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TROPHY EYES ANNOUNCE AUSTRALIAN HEADLINE TOUR 2024

TROPHY EYES
ANNOUNCE
AUSTRALIAN HEADLINE TOUR 2024

WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
BOSTON MANOR & TOWNS

Australia’s finest purveyors of melodic noise Trophy Eyes have had a busy year already. After the success of their ARIA Top 10 release “Suicide and Sunshine” in 2023, the band then headed on a capital city run promoting the album, selling out shows right around the country. This was followed up with a raucous regional Australian victory lap with their mates Dear Seattle, then finally the band managed to take one deep long breath.

I guess they knew what 2024 had in store for them. The band are currently half way through a sold out European tour, their first in the territory since early 2023 and one which is giving the Northern Hemisphere an overdue first taste of the album live. They then fly direct to the US for an extended run of headline shows, with the tour being a proper circumnavigation of the US starting in Brooklyn and ending in Baltimore 5 weeks later.

Trophy Eyes know they can’t let fans overseas have all the fun, so it’s with immense pleasure and more than a little excitement that they announce their only headline tour of Australia for 2024, a lightning run with a storming support bill of international guests and mates Boston Manor (UK), and with Adelaide’s Towns in the opening slot. Full tour details below.

Boston Manor recently released their new single ‘Container‘. It marks the first new music from the band in 2024 as they make their return in impassioned and ambitious mood. Full of thrust and intention, ‘Container’ is rich with depth and groove, offering an early signpost to where their sound is taking them next: from parallel universes to personal growth, vivid dreamscapes to raw grief.

Towns will continue to deliver their good-time vibes, having recently joined fellow Adelaideans Teenage Joans on a sold out co-headline tour, they also hit the road for their own headline shows and supporting Ruby Fields, playing to packed out venues and bringing the high octane energy they are known for.

Trophy Eyes and friends will see you in August.

Live Nation & Lonely Lands Agency presents

TROPHY EYES
Australian Headline Tour 2024
With Boston Manor (UK) and Towns

Fri 23 Aug – The Fortitude Music Hall – Brisbane
Sat 24 Aug – Roundhouse – Sydney
Fri 30 Aug – Hindley Street Music Hall – Adelaide
Sat 31 Aug – The Forum – Melbourne

Tickets go on sale Friday 19 April, 9AM AEST via www.trophyeyesmusic.com

Live Nation Presale: Thu 18 Apr, 11am > Fri 19 Apr, 9am

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GRETA VAN FLEET Announce Australia & NZ Tour

Grammy Award Winning U.S. Rock act GRETA VAN FLEET are set to make their highly anticipated return to Australian and New Zealand shores this August for the first time since 2019. GRETA VAN FLEET will open their tour at Fortitude Music Hall in Brisbane on August 21st before heading to Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion on August 24th and the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne on August 27th before jumping over the ditch to Auckland to play Spark Arena on August 30th.

Tickets for all shows go on sale on Friday April 19 at 1pm.  

Artist Fan Club pre-sale begins Tuesday April 16 at 12pm.

My Live Nation members can secure tickets first during the exclusive pre-sale beginning Wednesday April 17 at 12pm.

Australia and New Zealand are directly in the firing line of the hugely successful Starcatcher World Tour! The tour, produced by Live Nation, saw the band hit the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York, The Forum in Los Angeles as well as London’s OVO Arena Wembley. The tour has seen them roll through the U.S., Europe and U.K. before heading back to the U.S. then on to the festival scene in Europe and Japan before landing in Australia.

The Frankenmuth, Michigan natives formed in 2012, consisting of brothers – vocalist Josh Kiszka, guitarist Jake Kiszka and bassist/keyboardist Sam Kiszka – who were then joined by drummer Danny Wagner. The band announced their arrival on the scene in a massive way in 2017 with their EP From The Fires, which won Best Rock Album at the 61st Grammy Awards.

