TLC. As the DJ worked the tables and the band took their place the screams were ear piercing, and the theatre erupted as T-Boz and Chilli appeared to hands in the air and exciting gasps from every corner. Not a person was left seated as TLC opening with Ain’t To Proud To Beg to whoops of joy, the girls strutted their stuff and boy can they still strut! The stage was a flurry of dancers and lights and a huge screen added to the atmosphere reeling pictures and dazzling displays throughout the show. While TLC are still going strong after 30 years the girls do not seem to have aged a day, still looking young and fresh and cutting the moves with the best of them. Baby-Baby-Baby was a fan favourite, the crowd raising their voices to sing along. There was no time for breaks as the songs flowed on swiftly with some mind-blowing dancing in between filling the gaps while the girls caught their breath.

Creep had everyone up and about and Unpretty was glorious with a stunning montage of butterflies and the like on the big screen. A song that resonates strongly with the judgement being weighed on people constantly. I think we all need to remember to love yourself for who you are and not what people expect you to look like! The stage glistened red as Red Light Special rang out. Then T-Boz took to the decks for a quick spin while Chilli wowed us with her dance moves, jumping in with the four sensational dancers who did not stop the whole night. Their energy was infectious, and their faces glowed with enjoyment, a true sign of a unified group.  

No Scrubs needed no introduction, but Chilli took the time to tell the younger members of the audience to by-pass the boys that are ‘hanging out the passenger side of their best friend’s ride’, and to dream big. It was refreshing words and hopefully ones that are taken under advisement. The crowd was electric and they enjoyed every word, hands in the air swaying from side to side as Waterfalls rang out, a beautiful song and the perfect closer for the night. The water washed from the on-stage screens and the theatre was alive with love singing every word from heart. Our DJ for the night roused the crowd for applause for each member which included the much loved and forever missed Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopez. A fitting way to end the night, and the smiles on the faces of the departing fans showed just how much they needed a little TLC in their life.  It was a night filled with nostalgic brilliance and I urge anyone who can get along to the rest of the tour to not delay. You will relive your youth and forget your worries for just a few hours, and you will love every minute.

You're last chance to catch them is this Saturday in Sydney at Fridayz Live

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[Review] KISS @ Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne 20/8/2022

The wait has been long, and the KISS Army have been patiently biding their time, finally the day was upon us and the time was NOW! KISS are literally the hottest band in the world right now, and while that mantra has followed them for almost 50 years there has never been a truer statement.  The KISS juggernaut has been a staple in almost every Australian home, in my case they even had their own dedicated room! Hugely loved and welcomed with open arms every single time they touch down, their fans are loyal and fiercely devoted which makes the experience of a KISS concert memory to treasure forever.

As I made my way towards Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne for the first show of the End Of The Road Australian tour, surrounded by my fellow KISSaholics, the ripples of excitement were brewing. There were painted faces, KISS T-shirts for miles, and families bringing their kids along to witness what would be the show of a lifetime. I took my spot on the floor, ready to get up close and personal with the band that has shaped my musical life. I felt overwhelmed with excitement and emotion, The End Of The Road is just that and I am not sure that I was ready to say goodbye just yet. But alas, I was glad I was there to soak up every bit of the tour, surrounded by like-minded fans all there to bask in KISS glory.

Melbourne hard rock outfit Dead City Ruins nabbed the coveted opening slot on night one, playing to a sold-out arena and thousands of adrenaline-filled punters. I can only imagine the high they were riding on, and it sure did come alive during their set. Blasting through their songs they engaged with the crowd and put on an amazing show. If there was ever a band that was a walking advertisement for good hair care it was them, luscious locks aplenty as they shredded their set. Booming vocals from Steve Welsh had the crowd up and about, many wearing their merch and singing the songs. Being a local Melbourne band, it was fantastic to see such great support for them. They have a new album out next month and we were treated to a sample of what is to come. It is one you do not want to miss, go check them out, and you will be glad you did.

