Live Reviews

Live Review: FRNKIERO (Frank Iero) @ Utopia Records, Sydney

It may surprise you that when Frank Iero, formerly of My Chemical Romance and currently of frnkiero andthe cellabration, ventured to Australia for two acoustic shows, his audience was really, really young. 12-17 year olds made up the population of the 600-person line at Sydney’s Utopia Records, with the exception of the parents who accompanied them. Most of them were so young that it’s likely they got into Frank Iero in the post-MCR era, exemplifying that either the MCR legacy is strong enough to keep any past member’s solo career afloat, or, alternatively, Frank Iero’s new project has the utter goddamn goods. Based on the amount of people dressed up as the ghosts of Frank Iero’s past, it’s likely a little bit of both. The line-up consisted of Frank Iero and his brother-in-law Evan Nestor, who translated the songs of Stomachaches from LP to acoustic guitar. ‘All I Want Is Nothing’ live, imbued with fratre harmonies, blew the recorded version out of the water, while the solidarity that reigned in the record store when sardine-packed kids sang single ‘Weighted’ trumped any solitary listen. One fan had a Brazil flag, propping it up so Iero would acknowledge it. If anything, that’s just proof that be it on a Facebook page or in a crowd, there’s always someone representing Brazil somewhere. A fan sang the introduction to ‘Tragician’, and it was hard to tell if the rest of them were crying or sweating during the more bittersweet ‘She’s The Prettiest Girl At The Party, And She Can Prove It With A Solid Right Hook’. I’m inclined to point out that Nestor’s...

Live Review: MISFITS – Rosemount Hotel Sunday 13/12/15

When people talk about the Misfits these days, the conversations often aren’t very complimentary. Despite Jerry Only being an OG member of the band, he comes off as a poser, an imposter, a third-rate rip-off of Alice Cooper. It makes sense, the band has been through a whole bunch of singers and lineups, and they are closer to being a fashion label than a working band (in a lot of ways). But does it matter? Do you really fucking care? Isn’t sitting at home crying about how Danzig and Doyle are not in the band anymore worse than going out to a show and having some fucking fun? Of course it is, fuck all the politics. Opening up for the legendary punk/hardcore/horror-wop band was, relative new-comers to the Perth scene, Hope Street. These guys have really kicked some ass over the last 12 months, going from “who the fuck are they” to dropping a video and opening for the fucking Misfits. It’s pretty impressive. But it’s also not dumb luck, the guys put on a pretty solid show. Mixing a bit of a pop-punk mentality with some solid street-bounce the songs are not only catchy, they kinda rock too. It’s that combination of being able to sing along while pushing over people and copping elbows to the face thing – which is probably what you’re looking for in a punk band. Although the crowd hadn’t quite filled the room the boys put on a great show, they had a killer energy and seemed to win over the everyone in the room. Honorable mention goes to Todd Fishwick of Castle...

Live Review: ALESTORM @ MAX WATTS w/ Lagerstein and Troldhaugen 26/11/15

Written by Joshua Wessling (Ladies and gentlemen, I have to preface this review with a warning; I am trying as hard as I possibly can to be professional and normal throughout this review whilst also having a few goodhearted laughs. This is proving to be extremely hard for me given that this was, without a doubt, one of the greatest shows I have been to in my entire life. This show was definitely in my ‘Top 3’, and I’m not even exaggerating in the slightest. So if at any point throughout the review you feel like I am verbally sucking off any of the bands, it’s probably because I am. Keep this in mind, as I am going to give one rating for the whole show, rather than the individual bands.) Thursday night was a glorious night. A night in which the local metalheads, neckbeards, and assorted autists donned their finest pirate gear, smashed through more rum than should ever be allowed, and bore witness to Piratefest – the latest Australian tour by the world’s original True Scottish Pirate Metal act, ALESTORM. I’ve been listening to Alestorm since I was 13 years old, when their first album Captain Morgan’s Revenge was first released. Since then, I have never had the chance to see them on any of their previous three Australian tours, so tonight was a chance for me to make up for eight years of missing out. But did I overhype myself? Did I get too excited for a band that for all I know could totally (I’ll be honest, I sat here for ten minutes trying to...