Their meteoric rise continued with the release of their critically acclaimed sophomore album The Battle at Garden’s Gate which was released in 2021 and debuted at #1 Billboard Rock Album, #1 Billboard Hard Rock Album, #1 Billboard Vinyl Album, #2 Billboard Top Album Sales and in the Top 10 on the Billboard 200. 2023’s Starcatcher album also crashed into the Billboard Top 200 chart at #8 which has seen GRETA VAN FLEET entrenched as a fully-fledged Rock Powerhouse!

Starcatcher was written and recorded by the band – alongside Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile). Recorded at the legendary RCA Studios in Nashville, the band utilized the large recording room to capture the pure energy of their world-renowned live performances.

Throughout the ten-song collection the band explores the duality of fantasy versus reality and the contrast between light and darkness. “We had this idea that we wanted to tell these stories to build a universe,” says Danny Wagner. “We wanted to introduce characters and motifs and these ideas that would come about here and there throughout our careers through this world.”

The band took multiple concepts from critically acclaimed sophomore album The Battle at Garden’s Gate and brought them into Starcatcher, although Sam Kiszka’s take on the new record’s big ideas hint instead at new beginnings. “When I imagine the world of Starcatcher, I think of the cosmos,” he says. “It makes me ask a lot of questions, like ‘Where did we come from?’ or ‘What are we doing here?’ But it’s also questions like, ‘What is this consciousness that we have, and where did it come from?’”

With Starcatcher the band has definitely managed to capture their live energy in the recording studio.

They have performed across multiple continents, sold over 3.5 million records, one million tickets worldwide and amassed well over 2 billion streams! They have performed on late night television shows such as “Saturday Night Live,” “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” whilst dazzling live audiences at major festivals such as Lollapalooza, Coachella, Pinkpop and Rock Werchter.

GRETA VAN FLEET AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND 2024

FORTITUDE MUSIC HALL, BRISBANE
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 21

HORDERN PAVILION, SYDNEY
SATURDAY AUGUST 24

MARGARET COURT ARENA, MELBOURNE
TUESDAY AUGUST 27

SPARK ARENA, AUCKLAND
FRIDAY AUGUST 30

TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY APRIL 19 AT 1PM
Live Nation pre-sale: Wednesday April 17 at 12pm

For complete tour and ticket information, visit: gretavanfleet.com & livenation.com.au & livenation.co.nz

Follow Greta Van Fleet
Official | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | TikTok

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Hozier announces second Melbourne show on the ‘Unreal Unearth’ 2024 Australian tour

Due to a staggering demand for tickets in the presale, Live Nation are excited to announce a second Melbourne date for global superstar Hozier at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Wednesday November 13.

Performing shows here for the first time since 2019, the Grammy-nominated, award-winning multi-platinum singer and songwriter and his band play headline dates across the country which include Arena shows on Wednesday November 6 at RAC Arena in Perth, and Friday November 15 at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, alongside major outdoor venues at The Drive in Adelaide on Friday November 8, Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne on Tuesday November 12 and Wednesday November 13, the Riverstage in Brisbane on Monday November 18 and two SummerSalt dates in Torquay, Sunday November 10 and Hunter Valley, Saturday 16 November.

Presented in partnership with double j, tickets for all shows go on sale at 12pm local, Monday March 18.

For complete tour and ticket information, visit: livenation.com.au

With over 22 billion global streams, numerous platinum album certifications, multiple award nominations and wins, Hozier is recognised as one of the foremost singer-songwriters of our generation.

Driven by the thought-provoking quintuple-platinum anthem ‘Take Me To Church’, Hozier’s self-titled full-length debut bowed at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 and went on to achieve triple RIAA Platinum status. Featuring the hit singles ‘Take Me To Church’, and ‘Someone New’, it enjoyed nine weeks at #1 in his native Ireland and rose to #3 on the ARIA album charts here in Australia, also achieving multi-platinum sales.

