Tag Archive: Live Music Review

LIVE MUSIC REVIEW – ASKING ALEXANDRIA

LIVE MUSIC REVIEW –

ASKING ALEXANDRIA

Asking Alexandria

Supported by Blessthefall and Buried in Verona

HQ Adelaide

10th of April 2016

Most people spend their Sundays resting for the long week of work ahead, however that wasn’t the case for the many keen music fans in Adelaide, lining up to catch Asking Alexandria on their first Australian headlining tour. If we had work or school the next day, not a care was given.

Sydney’s Buried in Verona were first up for the night and managed to pull a very decent crowd for an opening act, the crowd giving them plenty of energy in return. Songs like ‘Four Years’ and ‘Dig Me Out’, singled out the fans in the crowd, jumping at the chance to sing along with the words or start a circle pit.

It had been two years since Blessthefall had headlined the Boys of Summer tour in Australia, and with a new album under their belts, I was keen to see them play again. The quintet from Arizona stepped up the intensity with a remix intro before getting into ‘Hollow Bodies’ which sent the crowd wild. Newer songs ‘Walk on Water’ and ‘Dead Air’ made the setlist however it crowds favourites from the previous three albums such as ‘Youngbloods’, ‘Promised Ones’ and ‘What’s Left of Me’ that really got the crowd pumped, that and the fact, front-man Beau Bokan offered a high five to anyone who crowd surfed over the barrier. Bokan had so much energy, bouncing around the stage and spraying the front rows with water, it almost felt as though the stage was just too small for him.  He even fell off at one point trying to climb along the side, however he managed to get back up and carry on without even missing a beat. Asking Alexandria’s cheeky guitarist Ben Bruce added to the entertainment by throwing cups off the side of stage at blessthefall’s guitarist Eric Lambert, just for a laugh. Before too soon it was the end of the set, with one last chance to sing along with the band, they finished off with ‘You Wear a Crown but You’re No King’.

It didn’t seem possible at this point but the intensity levels rose again as the crowd waited anxiously for Asking Alexandria to take the stage. These Australian shows were some of the first shows for the band since the release of their latest album The Black and us Aussies were keen to hear them, especially with new vocalist Denis Stoff.

As soon as the intro started, the floor was filled with a sea of screaming, cheering fans ready to give the band a warm Adelaide welcome and sing along to the opening lines of ‘I Won’t Give In’. ‘Let It Sleep’ and ‘The Black’ also featured in the set and showcased just how much the band has grown and matured musically. While Stoff and ex vocalist Danny Worsnop are two completely different musicians, there are some similarities between the two in terms of vocal styles, especially evident when the band played older material, however Denis Stoff has an incredible vocal range, breathing new life into tracks such as ‘Breathless’, ‘Not the American Average’ and ‘A Prophecy’ which sent the crowd nuts. In my opinion Stoff pulled off these songs a lot better than I have ever seen Worsnop do so live in the past. The entire set was filled with energy and enthusiasm from the band that was fully reciprocated by the crowd. Asking Alexandria thanked their fans and left the stage, only to return shortly after for the encore of ‘The Final Episode (Lets Change the Channel), with the entire room shouting ‘OH. MY. GOD’ at the top of our lungs. It was pretty safe to say everyone left HQ hot and sweaty but happy with a huge smile across their faces (and not just because Ben Bruce showed everyone his nipple). Both Buried in Verona and Blessthefall played great sets and with this being my third time seeing Asking Alexandria, it was their best show yet. The night felt like one huge party that never wanted to end. They did not disappoint Adelaide fans, it was energetic, it was heavy and it was the perfect way to spend a Sunday night.

LIVE MUSIC REVIEW: SOUNDWAVE 2015 DAY TWO

SOUNDWAVE 2015 DAY TWO

Bonython Park, Adelaide

22/02/2015

Although tired and sore from the day before, I still managed to jump up out of bed and get to Bonython Park early, ready for another (and much hotter) day of Soundwave!

The gates opened up early which left a huge time space between opening times and the first bands starting, so after what felt like a lifetime of waiting, Dayshell finally kicked things off on stage 3. Shayley Bourget’s vocals soared high, sounding pretty flawless as the band played through most of their only album (yet). A great start to the day!

