Before getting to the headliners and main support who we were both familiar with, we would be treated to a batch of acts we had never heard of beforehand.
First to take the stage were relative newcomers Slow Renewal from Perth, making their live debut here at The Ice Box, who wanted to keep it short and, in their own words, cut the sh*te, opting to stick to just 3 originals plus a cover. Their post-hardcore material had a nice progressive style with constantly changing tempos highlighted by some pretty sweet, forcible choruses.
The nerves were clear to see – totally understandable as to why – and it did sneak up on them causing a couple of minor slips and their eyes shifting about anxiously, but when able to maintain focused on their performing, the vocals were great, the dual guitars were on fine form and the rhythm section solid.
As far as debuts go, the quartet did well in making an impression and satisfying the already loaded crowd who responded warmly. They’ll need to work to break out of their shells, but we’re confident that will come as a given to them. Overall, a decent start to the night.
The trio of Lazer Eye were up next and quick to ceremoniously flip the dial. The majority of their tracks were catchy and rode off an energy that was real infectious, spurring us and many others to bobs our heads along, and they kept mixing up their style to keep it fresh.
For one song, they took it down for something slower, almost psychedelic like, and effectively so, plus we got a stoner rock rendition of Lullaby by The Scissor Sisters, and it was just plain awesome.
The frontman Ryan, cold ridden and all, showed quite a peachy personality before they even played a note, and he busted out some fast, tasty riffs while being backed up by the chilled out Chris and his groovy basslines, as well as Jordan’s high-octane drumming.
The audience enjoyed them, as did we. A really fun, cracking set from an underrated band who we’ll be keeping a close eye on from here on out, because there is clear potential lurking there…
We were hyped moving into the last of the newbies to us, Gulls, who kept the momentum of the night rolling in glorious fashion.
Upping the heaviness, they delivered some hard hitting numbers, where the vocals packed an avid punch, we got delightfully grungy bass tones and the riffs were efficiently dispatched.
The most notable takeaway from their set was that they had definitive control of those who crammed the room, and just to prove how much of a grip they had on the crowd, a significant chunk happily moved to the front at their request without the slightest hesitation, which is a rarer sight than you would think at a local gig.
It was impressive stuff from another worthwhile discovery for us.
Our bodies were ripe and ready for Ikari, fresh off releasing their Shapes & Sound record, and they lived up to their usual promise.
A botched intro cut the buzz for a moment, but they laughed it off and properly got going in style, and despite the fact they had a long drive earlier in the day, they didn’t come across as knackered in the slightest.
In fact, the four shined with this hardy enthusiasm and put in an obvious effort between them, while being united by a chemistry that elevated their performances.
It helped that their songs were driven by tight, energetic rhythms and boosted by top notch choruses, and as a result of this and the other aforementioned elements, both we and the dedicated audience members were engaged and liking the ride.
A job well done by a quartet who had an established wherewithal to meet expectations by this point, and it could be best described in one word: “yeaaaaaaaaaah!”
For the third time in just a few months, we were in the presence of post-hardcore quintet Tenements, and if their sensational sellout back in January indicated anything, it’s that these boys have what it takes to deliver something mighty nice.
They kicked off with new single I Felt Invincible, the band’s strongest tune to date from a lyrical standpoint, before suddenly cranking up the ante with the ruthless The Fear. From there, they banged out a stream of more favourites such as Silhouettes, Permanent and Standing On The Backs Of Angels, plus another couple of fresh tracks that were superb.
Darren spilled all his passionate guts into his vocals and worked hard to get all within the venue involved. Chris guzzled lager, got in among the folk, and belted out chords on his guitar as he stood dominantly atop the pool table. Jamie pulled a monster of a shift at the kit, while Callum and Liam quietly manned the rear of the ship, aptly holding their end of the bargain with their great riffs and basslines respectively.
The crowd were in plentiful in number and visibly invested, with the loving loyalists in particular singing loud, clapping, and dancing about like rabid maniacs. One fella even pulled a Harris and happily surfed high above the masses.
Appreciative of the attendees and the rich local music community that they were proud to be a part of, it was yet another resounding, well-earned success for the outfit who continuously up their game and have proven they have little bother shining under pressure when the spotlight is firmly on them.