Now it was time to bring out the big guns and they come no bigger than KISS, the arena was electric, carrying its own pulse in anticipation. The start time came and went which added to the nervous tension, but as the lights dropped the roar was deafening. Lowering from the ceiling on pods, KISS appear belting out the classic Detroit Rock City, accompanied by pyro, flames, and a light show that left me speechless. I have seen KISS more times than I can count but I still cannot explain the overwhelming feeling of joy that they bring to each and every show.  It was a non-stop thrill ride as they smashed through Shout It Out Loud, Deuce, War Machine, and Heavens on Fire. The stage hid all sorts of party tricks that kept coming nonstop.  The heat from the flames was intense as Gene worked his magic during I Love It Loud, there was a lot of crowd participation, and came complete with the obligatory fire breathing display that we all know and love.  Cold Gin was Tommy Thayer’s time to shine as he ripped out his guitar solo and fired rockets across the stage. He has stepped into the Spaceman’s boots in a fluid movement and has looked at home from day dot.

Lick It Up was definitely a favourite and one that had Gene literally licking everything in sight with his trademark tongue out more than it was in. Gene Simmons, the backbone of KISS is such a consummate professional onstage, blasting his bass to within an inch of its life but always making sure the show runs like clockwork and every piece of the action is delivered one hundred percent every single time!  I hope that I can channel his energy when I am his age, he made me tired just watching last night, never taking a break, it was go go go from start to finish.  KISS always have, and always will, until that last show give it everything they have and leave nothing in the tank, that’s just how they roll.

The setlist was extensive covering most of the huge catalogue of albums, Dr Love, Do You Love Me, the hits just kept coming. Then as were saw a merge of Psycho Circus and 100,000 years, Eric Singer came to the forefront. His enormous drum kit catching the laser lights was a truly beautiful thing to see, his playing exemplary as always. Getting the crowd involved as he belted out a solo that echoed throughout the arena and had all eyes on him. Wowing the fans as he spun cymbals and sticks his drum riser raised to the roof and had everyone losing their minds, smoke pouring from underneath, it really was quite the spectacle.

Would it even be a KISS show if Gene did not spew forth blood during God Of thunder? Absolutely not, so we were all delighted when the green hue of lights and smoke swamped the stage and Gene treated us to his best ever party trick. Treating a lucky fan to his blood-spattered towel as he tossed it to the punters almost causing a riot. His riser taking high to the ceiling to watch over us as he sang, almost like a preacher with his congregation.

Frontman and KISS itself, Paul Stanley is still shaking his bootie with the best of them, playing his guitar over his head while giving us all a sexy shimmy. His stamina is undying as he jumped on a zip line to whizz across the venue to a second stage to play Love Gun and I Was Made For Loving You. The stage lighting up with disco balls and setting a bit of a frenzy amongst the fans, it is always a great one to sing along to and gets everyone jumping. Time to hear from Eric on vocals as Black Diamond rings out, it is one from the inception of KISS but still holds so much weight now in 2022. In classic KISS fashion, the drums rise again showcasing the cat motif and spinning pinwheels of sparks and explosions.

After a brief moment off the stage and cheers for more a stunning grand piano appears and Eric breaks into the beautiful ballad Beth, we are all singing along lighting up Rod Laver with our phone torches, knowing the night is getting close to being over and not being anywhere near ready for it.  Being like a second home for KISS, we are always treated to an exception to the regular setlist, last night it was Shandi, and what a sight it was as supersized KISS balloons rained down on us as they crooned the much-loved hit from Unmasked.

The drums started and that famous intro to Rock and Roll All Nite rang out, with smoke and confetti cannons on steroids we were awash with excitement and adrenaline as the boys brought it home.  We were answering the call as Paul worked us close to delirium, Rod Laver was heaving, and we were singing the oh-so-familiar lyrics I Wanna Rock and Roll All Nite and Party Every Day! The risers were headed to the sky with Gene and Tommy on board as Paul smashed his guitar and handed it over to one very lucky fan.  With more pyro and fireworks than New Year’s Eve, the show was over and we were left raw with emotion but on a high from the most amazing show of all time.