Quite soon after, I headed over to listen to This Wild Life for what singer Kevin Jordan described is otherwise known as ‘The Mosh Intermission’. The band were probably the softest on the entire Soundwave line up this year and by that I don’t mean soft on talent, just that they play acoustic guitars! ‘Concrete’ and ‘No More Bad Days’ were definitely highlights of the set along with the acoustic duo’s cover of Bring Me the Horizon’s ‘Sleepwalking’ which helped skyrocket them to success on YouTube.

Escaping from the heat for a while, I found myself a shady spot under a tree to listen to The Wonder Years deliver Adelaide a serve of their pop punk goodness for the early afternoon before heading over to watch Glasgow’s Twin Atlantic on the main stage. Having never listened to the band pre-Soundwave, I was really impressed with what I heard. Great sound, great accents, and they had a good sense of humour to go with them. What more could you want?

Sydney’s Tonight Alive have had a busy couple of years in demand, touring extensively here and overseas, and because of that one thing is certain. They know how to put on a good show!  Jenna McDougall, one of the only female vocalists of the day, was charismatic and caring towards the crowd, ensuring they were all looking out for each other and staying smart in the sun. The band played through many hits from both The Other Side and What Are You So Scared Of, while also throwing a triple cover medley of Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Killing in the Name’, ‘Know Your Enemy’ and ‘Guerrilla Radio’ into the mix.

Next up were the lovable boys in All Time Low who are no strangers to Australia or our summer weather and made sure to dress appropriately. All except poor guitarist Jack Barakat who obviously didn’t get the memo, sporting black skinny jeans. He felt no shame in fixing the problem by dropping his pants on stage of course. Barakat’s onstage banter and mannerisms alone make for quite an entertaining set but team it with great vocals from Alex Gaskarth and fan favourite songs from most of the bands albums and you have yourself a winner. Some fans were even lucky enough to get pulled up on stage to help sing ‘Time Bomb’. It was probably one of my favourite sets of the day and I hope the band’s new album Future Hearts will bring All Time Low back for a headlining tour really soon!

As we settled into the evening, Escape the Fate were the perfect band to rock out to as they graced the stage, looking like total rockstars with the instrumentals and vocals to prove it. The band’s killer new album Ungrateful had the goods with the title track, ‘One for the Money’ and ‘Live Fast, Die Beautiful’ meanwhile older fans of the band enjoyed rocking/moshing to ‘This War Is Ours (The Guillotine II)’ and ‘The Flood’.

Of Mice & Men were welcomed onstage by cheering and screaming from their ever growing fan base. We were treated to heaps of songs from the band’s latest album Restoring Force, including Broken Generation from their new reissue of the album which was a pleasant surprise. Their newer material, although incorporating more cleaner singing and melodies, still manages to come off pretty heavy live which made for many happy metal-core/metal enthusiasts in the crowd. Bodies were head banging, and jumping around and a couple of walls of death were even witnessed however an OM&M set is not complete without a ‘Second & Sebring’ sing along to bring the emotion out in everyone, especially vocalist Austin Carlile.

Although it felt like everything was slowly winding down, including the heat, really everything was just getting started as the headlining acts for the day took to the stage.

Slipknot had a super impressive stage set up to match their headling status, complete with flames and a huge glowing devil. The band attracted the largest crowd of the day for what was probably the loudest performance of the day. From classics ‘Psychosocial’ and ‘The Heretic Anthem’, all the way to hits from Slipknots most recent album .5: The Gray Chapter such as ‘The Negative One’ and ‘The Devil In I’, the crowd were lapping up every minute of it!

We walked over to check out the second half of the set from Fall Out Boy but sadly didn’t last there long. Shortly after finding a good viewing spot, the boyfriend managed to get stung and bitten by inch ants which resulted in a trip to the medical tent (I told him he should have worn boots!) Anyway we managed to make it back in time to watch ‘My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark’ ‘Centuries’ and ‘Thnks fr th Mmrs’ which made for an enjoyable ending to an eventful day.

Although feeling extremely tired and sore, I left the park grinning from ear to ear. What a fantastic weekend of music! All bands on both days should be commended for playing through the heat and not letting it affect their performances. As for Soundwave in Adelaide, farewell for now and thanks for the memories. Depending on the line up next year, a road trip to Melbourne for the festival is definitely on the cards!

LIVE MUSIC REVIEW: THE USED AND TAKING BACK SUNDAY CO-HEADLINING TOUR

The Used / Taking Back Sunday

With Corpus

HQ, Adelaide

21st of August 2014

By Kayla Schultz

When it comes to live shows, The Used and Taking Back Sunday are seasoned professionals. Having had careers spanning 13 and 15 years respectively, both bands have been dominating the United States with co-headlining dates this year. Now, they were finally here in Australia and Adelaide was lucky enough to be the first city to welcome them back with a sold out show!

