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[Review] Thornhill @ Moore Park, Sydney 28/10/2023

I’ve been wanting to see Thornhill for a while now, so last Saturday night, I finally got to tick that one off my list. It was October 28th and at Moore Park, The Entertainment district in Sydney. It was a busy night, with a Halloween dance party at the Hordon Pavilion and Sir Paul McCartney playing next door at Allianz stadium. But at Liberty Hall, Sydney metalheads lined up early and gathered for the final night of the Prom Queen City Tour. Which had the amazing line up that was Bloom (Syd), Thousand Below (USA), Holding Absence (UK) and Thornhill (Melb).

First up were Sydneysiders, Bloom. I wasn’t familiar with them but colour me impressed! They brought the energy and entertained with a 7 song setlist warming up the crowd with Laughing Stock, Bound To Your Whispers, Sink Into The Soil, Daylight, Siren Song, The Service and finished the set off with Cold. At the end of the evening I was chatting with a fellow and he said that Bloom is his new favourite Sydney-based band! Big call considering the bands in Sydney, but I admit, these lads are impressive, so keep an eye out for them on future tours – definitely worth checking out.

Next up were American “homies” Thousand Below, who took to the stage with a powerful 8 song set including, Hell Finds You Everywhere, Venenosa, Tradition, Silent Season, 171 xo, The Love You Let Too Close, No Place Like You and rounding the set out with SabotageThousand Below did a great job of hyping the crowd where Bloom left off. At the conclusion of the set, the singer introduced himself as James and said he was going to be over at the merch stand and wanted to meet everyone. I’d already staked out my favourite spot at this venue, so I wasn’t moving for anyone, not even a friendly American (soz), not even for the line up at the ladies loos, nope, not budging. 

Then it was time for Welsh post-hardcore alt rockers, Holding Absence, who played an energetic 8 song set which had us all singing along to songs like, Like A Shadow, Aching Longing, Gravity, Scissors, A Crooked Melody, Her Wings, Afterlife and ended the set with The Angel In The Marble. The night before, Holding Absence had played a full set in my hometown of Newcastle, but with a “bangover” neck ache from the previous weekend seeing Bury Tomorrow, I’d piked out to save my energy for the trip down to Sydney and this show – but now I’m kicking myself for not mustering up the energy and seeing the full set show cos these guys are fan-bloody-tastic. 

Finally, it was time for the headliners, metalcore / alt rock,  ARIA nominated Melbournites known as Thornhill.  The line up currently consists of guitarist Ethan McCann, Drummer Ben Maida, Bassist Nick Sjogren and Vocalist / guitarist Jacob Charlton. The lads blazed onto the stage with latest single, Viper Room, then led into Heroine favourite, Arkangel,  followed with Views From The Sun, The Haze and Red Summer where Holding Absence vocalist, Lucas Woodland joined them on stage to add some gnarly growls. Next up were Hollywood followed by Casanova, then the band left the stage with no explanation and I still have no idea why, for about a 2 minute interlude, then they returned to the stage to play Something Terrible Came With The Rain. The crowd moshed hard and sang along loudly to The Hellfire Club, and Leather Wings. Next up was the moody All The Light We Don’t See, then the crowd sang along enthusiastically to Lily & The Moon, the audience circle moshed during Coven, and RawThornhill finished the set and the tour with Where We Go When We Die

Frontman, Jacob Charlton’s falsetto vocals are transcendent, taking you on an emotional journey with him, and his dance style and hip movements took me right back to the days where I was on the rail watching a young Michael Hutchence in INXS. The band were tight and played a good mix of songs from both albums. The Sydney audience showed their appreciation as Thornhill put on an impressive performance and definitely lived up to the hype.

All four bands put on a great show and left the crowd happily satisfied and a bit tired from all the moshing and singing. Holding Absence are currently continuing their Noble Art Of Self Destruction tour with Thornhill as their guest support band in Germany and the UK.

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