The follow up to Hozier’s debut album, ‘Wasteland, Baby!’ was released to massive critical acclaim in March 2019, entering the US Billboard Top 200 Chart at #1. The multi-platinum selling album’s 14 tracks (all original Hozier compositions) marked a major development in songwriting and subject matter and included the singles ‘Nina Cried Power’, ‘Movement’, ‘Almost (Sweet music)’, ‘Would That I’ and ‘Dinner and Diatribes’.

August 2023 saw Hozier release his third studio album ‘Unreal Unearth’ which delivered the singles ‘Eat Your Young’, ‘Francesca’, ‘De Selby (Part 2)’ and ‘All Things End’ and has been described as ‘an album brimming with brilliance’, and ‘one of the most enchanting albums of 2023’. An extensive world tour kicked off after the release which included sold out shows across the US, Europe and the UK, and a string of International Festival dates and more headline shows in 2024.

November 2024 Hozier bring his highly successful ‘Unreal Unearth’ tour to Australia and will be joined by Special guest American Singer Songwriter Joy Oladokun.

HOZIER – UNREAL UNEARTH
AUSTRALIA TOUR
WITH SPECIAL GUEST JOY OLADOKUN

RAC ARENA, PERTH WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 6
THE DRIVE, ADELAIDE FRIDAY NOVEMBER 8
SUMERSALT, TORQUAY SUNDAY NOVEMBER 10
SIDNEY MYER MUSIC BOWL, MELBOURNE TUESDAY NOVEMBER 12 (
LOW TICKETS)SIDNEY MYER MUSIC BOWL, MELBOURNE WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 13 (NEW SHOW)QUDOS BANK ARENA, SYDNEY FRIDAY NOVEMBER 15
SUMERSALT, HUNTER VALLEY SATURDAY NOVEMBER 16
THE RIVERSTAGE, BRISBANE MONDAY NOVEMBER 18


TICKETS ON SALE 12PM LOCAL, MONDAY MARCH 18
For complete tour and ticket information, visit:
livenation.com.au

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[Review] P!nk @ Marvel Stadium, Melbourne 23/02/2024

Melbourne is experiencing an exciting few months filled with major music events. Last week, the city hosted performances by Blink 182, Taylor Swift, and Matchbox Twenty, and this week the momentum continues with Slash featuring Myles Kennedy, and the much-loved Suzi Quatro gearing up for the Red Hot Summer Tour in March.

The start of a P!nk concert feels like the rush of zooming down a roller coaster’s steep drop. It’s a thrilling and wild journey, where you find yourself catching your breath in anticipation..

In other words: Just. Hang. On.

On her Summer Carnival stadium tour’s Friday night show, P!nk delivered a mesmerizing performance amidst a backdrop of colorful neon flamingos, oversized mirror balls, and whimsical flying bananas, all complemented by her signature, breathtaking circus-inspired acts. Now at 44, P!nk has mentioned in recent interviews, feeling at the pinnacle of her fitness, which was evident in her dynamic bungee cord stunts during the vibrant kickoff with Get the Party Started, intertwined with a hint of the Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), and the lively Raise Your Glass, highlighting her incredible energy and agility.

P!nk’s ability to deliver both vocally and visually, even while performing complex aerial maneuvers, surpasses that of many artists who perform with both feet on the ground. My plus one, who has a lifetime background in theater and was experiencing a P!nk concert for the first time, was completely amazed. It was quite a sight to see her experience her first P!nk concert; it reminded me of the excitement of discovering something wonderful for the first time. The way P!nk manages her vocals while engaging in spins and flips was truly remarkable. 

P!nk took a moment to reminisce about her initial performance at Marvel Stadium, known back then as Telstra Dome, in 2002 during the Rumba festival, where she shared the stage with Bon Jovi, Shaggy, and Australian acts Natalie Imbruglia and Bachelor Girl. There seemed to be a few loyalists in the crowd who were there as-well! Even when simply standing at the microphone for Who Knew, dressed in a glittering, silver outfit with matching ankle boots, P!nk’s performance was as powerful and confident as ever, her voice as strong as her physical presence. It was about here she spied a gift held aloft by a fan who clearly knew her weakness. TIM TAMS !!! But wait…. “Are these new” Alecia exclaimed?! “They are blue?!….. DOUBLE COATED!!!! Can they still be used to drink coffee through?” The crowd answered as only a 40thousand crowd can, much to Alecia’s delight. 