There are still a few tickets for the last Melbourne show on Tuesday night, and I recommend you grab them fast, believe me, this show will change your life. Then you too can wear your badge with pride and say you have earned your place in KISSTORY!

There will never be another band that can compare to KISS, their love and dedication to their loyal KISS Army have been ever present and all we can do is say thank you. Thank you for the music of our childhood, thank you for the music that shaped our lives, and thank you for being THE HOTTEST BAND IN THE WORLD EVERY SINGLE TIME!!!!

Tonight the play to another SOLD OUT show, but you still have a chance to catch them Tuesday MELBOURNE!!!!! 

Get your part of remaining tickets here : TUESDAY 22nd AUGUST 2022

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[Book Review] Paper Paradise – Glenn Wheatley

When the book is narrated by the author just months before he left this world it instantly evokes chills from the opening words. The life of Glenn Wheatly is celebrated in Paper Paradise, the ups and downs, a no holds barred very candid look at one of the best in the music biz.

The introduction is penned and read by his son Tim and I was tearing up within minutes. A beautiful dedication to his father and a wonderful insight into the man Glenn was. An amazing addition was the re-recording of Because I Love You by Tim himself, a stunning rendition and one that made me stop and listen for the duration

With a career spanning 40 years, there was certainly a lot to get through in this book and the narration was smooth and sharp. Glenn does an amazing job and puts lots of expression into his words, his emotions and feeling coming through in every chapter. With a few false starts, Glenn’s music career took off as a bass player in The Master’s Apprentices, known to anyone and everyone and they went on to have many top ten hits. There was a massive success with Little River Band, not just in Australia but also hugely triumphant in America with Glenn at the management helm. Then in 1986 everything changed for Glenn Wheatly as his record label Wheatly Records produced his friend John Farnham’s album Whispering Jack, this still remains Australia’s highest-selling album and one that can be found in nearly every home in Australia, mine included. His friendship with John Farnham was one that never wavered, friends, until the very end and is beautifully depicted throughout this book.

This book was so full of information that my head was literally spinning as I listened, how could one person possibly fit so much into his life journey, together with having a wife and family. But as you read you can see the early starts and late nights were just part of how Glenn managed his time. Paper Palace is such an informative book; it is a who’s who insight into not just the music industry but also FM radio and corporate takeovers. EON FM was launched by Glenn and was the first commercial FM station to air in Australia in 1980. If you are as old as I am you will remember EON FM fondly, but for the younger generation you now listen to it as Triple M. What an achievement to be part of, there were so many times I said to myself “I did not know that!” Glenn had so many fingers in so many pies it was exhausting just listening.

Paper Paradise did not shy away from the lows and there were a few throughout the 90’s but it was with grit and determination that Glenn fought his way back up to the top. Resilience to keep his family together, whether it was in a Toorak mansion or on a blow-up mattress on his friend’s floor was always a priority. His love and dedication to Gaynor and his three children Tim, Kara, and Samantha was evident and shone through over all the dark days.

The book was released originally in 1999 with Glenn recording the audio version just months before his death in February 2022. This updated release is out now and the voice we have all grown to know over his 40 years in the industry will live on for future generations. If there was ever a handbook for anyone looking to start out in management this is it, such an informative read and one I would highly recommend.

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[Book Review] The First 21: How I became Nikki Sixx

We all have some skeletons in the closet, but Nikki Sixx has a whole graveyard hiding in his. The First 21 takes you through one bag of bones at a time in a very candid journey through his life. His honesty is to be commended, and I felt his pain on many occasions, as he unfurled his childhood demons and his life living as Frankie Ferrana Jnr.
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[Review] Among The Restless @ Bendigo Hotel – 1/04/2021

It was a case of déjà vu as I made my way to the iconic Bendigo Hotel on April Fool’s Day, the last gig I reviewed pre Covid was Among The Restless and here I was the first gig back checking out these local Melbourne lads again. Launching their new single Wastecase.  I was certainly looking forward to some live music and seeing how the boys have grown in the past 12 months. Releasing music during the lockdown was no easy feat but Among The Restless have done this twice with two killer singles that have been extremely well received. Someone Else and Without You will have you instantly singing along, just good honest rock music with a twist of young musical blood pulsing though them. You can find them on all good streaming services, I recommend you give them a listen.

