This is one gig I was quite excited to get to. Initially a double bill of Swedish melodic rockers H.E.A.T and Crazy Lixx, these were two bands I wasn’t sure I would ever get to see live in Australia. Thankfully we have promotors in this country who have survived the last couple of years and are still willing and able to take some risks and bring out some bands that don’t necessarily have a large commercial following here in Australia. Thank you, Silverback Touring, for this one!
Unfortunately Crazy Lixx dropped out of the tour quite late in the game but after initially being disappointed, my excitement grew quickly again as I continued to read so many glowing reviews of H.E.A.T’s live performances leading up to this night.
There was a lot of buzz about the band coming from social media, particularly once the tour progressed through the other states, before they finished their run here in Adelaide.
The gig in Adelaide was held at Jive, which is a great but somewhat intimate rock venue. There was most certainly a great vibe in the venue as everyone here seemed to be very keen to see out the weekend with a rock gig, before heading back to reality on the Monday. There was a lot of talk amongst the crowd about the great show they were expecting from H.E.A.T.
The beauty of getting to catch some of these tours in Adelaide, rather than a larger city, is that as a punter, you get to see the band in a more intimate setting, up nice and close. I would recommend more people from Melbourne and Sydney get tickets to Adelaide gigs! Who knows which bands you may never get to see in these smaller settings again! Despite this being a more intimate gig, it wasn’t lacking in enthusiasm from the crowd or in atmosphere at all.
Opening the show was Melbourne’s Wicked Smile, fronted by ex-Pegasus vocalist Danny Cecati. With big powerful vocals, riffing guitars, and a super melodic rock style, they sure suited opening for H.E.A.T and went down very well with the crowd.
The second support act was Cassidy Paris. As soon as Wicked Smile finished their set, half the band left the stage while the other half stayed on as Cassidy’s backing band (including her dad Steve on guitar), without a break between sets. Cassidy’s set showed her give a great high-energy youthful rock performance which showcased her songs nicely and further amped the crowd up for the main event. It’s great to see younger rock artists still coming through the music scene.
H.E.A.T kicked off their set at full speed with One by One from their 2020 album H.E.A.T II. Almost right away singer Kenny Leckremo had the crowd in the palm of his hand as he was a ball of energy from start to finish. Despite H.E.A.T being a melodic rock band, often known for the odd power ballad, their set did not contain one mellow tune or a single moment to catch your breath, they just ripped through a great set of big anthems with huge choruses and tons of energy. The next couple of songs also came from their 2020 album with Rock your Body and Dangerous Ground. The first song from new album Force Majeure was Hollywood which seemed to go down just as well as the material from their earlier albums. A definite highlight from the set for me was 1000 Miles from their self-titled 2008 debut album, although the set as a whole, which contained a good mix of songs from their career so far, didn’t have a low point to contrast this with.
By the time the band had worked their way through their set of 17 or so songs, they must have been exhausted. Not only had Kenny managed to keep his energy at 110% for the full set but Jimmy Jay on bass and guitarist Dave Dalone kept up the pace with him at the front of the stage. Rounding out the line-up was keyboardist Jona Tee, whose big synth chords were certainly a major part of the signature melodic H.E.A.T sound and Don Crash on the drums, who looked to be a sweaty mess by the time A Shot at Redemption closed out the set.
From the look of the big smiles on the faces of the band members and also on the faces of the crowd, I think it’s safe to say everybody in attendance had a great night at this gig and it would not surprise me at all if H.E.A.T returned to Australia for a second time within the next few years and played to even bigger audiences here.
To the rock fans who considered catching H.E.A.T but ultimately decided not to go, I hope you do get another chance because this is one band that really puts on a killer show that you don’t want to miss twice.