Armed with a strong selection of tracks from her latest album Trustfall, P!nk faced the challenging task of integrating new songs with classics from her 23-year repertoire. The setlist she crafted managed to encompass the breadth of her career, featuring anthems like Try, with its powerful chorus ideal for stadium singalongs, the emotive and dance-heavy What About Us, and the uplifting F*!king Perfect. A standout moment was Just Like Fire, which was seamlessly blended with Benatar’s Heartbreaker, creating an energetic fusion highlighted by Justin Derrico’s electrifying guitar performance. 

In a captivating moment, the youngest dancer of the troupe, Madelyne Spang, took center stage with a beautifully haunting dance during the spoken introduction of Turbulence. P!nk then emerged, offering words of encouragement to Madelyne, reminding her to breathe. Following this tender exchange, P!nk joined veteran dancer Khasan Brailsford at the top of the catwalk for an impressive solo aerial performance, which then evolved into a thrilling aerial duet.

P!nk also found room in her set for a few cover songs, delivering a unique take on Bob Dylan’s Make You Feel My Love, inspired by Adele’s version, performed on the piano. Later on, she included a rendition of the 4 Non Blondes hit What’s Up? adding her own flair to these classic tracks.

In a quieter segment of the concert, P!nk shared the stage with her 12-year-old daughter, Willow, for a touching performance of Cover Me in Sunshine, a track they released together in 2021. Following this, P!nk took a moment to sit at the edge of the catwalk alongside guitarist Justin Derrico for a series of more intimate performances. The acoustic rendition of Don’t Let Me Get Me particularly resonated with me, stirring emotions deep within my 50-year-old heart. The albums M!ssundaztood from 2001 and Can’t Take Me Home from 2000 remain my cherished favorites. P!nk’s talent for conveying deep emotion through her music was profoundly evident in the poignant ballad When I Get There, a heartfelt tribute to her late father. 

However, it wasn’t long before the energy shifted back to vibrant pop rhythms with I Am Here. P!nk chose to perform this piece barefoot, declaring it the only way to truly connect with the song. She likened the experience to being a dolphin, suggesting the importance of letting worries slide off effortlessly, just as water does off a dolphin’s back. Of course, P!nk couldn’t stay away from the adrenalized pull of something acrobatic. She joined some of her dancers for a unified routine during Trustfall while other members of her pack blissfully flipped on a trampoline behind her. P!nk joined them at the top of the setup, watching their “trust falls” onto the coiled canvas. P!nk’s remarkable qualities, such as her endurance, authenticity, and rich, powerful voice, are all worthy of praise. However, the greatest gift she offers during her concerts is the freedom to truly enjoy oneself.

In a dazzling display during her So What performance, the singer, covered in a shimmering outfit, took the concert experience to new heights—quite literally. She was secured in a harness connected to wires, which allowed her to execute a series of spectacular aerial flips across the expanse of the stadium. Hovering above the awe-struck crowd of almost 40,000+ fans, she belted out the defiant lyrics, “So what, I’m still a rock star,” with unmatched energy and charisma. This moment wasn’t just a highlight of the show; it was a vivid declaration of her unstoppable spirit and undeniable status as a rock star. Her ability to blend vocal prowess with daring acrobatics in front of a massive audience not only captivated everyone present but also solidified her reputation as an exceptional performer, truly living up to the title of a rock star in every sense.

P!nk plays again tonight in Melbourne with tickets still available at https://www.livenation.com.au/artist-p-nk-348049

Before setting off to Adelaide, and Perth before heading back for encore shows at Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. And finishing off this incredible tour in Townsville on 22nd and 23rd March. 