Cosa Nostra got the night started off right, another Melbourne outfit that is no bullshit rock and roll that will have your head banging from the first note. Headed up with Tony on vocals, he set the tone as he laid back and found his groove, his gravelly voice ripping out the tunes as Juz on lead and Ads on bass fill all the gaps. Rounding out this foursome is Rick on the drums, a hard hitter that complements the heaviness of their music. Josh from Among The Restless even made an appearance during Locked Forever belting it out on guitar while Tony sang through a megaphone which added a great depth to the song.  They pumped out a 45-minute set as the crowd started filing in, drawn by the rawness of their sound. Pub rock at its finest, Cosa Nostra always put on a great show and are a worthy addition to any lineup.

Red Peril filled the next slot as they opened their set with Do You Feel Like A Man, Shinae Demaj on vocals was next level from the last time I saw them play, her voice was strong and bold, holding the long notes with ease. I Don’t Mind, Weak and my favourite Dead Woman Walking were next up, Poul Ramage was blistering on lead guitar as they smashed through their set. Ethan Williams was behind the kit as they played Somebody and I Hold On To Hope, with Shinae belting it out, making the crowd pay attention with her controlled screams, she has an amazing voice and knows just how use it to her full advantage. Diamond In The Dirt saw the crowd started expanding, with rousing applause they jumped into Killing In The Name by Rage Against The Machine, which got the dancefloor jumping and had Shinae blasting out the f-bombs on auto-pilot. It even saw bass player Jesse Cole take a trip into the crowd getting amongst the action. A great song to finish out their set, another great Melbourne band to hit up and give a listen, you will not be disappointed.

The Among The Restless merch desk was a hive of activity as many jumped in to grab the new long sleeve Wastecase tee, featuring the song artwork on the back and song name down the sleeves they are a great addition to their range. It was great to see people repping them, merch is a terrific way to show your support to our local bands after what has been a really tough year.

The heat was really starting to rise as the punters started filling the bandroom, the floor was packed, everyone waiting in anticipation, ready to let loose and start the Easter long weekend off with a bang. Right on time the ATR boys took to the stage opening with their first single Someone Else, they have had plenty of time to perfect this one and singer Rhett James was flawless in his delivery, happily flipping the bird to the crowd as he belted it out. Josh Marra was slapping the bass to within an inch of its life keeping the notes down low pulsing out. Define showcases Lachie Dunn on guitar his shredding skills are exemplary, such a talented musician making the most complicated of riffs look easy. Up next a ripping cover of Dragon’s Rain kept the floor bouncing, and then single number two Without You which saw the smoke machines blowing and the girls crowding the front of the stage. Lachie jumped on to the acoustic for Growing Pains, this ballad gave the fans a minute to catch their breath before the boys leapt into a cover of the quintessential party song Monkey Wrench. This stirred up the pit and had the joint really jumping, everyone extremely grateful for the many fans dotted around the venue. 

Rhett announced that the next song Underground was being filmed for an upcoming music video and you could feel the excitement as the song started, everyone throwing themselves into it with gusto. Guitarist Seamus Glenn showcasing his musical style, playing with so much feeling it was almost dripping off him. Such a professional tight outfit, I cannot wait for you to hear this song it has hit written all over and I think it will be ‘the big one’ for ATR! Another new song followed, Slave Within The Change and let me tell you right now it will blow your hair back, the floor went crazy the mosh piping up, everyone revelling in the new tune.