Corpus got the night started and warmed up the crowd who had already managed to get through the door. The Sydney duo displayed a performance that one could call ‘post hardcore meets hair frenzy’, with both vocalist and guitarist, Keiron Steel and drummer Jack Bruun-Hammond having quite long hair. All the more hair to head bang with right?

Taking Back Sunday played a mix of old and new tracks, kicking things off with ‘Stood A Chance’ from their latest album ‘Happiness Is’ before taking us back a few years to ‘Louder Now’ with ‘Liar (It Takes One to Know One)’. Adam Lazzara impressed the crowd with his microphone tricks and entertained us with his comments on the importance of compression socks on long flights. Songs like ‘Better Homes and Gardens’ and ‘Cute without the ‘E’ (Cut from the Team)’ had fans moving along in sing song and an encore of ‘MakeDamnSure’ finished the set on a high.

As lights once again dimmed and the prelude began, the room went absolutely mental and erupted into cheers as The Used took the stage, with vocalist Bert McCracken leading the crowd into their latest hit ‘Cry’. The Used had made sure there was something for everyone, including any new listeners in the crowd, however they were sure to reward their old school, diehard fans with many classics such as ‘I Caught Fire’, ‘All That I’ve Got’ and ‘Buried Myself Alive’. My younger teen-self felt right at home, singing along with the rest of the room. McCracken’s stage presence was outstanding, engaging with and even orchestrating the crowd at one point, while he used the time between songs to reflect on his life experiences and speak about love, politics and freedom.

All too soon, it was announced that the band only had one more song left, finishing with ‘Pretty Handsome Awkward’ however of course they weren’t done yet, shortly returning for a two song encore; starting with McCracken and guitarist Quinn Allman’s emotional acoustic rendition of ‘On My Own’. You are only kidding yourself if you said you couldn’t feel yourself starting to tear up! The rest of the band re-joined on stage for the final song, beginning as the opening of Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ before sailing into the bands own ‘Box Full of Sharp Objects’, finishing with the end of Rage Against the Machines ‘Killing in the Name of’.

It is not every day that we get to witness such a show quite like the one experienced tonight at HQ. The sheer amount of energy that could be felt was amazing. The sing alongs, the clapping and overall movement of the crowd just proved how strong the music community can be in creating a feeling of togetherness. After all these years, both Taking Back Sunday and The Used have proved that they’ve still got it, delivering what can only be described as one unforgettable rock show!

Live Music Review: Earthwalker Tour

20140409-045948.jpgIn Hearts Wake

Dream On Dreamer, Being As An Ocean (USA), Endless Heights and Sierra

Fowlers Live, Adelaide

Friday 6th of June

As South Australia’s own Sierra warmed up the stage at Fowlers last Friday night, it was fantastic to see that so many people had turned up early to support the smaller acts. The band managed to play to a fairly decent crowd however the amount of people in the venue at the time didn’t compare to the fans outside still waiting in the long line to get in. When it’s a sold out show, you’ve got to be early!

As everyone moseyed back to the bar and merch tables between sets, I quickly made my way to the front for a good viewing point for Endless Heights who were up next. Having seen them supporting Northlane last year on the Worldeater tour, it was great to see them again and hear some of their new material live. I’m surprised this talented Sydney band aren’t bigger than what they are, but I think after this tour they will have gained at least a few more fans.

Fowlers went wild as San Diego’s Being As An Ocean took to the stage, all except vocalist, Joel Quartuccio who decided to pit was the place to be. He was welcomed with open arms as the melodic hard-core five piece poured their hearts and souls into a set list that was rewarded with many emotional sing-alongs. The heartfelt lyrics along with the immense amount of energy given by the band and the crowd made for an unforgettable set.

Dream On Dreamer knew exactly the right songs to keep the liveliness going with The World In Front of Me, Downfall and of course one of their most well-known tracks Ambitions, to keep even their older fans happy. Although the band were sadly playing without their drummer this tour, their fill in drummer was equally up to the task and their performance was not diminished. I have watched Dream On Dreamer live on a couple of occasions now and I thought this was their best show I have seen yet.

Since In Hearts Wake’s latest album was based around the earth, environment and everything green, the ‘Earthwalker tour itself’ wouldn’t have been complete without the vine covered amps and microphone stands. Some ‘Earthwalker’ lanterns (exactly like the ones in their music video) were even placed around the stage to flicker in the background and add effect.