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CHRIS ISAAK Announces Australian Tour in April

Platinum-selling and GRAMMY-nominated singer and actor Chris Isaak returns to Australia for the first time since 2016, performing “In Concert” throughout April this year, with shows in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Wellington and Auckland, and a series of concerts at A Day On The Green.

The tour commences on April 4 at Perth’s Kings Park and Botanic Garden, followed by State Theatre, Sydney on April 10, Palais Theatre Melbourne on April 16, Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre on April 22 and concluding at Spark Arena, Auckland on April 24.

Mastercard cardholders in Australia have special access to presale tickets from Tuesday, January 30 at 10am LOCAL through Thursday, February 1 at 10am. Visit www.priceless.com/music to find out more.

Live Nation pre-sale runs from Thursday, February 1 at 11am, concluding on Friday, February 2 at 10am. 

General public tickets go on sale on Friday, February 2 at 11am, from livenation.com.au.  All times are local.  

Chris Isaak is excited to be returning to our shores, saying “I am sitting on my front porch in Nashville, Tennessee and smiling. I have been stuck in my house for 9 days because of the snow. But I have been in a great mood as I know I’m going back to Australia! I think it’s my favourite place to tour… or just hang out. I’m so ready! Bring on the sun! Bring on the beach! I think I’m gonna wax my guitar…. I told you I was excited!” 

Over the course of his nearly forty-year career, Platinum-selling and GRAMMY-nominated singer and actor Chris Isaak has performed to sold-out crowds across the globe with his longtime band Silvertone. His music and film credits include thirteen critically acclaimed studio albums, twelve chart-topping singles along with several motion pictures, such as The Silence of the Lambs and That Thing You Do!  His work has also taken him behind the scenes, creating music for multiple film soundtracks, including Eyes Wide Shut, True Romance, Wild at Heart, and Blue Velvet. Isaak has starred in his own critically acclaimed television series The Chris Isaak Show on SHOWTIME, has previously served as a judge on The X Factor Australia, and hosted the music talk show, The Chris Isaak Hour on BIO. 2019 marked the 30th Anniversary of Isaak’s beloved Heart-Shaped World album, which includes his breakthrough classic “Wicked Game”. Isaak was recently honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance by the Americana Honors.

Boasting impressive chart and sales success in Australia, Chris Isaak has enjoyed 12 x Top 20 albums, including the #1 set, Best of Chris Isaak (May 2006), and 3 x Top 3 albums – Forever Blue #2 in May 1995, Beyond The Sun #3 in October 2011 and First Comes The Night #2 in October 2015.  His Top 20 singles include some of contemporary music’s most iconic songs – Somebody’s Crying, reaching #5 in 1995, Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing which peaked at #9 in 1999 and the career-defining Wicked Game, which reached #15 in 1989 and boasts more than half a billion streams on Spotify alone.

****

“One of the hardest working men in show business has guaranteed his tenure on stages around the world long beyond his hits through slick live shows combining his voice and wicked sense of humour with a band willing to follow him almost anywhere.” – The West

“Isaak’s famous vocals were spot-on live, switching effortlessly between rock tunes and romantic crooning.” – Perth Now

“There was a number of genre leaps that saw them roll through country, pop, rock’n’roll, blues and soul; a mixture only someone with a voice as diverse, powerful and soothing as Isaak could pull off.” – The Music

“Chris Isaak proves yet again why he really is one of the most popular and polished professionals in the music industry … engaging, charming and a whole lot of fun.” – Reverb 

 

CHRIS ISAAK

IN CONCERT – AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND 2024

Kings Park & Botanic Garden, Perth               Thursday, April 4

State Theatre, Sydney                                    Wednesday, April 10

Palais Theatre, Melbourne                              Tuesday, April 16

Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington                 Monday, April 22

Spark Arena, Auckland                                   Wednesday, April 24

 

Also performing at A DAY ON THE GREEN

Mt Duneed Estate, Geelong                          Saturday, April 6

Peter Lehmann Wines, Barossa Valley          Sunday, April 7

Bimbadgen, Hunter Valley                              Saturday, April 13

Centennial Vineyards, Bowral                        Sunday, April 14

Sirromet Wines, Mount Cotton                       Saturday, April 20

Mastercard cardholders pre-sale runs from 10am, Tuesday, January 30 – 10am, Thursday, February 1.

