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[Review] Mudvayne @ Hordern Pavillion, Sydney 16/02/2024

After 18 long years between Australian tours, a 12 year hiatus and no new music since 2009 you cannot tell a single person in this venue that the masters of math metal, Mudvayne, are no longer relevant. With the loco ones, Coal Chamber in tow this is a neat little package of nu metal goodness we could only dream of.

After a sold out kick off in Brisbane two nights ago, tonight’s performance in Sydney takes place at the Hordern Pavilion. A line begins to build early, as bars nearby overflow with friends recounting memories of seeing these bands countless years ago. Many old school band shirts came out of the back of the drawer as I spot shirts from Mudvayne tours of the past. Most no longer black, fading to the lighter shade of grey, still adorned proudly.

Before we knew it the lights dimmed, Coal Chambers neon colourful lights shone menacingly around their amps as Mr Sandman plays over the PA, turning into the Halloween theme when the band enters the stage.

From the first note we are treated to a meticulously selected set list from their near 30 year catalogue.

Who ever decided on opening with Loco into Fiend into Big Truck obviously knows what fans want. Each track going harder, louder and more energetic.

We were last treated to fresh Coal Chamber in 2015, the stand out track being IOU Nothing which goes down very well with the crowd mostly here for the early 00s hits.

Dez Fafara proved yet again that he is a in a class of his own, he commands the stage while connecting with the crowd often.

The energy remains strong throughout their set, packed to the brim with hits such as Rowboat, Dark Days and Something Told Me. Drummer Mikey propped up moving like a wind up animal, is difficult to take your eyes off.

The energy reached its peak as Dez asks the crowd to sing along, ‘the roof, the roof, the roof is on fire’ with him. Beckoning in the staple Coal Chamber hit, Sway.

Luckily tonight we had an hour set from Coal Chamber, treated to 14 songs. This paring proved to be perfect, as the nostalgic moments have only begun.

The half an hour between sets, much shorter than anticipated as every turn had an old friend saying hello, still in disbelief that this tour is a reality.

We weren’t sure if Mudvayne would ever reunite, little alone tour Australia, and with Coal Chamber!

Mudvayne come running out of the gate right on 9.30 opening their time with Not Falling. As vocalist Chad Gray kicks things off with his iconic scream, bass player Ryan Martinie takes a tumble. We hope he wasn’t injured! It does not stop him from giving 100% for the rest of the show.

If you asked most Mudvayne fan their seminal album, you’ll more than likely get the answer of 2001’s LD50. It was an incredibly important album of its time and influentials and plethora of bands.

For the next few songs, fans of LD50 were beyond ecstatic with Internal Primates Forever, -1, Severed and Death Blooms were all met with monstrous screams.

Mudvayne have been this reviewers favourite band for more than half her life, hearing these songs tonight is truly special and hearing ones almost 25 years old is a treat!

Chad takes centre stage and asks the crowd to light up the venue for World so Cold. A beautiful song, despite his demonic stage make up! A few tears were shed by myself and those around me during this song.

The New Game was a favourite amongst fans as it was the first Mudvayne album released after the formation of HellYeah, in which both Chad and Greg were part of.

Title track, Fish out of Water and Dull Boy had many singing along although the energy in the room sky rocketed from the first note of Under My Skin from LD50, as we all jump to the sky like we are 18 again.

A glaringly obvious favourite for many came in the form of Nothing to Gein, an iconic track from Mudvaynes history detailing some horrific moments of serial killer Ed Gein.

Towards the end of the song, Chad crouches down at the front of the stage on his riser with minimal music as he shakes, rocks and screams ‘soiled dirty boy’ over and over before the band join back in louder again until Chad is screaming at the top of his lungs and drummer Matt McDonough couldn’t possibly hit those skins any harder. The emotion portrayed by Chad Gray on stage is unlike any other artist. He leaves every last ounce on stage, and gives his heavy metal family all he can.

Mudvayne are no longer the band to make their crowd wait for encores, there are only two more questions left for the evening.

The first, ‘are you happy?’ To summon in the chart topper Happy? from 2005’s Lost and Found. Many friends throw their arms around one another as they sing the chorus loud! Guitarist Greg Tribbett looms over with his red and black spiked hair and matching make up, remaining still, staring into the crowd although with black goggles you can’t quite make out where he is looking. This may make it even scarier!!

The final track can only be one, and this is where the second and final question remains. Chad waltzes over to the right side of the venue and asks the crowd if they can dig it, doing the same to the left before asking everyone ‘can you dig it’?

My smile reaches my ears (or so it feels) hearing the crowd sing Dig as loud as they possibly can until the final note.

Although it is abundantly clear the show is over, it doesn’t stop the ‘one more song’ or ‘10 more songs’ chants at different points of the venue, all joining into one.

As an avid music fan we all have a few stand out concerts in your life time, tonight will go down as a moment I’ll never forget. Coal Chamber were the perfect addition to this tour and made many happy tonight, with their powerful performance and astounding set list.

Though the headliners left their mark on each person in attendance tonight. Mudvayne have not toured here since 2006, tonight had been a long time coming. All in attendance made sure to embrace every moment and even selling out the merch table! Monitor and sound issues may have dampened a few moments but the band members never let that get in their way of delivering a spellbinding performances

This may very well be the last time we ever see Mudvayne in Australia, and as the only country outside of North America who has seen this reunited Mudvayne for that we are truly lucky.

Thank you to the team at Phoenix for making this tour a reality, I thought it would remain in my dreams.

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