Next up Needle from Aussie legends The Screaming Jets, a great cover to keep the fans jumping and it sure was getting hot onstage as Rhett ripped off his top and finished the set shirtless. Not that it seemed to worry the flurry of girls up front, they were mighty happy with this new development. The pit went up a notch and the crowd surfers started flowing over the top, great to see everyone really letting loose and enjoying themselves. The vibe on stage was awesome you could see these guys were having so much fun playing live, it really resonated to the crowd and made for such a great feel to the show. Rhett oozes charisma and worked the stage with a dynamic energy, encompassing his bandmates and including them in every bit of the show.

Wastecase, the song of the night was up next, their heaviest to date and one that brings Jaidyn Hale on the drums to the forefront.  His drumsticks an attachment of his body he is at one with his kit, his passion for his instrument is instantly obvious, he really is a pleasure to watch as he pounds the skins. Josh kept the baseline covered, this song is dark and heavy and the mix between the drums and the bass marry perfectly to create that feeling. Taking in the lyrics it is such a well-written song dealing with the tough subject matter and how we are being screwed over by the government. These boys are really thinking about what they are writing, no-nonsense lyrics, they are tackling the real issues and it is great to see. Wastecase deserves every success, it is a blistering song that will have you nodding in approval from the first listen. If you are yet to hear it, what are you waiting for!!

I thought that would see the night out but the rowdy punters had other ideas as chants of ‘Jai – dyn, Jai – dyn’ rang out, and he was more than happy to start a riot on his drumkit and burst into an ear-splitting solo that had the pit up and about incited by Seamus on guitar, giving the whirlpool motion with his hands to the crowd as they took collective deep breath and let fly just as the band burst into a cover of Bulls On Parade. The insanity level went to fever pitch as everyone lapped up the last minutes to go crazy. People were on shoulders and the mosh pit was a whole new kind of madness, but the smiles went for miles as the show came to a close, live music is back and we are damned happy about it.

While Covid may have killed our international musicians from touring it certainly hasn’t stopped our local talent from writing and performing brilliant music. If you do one thing, make it going to see a live show and supporting our Melbourne bands. They are working so bloody hard to keep the scene alive so cough up some of your hard-earned and buy the t-shirt or that ticket and go and have some fun!

If you suffer from FOMO then don’t delay, Among The Restless have lots of gigs on the radar, hit up their social pages to see where you can find them next. Big things are coming from these guys and if the Wastecase Single Launch was any indication It’s going to one wild ride!

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[Review] Tony Hadley @ Forum Theatre, Melbourne 26/02/2020

Music venues do not come any better than The Forum Melbourne, it is steeped with nostalgia and sets quite a fairy-tale feel as you descend towards the stage. I love coming to shows here and hearing the comments from the performers I think they love it too. Tonight it is New Romantic royalty Tony Hadley, of course, we all know him as the former frontman for world-famous Spandau Ballet but this evening he is here flying solo. Giving us a front-row seat to his new album Talking To The Moon and his back catalogue of hits while with Spandau Ballet.

I hit the age demographic square on the jaw and was pleased to be amongst like-minded souls ready for a night of eighties infused tunes and a trip down memory lane. While I think many had their feet firmly stuck in the eighties it made for some very interesting people watching, but when I caught sight of a dynamic duo rocking a double man bag I was quickly brought back to 2020.

Gold Coast youngster Chloe Styler opened the night’s proceedings, she has been on tour with Tony across Australia and was very gracious for the opportunity. Dressed in the prettiest of pink dresses she was accompanied by another guitarist/backing vocalist and they got straight to business. Giving us a 45 minute set of lovely tunes. Chloe’s voice was quite unique and had a memorable tone that everyone enjoyed. Her guitar playing was well suited to her sound and it came as no surprise when she said she had been brought up on music at home from a young age. Her cover of Landslide was a lovely addition to her set and she certainly warmed up the crowd ready for the main attraction.