Live Nation pre-sale runs from 11am, Thursday, February 1 – 10am, Friday, February 2.

General public tickets go on sale on Friday, February 2 at 11am, from livenation.com.au

 All times are local.

www.chrisisaak.com

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[Review] Neck Deep @ Forum Theatre, Melbourne 05/09/2023

Review By Nikki Eenink

As I left to see Welsh emo heavyweights Neck Deep rock the house at The Forum, my housemate said to me, shocked; “You’re going to a gig? On a Tuesday?” I shrugged. If there’s one thing you can rely on, it’s that the emo, punk and hardcore community will come out in full force any day of the week. This midweek feast for the senses was no exception.

Hailing from the tiny town of Wrexham, in Wales. Neck Deep have been a staple in any emo playlist since their foundation in 2012. Front-man Ben Barlow’s energy is the stuff of legend. He’s known for big jumps, shooeys and general shenanigans. The videos of him performing are insane; whole stadiums alive with energy, screaming and crowd surfing and ready to riot. I had measured my expectations, there’s no way he can do that every time. But when I tell you, it was all of that and more – it was all of that and more.

From the literal jump, Barlow leaps onstage and is a whirling dervish of limbs and sweat drops. His energy is infectious. Instantly, there is so much space at the back of the room as everyone lunges forward, hands held high, drinks sloshing onto the shortest of us. It’s mayhem. The definition of organised chaos. Never disrespectful, we happily collide and tangle ourselves in the bodies of strangers as we are thrown into Sonderland. The lights on the stage are amazing. Swinging spotlights in brilliant blues and purple flash into our eyes and reflect off the fearsome foursome onstage. It’s magical.

As their first number draws to a close, Barlow pulls the microphone in close. “What’s up my fucking low lives? Oh it’s been too long” We show our approval by wolf calling and a chorus of happy screams. And instantly, we are thrown back into the frenzy with Low Life. And what a bunch of degenerates we are. “Something is cooking, I smell some kush!” Barlow chuckles into the mic. And he’s right. The room smells of beer and weed and a little sweat. But looking around, everyone’s beaming stretched ear to stretched ear. There’s nowhere we’d rather be. “We never thought we’d come to the other side of the world and play for all these people”. And what an eclectic bunch we are. Skater chic, goths, guys in denim jackets. All of us move together as we push forward and give ourselves over to Kali Ma, screaming the lyrics that hit extra hard in this brutal Melbourne winter.

Count my blessings on one hand and my curses on the other / Let you slip between my fingers, hide away until the summer.

As this number draws to a close, Barlow addresses us again, in a speech that highlights the band’s blue-collar origins. “I don’t know much about Australian politics, but I do know you have a billionaire problem. You have the spawn of Satan himself, Rupert fucking Murdoch.” The entire crowd let’s out an animalistic: BOOOO. He winds on, commenting on capitalism and sexism and the issues facing us as a society. “Women have been talking about this shit for ages, and now it’s finally coming to a head. Things back on our Little Piece of Shit Island (couldn’t have described the UK better myself if I tried) are bleak. We’re fucking over it. If you’re fucking over it, I wanna feel that for this next song.” The next song, Citizens of Earth, goes off. We feel his words, and his rage, and we lean into that – letting it all out. Even as the crowd gets rougher, we take care of each other. Yelling “heads!” when the next person got up to crowd surf (seriously – so much crowd surfing), or holding the back of someone’s head so they don’t hit anything while they headbang. Right before the high energy bridge, Barlow screams into the mic:

FUCK RUPERT MURDOCH!

And we all cheer for the brief moment we can, before launching back into the song.