As the opening interlude Gaia rang out, In Hearts Wake jumped on stage and got straight down to business with new hits Earthwalker and Sacred. Having only released their new album just over a month ago, it was amazing to see the new tracks go off live just as well as the bands already tested and tried crowd favourites such as Traveller and Survival. Frontman Jake Taylor’s vocals boomed over the room while the crowd helped sing along to the choruses with clean vocalist, Kyle Erich to enable his parts to soar over the louder instruments. Fans surfed their way to the front any chance they got, which made for a sea of bodies flying left right and centre the entire time. As Departures signalled the end of the set, we were left shouting for one more song which we were granted, with the band returning shortly after for an encore of Divine to top off a great night.

What makes these small shows so great, especially in the metalcore/hardcore genres, is the sense of community that is felt by everyone who attends. All the bands for the evening put in 110% and you could tell just how blessed and happy they were to be there, playing for their fans and that none of them would have wanted to be anywhere else.

 

 

 

 

 

Live Music Review: Groovin the Moo Festival @ Oakbank

Groovin the Moo

Oakbank Racecourse

Friday 25th of April 2014

 

By Kayla Schultz

It has taken 10 years since the festival initially started but on Friday, Oakbank racecourse finally hosted South Australia’s first and sold out might I add, Groovin the Moo festival!

Adelaide rockers Bad//Dreems opened the Triple J stage with good vibes to start the day. It was still early but the band managed to pull a decent crowd which was good to see so many turning out to support the small local act.

Kingswood were my next band to see for the day. The indie rock group from Melbourne certainly had an entertaining set, complete with technicians in hazmat suits and gas masks. With songs that were easy to dance and rock along to, it was all smiles and laughs from the band and their listeners.

Twos hours into the festival, I wandered over to the sheltered ‘Moolin Rouge’ stage for a look, and managed to get a front barrier position for Melbourne’s Loon Lake. The five piece set the tent alight with a dance party which included a split rendition of their song The Week with Taylor Swift’s I Knew You Were Trouble, acover of The Darkness’s I Believe in a Thing Called Love and of course the band’s own Cherry Lips.

The tent then became a tuna can as fans packed in tighter to the front of the stage, trying to get as close as possible to Australian hardcore royalty, Parkway Drive. The large crowd were chanting for the band even before the technicians were finished setting up the stage. The excitement levels rose to maximum levels as the band appeared through the thick smoke and ripped straight into crowd favourites Dark Days and Sleepwalker. But it seemed as though no sooner had the band walked on stage, that they were saying goodbye, even before their usual closer and biggest song Carrion!

Parkway Drive’s cut set left more than a few fans slightly disappointed however most of them stuck around for the next act, Brisbane’s Violent Soho. The band allowed the crowd to keep the circle pits alive playing fan favourites galore and the band’s most popular tune Covered in Chrome managed a full crowd sing along,

After grabbing a quick bite to eat, I headed over to the Triple J stage again to catch Karnivool. I hadn’t heard much of their music going into this festival but nevertheless I had to see the band that had taken the crown for Best Heavy Rock/Heavy Metal album at the Aria awards last year. Since they share the same frontman, Ian Kenny, Karnivool are sort of like a rockier, edgier version of Birds of Tokyo which made for a great and enjoyable start to the evening.

Straight from Cochella Festival in the US, New Zealand group, The Naked and Famous had its crowd moving with dance tunes like Punching in a Dream and Young Blood but the vocals from singer Alisa Xayalith were drained out by the instruments some of the time, making it difficult for people listening/standing at the back to hear. Not a disaster though as most of the crowd knew the words to their songs anyway.

The Triple J stage got the sound in check for Aussie group, The Jezabels who played a pleasantly mellow festival set with songs like Endless Summer and Mace Spray, giving everyone a chance to relax and re-energize before the headlining acts.

The sky had looked like it had been threatening to rain all day, and about 10 minutes into Dizzee Rascal’s set, the heavens finally decided to open up. The rain settled in but didn’t water down the spirits of the festival goers who stayed to watch the English rapper do his thing and it was songs like Baseline Junkie and his cover of Florence and the Machine’s You’ve Got the Love that had the festival paddock turn into a mud puddle dance floor. The double encore of Bonkers called the finish to Dizzee Rascals set. By this time, I was completely soaked from the rain, and decided it was best to call it a day.