Kicking the night off with one of my favourite Spandau Ballet song, To Cut A Story Short, who can forget the tartan infused film clip from 1980, thankfully there was not a kilt in sight tonight, just a dapper Tony Hadley sporting a suit and looking a million dollars. Highly Strung then Killer Blow from the new album was up next If you are yet to give Talking To The Moon a spin, what are you waiting for?! It is a brilliant album and you will be well impressed. Tony still holding the long notes with ease, it was such a pleasure to watch him in action, making everything look so easy. He worked the stage like the professional he is, getting the banter/singing ratio just right. Then jumped into a winning trifecta of Only When You leave, Round and Round and I’ll Fly For You, giving all the Spandau Ballet fans something to scream about. The dance floor was full of eighties tragics cutting moves like they did way back when, if it was their only night out for the year they were making the most of it.

The lighting was of the highest standard as was the sound, the two came together to make the perfect setting for Through The Barricades, it is Tony’s favourite song to sing and he had a straight-up double jack to accompany him until percussionist extraordinaire Lily Gonzalez jumped front and centre to sing. Talk about chills! They flew to celestial heights spotlighted in white looking angelic as they sang with such purpose and gave this beautiful song the recognition it deserved. Tony’s voice is like chocolate syrup, rich and smooth, proving that he still has what it takes so many years after the inception of Spandau Ballet.  Another great addition from the new album was Tonight Belongs To Us, there was so much to love about this whole set.  So many terrific songs on the setlist and with Queen currently in Australia we were treated to a fabulous version of Somebody To Love getting the crowd up and about bringing their singing voices to the front.

Tony’s band were brilliant but I feel I didn’t not give them the attention they deserved, but Mr Hadley held my gaze for the entire show, he was suave, sophisticated, and that voice like velvet….. anyway, kudos to all on stage you made the show what it was with your sensational musicianship, thank you. Instinction, Chant No 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure One) and the one that got all the hands in the air True. Arms swaying from side to side, Tony’s delivery was absolutely faultless, it is a lovers song and I think the couple next to me stepped back in time to their local Blue Light Disco. I get a cheeky snog, but they were next level, get a room next time! True really was beautiful and the show could easily have ended there, our singing voices were exhausted, but lucky for the packed house, Tony had a few left.  LifelIne had the floor bouncing, then with no encore it was straight into the jewel in the crown, GOLD! The lighting turned a stunning liquid amber as Tony belted it out with gusto the floor was pounding, the fans taking over the vocals “YOU ARE GOLD!! ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOUR SOUL, YOU’VE GOT THE POWER TO KNOW, YOURE INDESTRUCTIBLE”. Such pertinent lyrics in today’s day and age, remember people always believe in yourself.  Tony left looking on with a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face. He struck a pose looking quite ‘James Bond’ on a few occasions, maybe there is something in that, can you act Tony?!

After the final bows were taken to rapturous applause the fans streamed out of The Forum all enjoying that step back in time for one night, feeling young and free in the music of their youth. There was so much to love above tonight’s show, Tony Hadley far exceeded my expectations, and I am walking away one very happy lady. Do the eighties songs still cut it today, you bet your Sony walkman they do!

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Interview with Lexxi Foxx

STM’s Cassandra had a candid chat with STEEL PANTHERs Bass Man and official hair flicker, LEXXI FOXX

CH : Let’s talk about this new album, Heavy Metal Rules, you certainly haven’t shied away from the Steel Panther ‘theme’ for this one?

LF : Well no, no not at all, that’s what we stand for, heavy metal rules and we are just trying to keep it alive. We are putting out videos that if people like they like and if they don’t, they don’t! But we have not shied away from it (laughing) that’s for sure.

CH : With still 6 weeks or so until its release, I have been privy to an early listen and I’ve got to say I think you have raised the bar (no pun intended), its crude, its catchy and the fans are going to love it!

LF : I think so too, and I also think that we stand by what we do, we are just going to be who we are, and people who think we are a fucking one trick thing, just go off and listen to whatever you want to. Its 2019 and if you don’t like what we do, just go away and do something else. Fuckin leave us in peace and just go, so I’d rather be on the point of, you just hate us or love us, and if you’re in the middle that would just fucking totally suck!

CH : There is a great selection of songs to choose from on the new album, do you have a favourite?