As it ends, Barlow is back. We hang on his every word, rapt. “I can see you’re pretty pissed off, that’s good.” We are all red-faced, with heaving chests and throats already raspy from singing (shouting) along. Pissed off, but ecstatic. “It’s important to remember; the billionaires might be out to get you, but life is not.” It’s then I notice the couple’s holding hands, the guy next to me with full neck and arms tattooed wiping away tears. This is joy. Life must be alright, because life’s got Neck Deep.

They wind through some more of the set, playing old and new songs. Teasing that there’s a new album to be released imminently. It just finished recording. I REPEAT, THERE IS A NEW ALBUM COMING.

Guitarists Sam Bowden and original member Matt West are unbelievable. These tracks have a newfound depth when you hear them live. The guitar zips around the room, perfectly nesting in my ears. Never too loud, or too soft. They play in perfect harmony. Nailing intricate riffs, unconventional time signatures, and the road-bumps that can come from playing live – they must be some of the best out there. Truly they never falter. On top of playing stunning melodies, and heavenly rhythm sections, they also manage to completely match Barlow’s energy. Jumping and swinging their guitars. They often motion for us to get more hyped up. It seems like they don’t even break a sweat. It’s absolutely spellbinding.

Of course, there’s the obligatory shooey. It’s an artist touring Australia right of passage. But I’m nervous for Barlow – this is very early in the set to be offering up a shooey. He’s opening Pandora’s Box.

“Are there any heartbroken people out there?” I scream, but I can’t hear myself. Everyone’s yelling. Even those with a partner next to them. Heartbreak takes many forms. Heartbreak of the Century is fresh off the press. A 2023 release, one half of their Take Me With You EP. “This one’s fresh out of the oven. We’re talking March 2023. But don’t worry, I have a gorgeous fiancé, I’m fine.” Barlow smirks. A girl behind me let’s out a guttural, devastated “Nooo!!!!!” This song could have been an earlier release, we know every word. It just rolls of the tongue. Lines like

“But my love aint enough. Maybe that’s ok. I was thinking about fucking myself anyway.”

Demand to be screamed. We all think we’ve gone through The World’s Worst Heartbreak. And even as we scream along, there isn’t a bad vibe in the room. We’re all just so happy to be here together. Heartbreak is a distant memory.

We hit some technical difficulties, so as they try to go into the second half of their Take Me With You EP – aptly named, Take Me With You. There’s an issue with the sound and lighting. Something techy. I was honestly too caught up in the vibe to realise. Barlow goes into, as he calls it, “A stand-up routine”. “This song is about aliens coming down, and wanting to go with them. I for one welcome our new alien overlords. But they don’t want us to play.” Turning to their drummer, Barlow says. “Take it away! Give us a drum solo!” Turning back to us, “This will be his first ever drum solo”.  We are treated to a delightful 30 seconds of bass and snare, and for the first time, we’re all quiet. Once he’s done, we all cheer and hoot and holler. The new addition to the band blushes. Barlow has been shifting foot to foot, looking down. “One of my fucking shoes is wet, I might do another shooey.” He immediately regrets teasing us with that. The crowd is ablaze with frantic cheers of “SHOOEY SHOOEY SHOOEY”.

Barlow relaxes into the technical difficulties; the band is confident in their ability to just keep playing. “Sometimes fan’s hear us play our more emotional stuff, or a love song, and go ‘waa waa, you guys have gone soft.’ Motherfuckers, we’ve always been soft. You guys remember Part of Me? That was maybe our first big hit, and it’s soft as fuck. We won’t be playing it. It’s had its time. Sorry guys. But we will play these next two for you.” And they don’t just play, they demolish Smooth Seas Don’t Make Good Sailors and then, personal fave, She’s a God.

For the latter, I move my way back into the middle of the crowd to scream along and happily bounce as I catch glimpses of Barlow and his merry misery crew, my vision obstructed by old-skool vans floating over people’s heads as 3 or 4 people at once crowd surf. The people clamber over themselves to grab Barlow as he sings into the crowd, or if he gets close. He smiles at them. “Let’s get this going! Let’s spin a little.” And the middle of the floor turns into a whirlwind. If a mosh pit could be loving, this one sure was.