NORTHLANE w/ AUGUST BURNS RED, LIKE MOTHS TO FLAMES, BURIED IN VERONA and OCEAN GROVE @ The Triffid 15/11/15

Written by Joshua Wessling I’ve been looking forward to this night for a long time. Not just because of the huge lineup that were performing, but also because this was a first for me. It was my first time at one of Brisbane’s relatively newer venues, The Triffid. Built in a converted commercial hangar, this venue brings back fond memories of shows at The Princess Theatre; from the stage, to the lighting, even to the carpets. I instantly felt right at home and familiar with every aspect of this venue, and I’m sure it will grow to become a favourite of mine in the coming years. But incessantly wanking over how fucking cool this venue is isn’t what you guys are here for. You’re here to listen to me shit all over everything that Northlane has aimed to achieve with this tour. Ocean Grove Ocean Grove is a band I haven’t listened to or seen prior to this show. I’ve been to several that they were playing at, but I either left before they started or just didn’t watch them. Let me tell you now, I made a huge fucking mistake. These guys kill it. Think Stray From The Path/Hellions, only the members look like they should be in Sticky Fingers. This band pulled out some of the tightest, toughest tunes I have heard in a while, to what I can only describe as a criminally small crowd. But what this crowd lacked in size, they made up for in response. Vocalist Luke Holmes sure as hell knows how to command a crowd, no matter how awkward he appears...

Live Review: Helloween @ Capitol (Perth, WA 20-10-2015)

German power metal gods, Helloween, have never before graced the western shores of Australia and while they have a die-hard fan base you could not expect a show on a Tuesday night in Perth to be a big one. It’s an often stated sentiment, but it certainly did not hold true in this case. Capitol, one of Perth’s larger venues sits on Murray Street close to the James Squire Brewery and a bunch of small bars and cafés. The venue is a crowd favourite, being a little smaller than the two Metros venues (Perth and Fremantle) but generally puts on a far better show for fans of aggressive genres. Anyway, the point is that it was a Tuesday night and there was a long line out the front of the venue, and that told me right away that this was going to be a good night. Opening the show were Perth locals Silent Night, who have just finished up a tour that saw them playing shows in Bali (Indonesia) and on the East Coast of Australia. A member of the band would go on to state that vocalist Jesse Onur Oz had lost his voice over the course of the tour, but if this was the case, it absolutely didn’t hold their sound back – if this is his voice in bad shape he must be a fucking superstar when he is 100%. The band’s set was spectacular – furious guitar solos and soaring vocals all set to huge metal anthems. The band pulled off a great cover of Europe’s The Final Countdown, before closing their set with Power...

Live Review: Osaka Punch @ The Zoo

Osaka Punch at The Zoo 17/10/2015 Reviewer: Noun the Plume After two years abroad in the UK, Brisbane’s Osaka Punch have returned to reclaim their title as the kings of disjointed funk metal. It might be a niche kingdom which they rule over, but it’s one they rule very well. Here’s how the night went down: Around 8pm The Zoo opened its doors, and a modest amount of punters rolled in, ready to catch the first act of the night, RVLR – a three piece combo playing a grunge/stoner rock hybrid sound. They played a well rehearsed and tight set, the singer and guitarist Joel had a strong – if not entirely characteristic – voice, and he put on a passionate performance. This is juxtaposed by bass player Jess, who more or less just stood there working through her notes and chiming in for the occasional harmony. To her credit, however, her tone was thick and phat, much like her BBW frame (this isn’t a dig, many of us at IPHYB favour a full-figured woman). Their drummer Michael smashed through the set with ease and didn’t miss a beat. RVLR have a huge sound for a three piece, although I think they could have benefited from some form of lead element in their band, just to add variety and emphasis to parts of their songs. Ultimately, they came across as somewhat generic. A constant trickle of bodies had been filling up the venue during their set, and when RVLR finished, the larger crowd showed their appreciation with a round of applause. They thanked the punters and did the obligatory...