LF : Well my favourite song on the album is All I Want To Do Is Fuck Myself Tonight cause Satchel wrote that about me, that was about something that we wrote on a tour bus when all these girls wanted to fuck us and I didn’t want to fuck anybody and so all I wanted to do was take my makeup off and look in the mirror-like I do all the time. So that’s pretty much all I have to say about the fucking record. The record is just great. I played on I think a couple of the songs but for the most part, I just showed up there and flicked my hair around.

CH : The new single All I Want To Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight) has been eaten up by the fans, you make quite the impression with your stripper cameo in the film clip. Looks like it was a lot of fun to make. How long did the process take to make the film clip?

LF : Ahhh it did take a bit of time cause they had to spray paint my whole fucking body to make me look skinny and younger so it took a lot of time, that’s for sure.

CH : For all the romantics out there, on the new album we have the beautiful ballad Always Gonna Be A Ho, that is sure to be a hit with the ladies, I mean who doesn’t dream of having a vagina plated in gold.

LF : Yeah, you are exactly right, who doesn’t dream about that, you are exactly right and that is why the song was written.

CH : We know the saucy lyrics are Steel Panther but put them aside and the music is extremely impressive. You are all fabulous musicians in your own right. Are you constantly working on that?

LF : I’m not, I’m not at all, the other guys are, I mean Satchel and Michael and Stix are amazing at what they do, I don’t give a shit what I play, Satchel tells me what to do and if we get away with it in the studio, cool and then we will have somebody else come and play the bass parts and I’m fine. As long as I look good on stage that’s all I give a shit about. CH : Love it!

CH : Now on the back of the new album which is out next month, will we see a tour of Australia?

LF : Oh for sure we have to because whether it is Melbourne, Syd, Adelaide or Perth, all your women are fucking gorgeous there whether it is the South or the fucking East, West of North wherever the fuck it is you guys are treating us well ever since we have been there. Australia is our second home, because we can’t believe that in a big place, we can go anywhere on the street and people understand what we do. They have a great sense of humour and again I have to say probably this a long answer but your women are beautiful.

CH : We love having you guys here, we don’t take ourselves as seriously as some other people and I am sure that’s why your tours sell out again and again.

LF : Well I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me and at the same time we are excited to be back there and promote our new record.

CH : I have to say you are a pretty impressive looking fella and I am beyond jealous of your eyebrows

LF : Oh there we go I’ll give you a long answer now (lots of laughing)

CH : You must put a bit of time into looking after yourself. Clearly, it’s not all just sex, drugs and rock and roll?

LF : As you are getting older, it’s very tough to maintain a look, it’ s getting more expensive the older I get to flip my hair around, they can hire anybody to play the bass way better than I do. So I just literally flip my hair around and look in the mirror and hope that people still like me and that’s it. I’m really insincere so that’s why I keep looking in the mirror, because these guys are all great musicians and they hired me to be in the band just to do what I do and flick the four strings, or not even four, just two, okay I’ll be honest, one string I play, that’s it (laughing).

CH : Have you got a favourite mirror, that you like to like to take with you?

LF : Yes! It’s very Prince infused, its sparkly and purple and it’s from Prince’s ex-designer that did it for me, so it’s going to come with me to Australia and you will all get to see it.

CH : Do you ever think, wow we might have pushed things a bit too far with you lyrics or are you comfortable with Steel Panther.

LF : Sometimes it gets pushed a bit far, but at the same time can you really push it too far as in laughing and enjoying life, if you feel like it’s being pushed too far then you are taking life too seriously.

CH : When you are having a bit of down time, what are you listening to?

LF : Dinosaur Pile-Up, The Darkness, Danger Danger, Nickleback, The Cure, INXS and Iron Maiden.

CH : Wow what a great mix!

CH : We will all be holding our breath for the announcement of the Heavy Metal Rules tour, hopefully in 2020, it will be one not to be missed, thank you so much for the chat today it has been very enlightening.

LF : Well, I appreciate your time as well, thank you so much for having me.

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