Finally, the guys can play Take Me With You. And it was so worth the wait. It’s fun and sounds unreal over The Forum’s speaker system.

As the night is drawing to a close, Barlow says into the mic, “This is our last song.” We all try to get our breath, but don’t give him the reaction he wants. “If only there was some kind of performative bullshit you could do to get us to come back out, if only.” We laugh and humour him, a sea of “Nooo!” “One more song!” Smirking back at us. “I told you you’d get one more, easy.” And what better song to “finish” with than December (Again). It’s a Neck Deep classic. “This song is about being really sad in winter, but I guess here you’ll just be miserable on the beach.” And we all cheer. I think I ascended during this song. I’ve never had so much fun. I make friends, I nearly cry, I let it out. Un-fucking-believable.

They walk offstage, and we launch into a heavy chorus of “Noo!!” “One more!!” And, of course, as promised, they come right back.

“Alright! Let’s end this properly!” And we are thrown into Motion Sickness. I don’t know where we all suddenly got the energy, but it’s like the night is starting again. We all move with a renewed vigour, determined to make this night last. “Firstly a few thank-you’s. Thank you to our fucking unbelievable crew. We’re just some idiots who show up and play, they’re the reason this is all possible, all the hard work is them. They’re our best friends. They’re amazing. Thank you to all of you. Who came when we started touring down here, God, maybe a decade ago?” A few cheers. “We love Melbourne! We have so many friends here. The only person I know for sure who was here was a very young John Floreani.” As a good Novocastrian, I cheer until my vocal cords rip. I love you, Trophy Eyes. “And a special thank you to our all-round tech, Danny. It was his birthday yesterday.” Danny comes out and offers himself willingly to do a Shooey. He sacrifices himself on the Altar of Australian Tradition for his birthday. And we are so grateful. We go mental. “What a fucking legend!!!”

Then, they really do have two songs left. “This one’s for all the small-town heroes. But you can all get involved.” I cheer, the guys in front of me cheer, and the whole crowd starts to headbang as Can’t Kick Up the Roots pummels through the speakers. “We’re so grateful to have been from a small town, and to have never forgotten that, and not changed too much. But even more than that, we are so grateful we were given the opportunity to perform for, what? A couple thousand of you? It just doesn’t seem possible. Thank you. If you’re going to buy merch tonight, buy merch from our support act; Yours Truly. Give those smaller, local bands some love. It means more than you know.”

Yours Truly are a Sydney pop-punk band, keeping up with the OG-greats. If you’re a fan of Avril Lavigne, Paramore, or any of those 2000s gems – they’ll be right up your alley. The way High Hopes absolutely rocked the crowd at The Forum is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Female-led and unbelievably tight, they are taking that baton and running with it. Barlow puts it best. “Put them on during your next car ride, you just might find your new favourite band.” Even only catching the tail end of their set was other worldly. It just makes you want to dance, to let loose, to live the sort of teenager-dom they show in the movies. Let’s go, Australia, you’ve got something good here, let’s show them the love they so deserve.

Finishing with In Bloom, is just perfection. Not only is it one of my favourite, not just Neck Deep songs, but emo songs in general, it winds us down perfectly. It’s walked me down from my worst breakups, and it’s hyped me up on bus rides, keen for whatever comes next in life.

“I can try, but sometimes that is not enough. No, that is not enough.”

A singular chorus of screams, tangled bodies. Trying on our own is not enough, we need to lean on each other.

“You’re the only voice I want to hear in my head.”

All I want to hear, forever and ever, is Barlow’s insane vocals, the squeals of joy from the pop-punkers next to me, and our Anthems of Perseverance.

This song offers some of the best breakup advice there is.

“We’re never going to put the pieces back together, if you won’t let me get better.”

We need the time to heal, from life, from Rupert Murdoch, from being hit in the back of the head by some girl in platform Doc’s who just tried her hand at crowd surfing. We heal better together. We heal better moshing. We heal better screaming. We heal better with Neck Deep.

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