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Gig ReviewsReviews

[Review] Dirty Honey @ Stay Gold, Melbourne 04/04/2024

This evening's performance was at Stay Gold in Brunswick (Melbourne). A smaller venue, which tonight was packed full. The crowd in their mandatory black hard rock t-shirts where all out on a Thursday night to see the main act all the way from L.A, Dirty Honey I would describe the punters as hard core hard rock fans and tonight they were not disappointed with the three band line up. The selection of bands on offer was a perfect blend as the style of all three complimented each other. The support acts were a great lead up to the main act and the expanding crowd were a testament to this.

First support was a Melbourne based band Shotgun Mistress. They gave us a quick fire thirty minute set and played seven songs. Shotgun Mistress is led by Glen Patrick on vocals, Matt Wilcock on guitar (recently voted in the top 100 metal guitarists in the world), Ben Curnow on bass and Dave Daniel on drums. Shotgun Mistress are a high energy, hardrock band. The lead singer gave me visual Steven Tyler vibes with his scarves tied to the microphone stand, but I could hear hints of the Darkness in his vocal style. They play straight forward heavy rock with hints of metal. Their sound is strong and solid with great drum beats and awesome guitar riffs. They had the crowd right up to the stage edge with heads nodding from the first beat and they could be heard singing along to the catchy choruses. They release their new single Mary Jane in the next few months and it is well worth the listening too. Shotgun Mistress closed their set with the lead singer disappearing into the crowd only to pop up on a closed bar on the other side of the room, they bring a fresh feel to the hard rock genre.

Second support of the night was Dead City Ruins are a five piece band consisting of Steve Welsh on vocals, Nick Casalini on guitar, Sean Blanchard on guitar, Thomas (Sunset) Murphy on bass and Nick Trajanovski on drums. Every member of this band could have their own shampoo commercials with their gorgeous flowing locks. They visually remind me of the hair metal/hard rock bands of the 80’s and 90’s, but once they started playing I could hear the influences of Deep Purple and Guns’n’Roses. Dead City Ruins are an Australian hard rock band with a fantastic stage presence, I felt like the stage was too small for them to really let loose, but they certainly can put on a show. At one stage to quote Steve the lead singer we had “dualling Les Paul guitars with
Marshall stacks”. The skins were hit hard and fast and the guitars and bass were on fire. Steve’s vocals were flawless and at times their catchy riffs had a hint of blues rock. A highlight for me was a small taste of Baby Please Don’t Go, played fast and hard. Dead City Ruins know how to entertain a crowd and had them fully involved in the music and loving every minute of the
musical jams and the big notes sung. I highly recommend you have a listen to their latest album Shockwave. Dead City Ruins were on stage for a set of ten solid rock songs that were lapped up by the punters.

Dirty Honey was what the crowd had come out on a Thursday night to see. They are a Los Angeles based classic hard rock band, their music has an edgy rock n roll style with a hint of the blues. You can hear their influences of Aerosmith, AC DC and Led Zeppelin in their timeless hard rock, but it is not a rehash of old styles. Their music has a new flavour all of their own. The crowd pushed forward to get closer to Marc La Belle on vocals, John Notto on guitar, Justin Smolian on bass and Jaydon Bean on drums. Early into the performance Marc La Belle apologised for his voice as he has been struggling with it since arriving in Australia, but I thought the husky sound gave it a sexy edge. If he was hiding voice problems he must be amazing when he is feeling well. There was no need to apologise, his voice was still crazy good. Dirty Honey gave us a 90 minutes packed with 14 songs, their music is high energy with an edgy sound and the swagger of the band gives off rock star vibes. Fans were treated to all their favourite songs When I’m Gone, Won’t Take Me Alive and Rolling 7’s. Don’t Put Out The Fire was a highlight with the band jamming out with crunchy riffs and a drum solo. This received very loud applause, with the bass player leading the crowd to clap out a beat. Another Last Time had a beautiful guitar introduction and the crowd helped out on the chorus. Won’t Take Me Alive had the crowd bouncing with the lead singer proclaiming “Melbourne’s crowds are way cooler than Sydney’s”.

The encore was filled with solos. The bass player made the bass talk with a funky chicken beat. The drummer started off with the crowd coping the beats with answering claps into a drum skin workout, then into a guitar solo showing off extreme talent. Dirty Honey know how to put on a great live performance and fans were delighted with every note sung, string plucked and beat hit.Dirty Honey left a sweet taste in my mouth and I can not wait to see them back on Aussie soil ASAP!

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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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