Live Review: AS IT IS w/ WITH CONFIDENCE, STAND ATLANTIC and MINDLESS EXCESS @ The Lair, Sydney

The defenders of pop punk aren’t the ones posting in forums – they’re the ones at the shows. A line up of fans waiting hours before doors, wearing not only the headline artists’ merch but also the support acts, is a primary indicator of a strong scene. Though it may be full of weirdly similar music, the line of kids at AS IT IS’s show at The Lair in Sydney demonstrated that pop punk certainly still has one. MINDLESS EXCESS It’s a well-established assumption that the support who opens the show shouldn’t expect much in the way of a welcome reception. That assumption was promptly made invalid by Sydney pop punk upstarts and fan heartbreakers, Mindless Excess, who pulled an unexpectedly sizeable number of teens to their stage who actually knew the words to their songs. It was somewhat of a twelvie-fest, as young fans flocked to see the boys with the fringes, but they worked it. Frontman Sam Jones executed (with an 80% success rate) some nifty foot tricks and had the crowd at his beck and call, from the performance of original tunes to a nervy, but impressive cover of Sia’s ‘Elastic Heart’. You could tell the band knew who their fans were, and that they’d probably seen All Time Low cover the same song on Youtube a couple of months back. Smart boys. STAND ATLANTIC Stand Atlantic followed on for set number two; a female-fronted continuation of the pop punk show. Let’s lay out the Paramore, We Are the In Crowd, and slightly sexist, incredibly limiting any-other lady-fronted-outfit-in-the-scene comparisons first off, like everyone else in the...

Bigsound Live: Night 2

Bigsound Live: Night 2 So after getting home pretty late the night before – well, it was late for me anyway – I spent the day chatting with various bands and whatnot, only to then embark on the second night of live showcases which would ultimately see me get back to my lodgings (read: Jerry’s couch. Cheers bro, you’re a gem) even later than the previous night. I’m a butcher, so 9pm is pretty much where I pull up stumps. Musicians, however, think nothing of going to grab a cheeky 10 beers after load-out at 1am, so I powered through in aid of hanging out with some mates at Crowbar. But enough of that, let’s get to the actual bands I was present for, shall we? Lepers and Crooks This wasn’t actually during the showcases, but during the day I happened to have a little bit of spare time, so I grabbed a couple of coffees and headed over to the Winn stage where my mate Jason happened to be stage managing. En-route to that, however, my attention was 100% taken by a kick-ass spectacle out the front of the entrance of said stage. Parked out the front of the cordoned-off area was a London-style bus painted in all sorts of psychedelic colours, with a band playing on top of it. This would have already been pretty cool, but the band fucking SLAYED. The whole band was so into the performance that I couldn’t help but stand there grinning like a fucking lobotomy patient as they smashed through their set of retro psychedelic jams. Safe to say, I enjoyed...

Live Review: Imagine Dragons & British India at Riverstage, Brisbane

Lately I’ve been trying to expand my musical horizons even further, and unlike In Hearts Wake’s ever-expanding discography, I’m filling said growths with quality music. This, dear friends, is how I wound up at Riverstage last Saturday, with a little push from the little woman. Now, I walked into the show having heard both of Imagine Dragons’ albums and had developed quite a liking for multiple songs, but I just wasn’t sold on their ability to deliver live. However, on this night, my doubts were proven to be unfounded as I was blown away by a band which had a diverse crowd simply eating out of their hands. Opening up were Melbourne locals British India – a band I have seen before and was pleasantly surprised by them. On a much larger stage, however, they were definitely in their element and they suited the full rock show. The crowd quickly warmed up to their particular brand of hook-laden indie rock; ’twas brilliant under the setting sun. Their lead guitarist impressed me greatly – his fuzz laden leads were brilliant, paired with a vocalist who truly understood when to push hard and when to let his voice float on the chords. As darkness completely engulfed the venue, a high-pitched guitar rings out amongst an intense lighting blast, as Imagine Dragons then launch into “Shots”, a track which left me nervous. The vocals are heavily effective in the track and equally effective live. As I sat there pondering whether Reynolds could actually sing, I was also thoroughly impressed with Mckee‘s backing vocal contribution. This was quickly dispelled as folly, however, as...