As festivals go, this was very well put together and organised, with my only real complaint being the need for improved food stalls to avoid the long lines but all in all I think it is pretty safe to say, South Australia’s first Groovin the Moo was a success and hopefully it will return to Oakbank in the many years to come!

LIVE MUSIC REVIEW: All Time Low

By Kayla Schultz

While All Time Low are not strangers to Australian shores, having toured here a few other times, most recently as part of Soundwave festival earlier in the year, I was overjoyed when they announced they were playing a headlining tour here in August/September. I had missed them at Soundwave due to All Time Low clashing with another band I had wanted to see so I was really looking forward to finally seeing All Time Low after listening to them for many years. I can assure you they did not disappoint!

All Time Low

 

All Time Low

(with supports All Year Round)

HQ Adelaide

Tuesday 3rd of September

It had been quite a warm day in Adelaide on Tuesday, but that didn’t stop fans of the American pop-punk band All Time Low, lining up at the doors of HQ early in the morning in order to get a good spot for the final show in the bands first ever Australian headlining tour.

By the time the doors finally opened at 8pm, the line was almost around the entire block but that was to be expected, as like all the other shows on their Australian tour, Adelaide had also sold out.

Local Adelaide act, All Year Round were the openers for the night, playing a tight set of catchy pop rock songs. With many people in the crowd not knowing words to their songs, a couple of covers from Paramore and Vengaboys took care of that and got the crowd involved a bit more with some singing and jumping around. All Year Round were very grateful for the opportunity to open for the band that had influenced them and played a great opening set.

The interval between bands seemed to go on forever, however the songs in-between kept everyone singing and buzzing with excitement. By this time, the room was pretty much full of All Time Low fans ready to party, energy levels high.

As All Time Low finally took the stage, they were welcomed by a sea of screaming while opening their set with crowd favourites ‘Lost in Stereo’ and ‘Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t’.

Lead vocalist Alex Gaskarth greeted the crowd along with guitarist Jack Barakat, both who spent time between songs, joking around with the crowd, entertaining them with their cheeky comments. Whatever they said, the crowd went wild, even Barakat saying “smelly armpits” didn’t stop them from screaming, it just led to a conversation about, well… smelly armpits!

By the end of the next two songs, Jack’s microphone stand was the new home to several bras thrown from female fans in the crowd but every All Time Low supporter knows, an All Time Low show is not complete without microphone stands covered in bras.

The band played a balanced set of songs from throughout discography. This included playing two songs about their home of Baltimore ‘Six Feet Under the Stars’ and ‘For Baltimore’. It was then time for a dance party with songs ‘Outlines’ and ‘Time-Bomb’ before playing ‘Back Seat Serenade’.

The time came to a slow for a while, with the rest of the band departing the stage, leaving Alex to play the ‘Remembering Sunday’ with the help of the crowd singing along. ‘Therapy’ had the room’s hands up high, swaying (or holding up a camera/phone to capture the moment). As the rest of the band re-joined All Time Low back on stage for the end of the song, Alex stopped the show for a minute to get a towel for one fan that was bleeding (so caring!), before playing on to the end of the song which by that time, there was not a dry eye in sight.

After another quick break, All Time Low returned back to the stage for an encore of ‘The Reckless and the Brave’ (with the intro to So Long and Thanks for All the Booze) and ‘Weightless’. The closing song for the night was ‘Dear Maria, Count Me In’ and not one person in the crowd was standing still for this song. The energy levels rose again, one last time as Jack Barakat threw his bra collection up in the air before jumping up to the drums to help finish the last part of the song. Alex thanked the crowd, vowing that they would return soon.

At the start of the set, Alex Gaskarth had promised that everyone would have a good time that night and get what they paid to see. It’s pretty safe to say that promise was definitely kept and the crowd got everything they paid to see and more with All Time Low delivering a great, entertaining and quite memorable performance.

All Time Low’s full set list for the show below

1. Lost in Stereo

2. Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t)

3. Coffee Shop Soundtrack

4. Somewhere In Neverland

5. Six Feet Under the Stars

6. For Baltimore

7. Heroes

8. Stella

9. If These Sheets were the States

10. Outlines

11. Time-Bomb

12. Backseat Serenade

13. Remembering Sunday

14. Therapy

Encore

15. The Reckless and the Brave (with So Long and Thanks for All the Booze intro)

16. Weightless

17. Dear Maria, Count Me In