REVIEW - MARIENNE TE HAARA
No one knew what to expect from a brand new festival coming into what seems to be an already saturated market. But from what I saw in Brisbane the people came in droves to support the festival and see many acts whom may have never made their way here otherwise. Aside from the merchandising queues the festival ran so smoothly you’d think it had been running for years! Here are a few of the bands we got to see:
Nothing like a good local band to kick off festivities and Stateside are not shy of the stage. Having just toured with Neck Deep and, wrapping up their 2018 shows with All Time Low, it’s no wonder there was a great turnout for Stateside. I got in late to the party but I’m glad I got to hear Erin give her voice on Mental Health and the importance of checking in on people - an important message. The second-to-last track of the set was ‘This is War’ a 2017 banger and, the band used the stage well, leading into the final track ‘The Way We Were’ which was killer to hear live! No doubt this is only the beginning for this band.
Void of Vision
Melbourne band Void of Vision are no strangers to festival crowds and they made sure everyone knew that. The band started their set with the new single ‘Kill All My Friends’ and, whilst only freshly released, the crowd were ready - throwing horns up in support! As they got into the next track ‘You will Bring Me Down’ the pit automatically opened up, waiting for the heavy banger to drop. During the set they threw in ‘Grey Area’ from their Disturbia EP, with Jack Bergin shouting ‘Wake the F**k up!” to get the pit jumping! The last song of Void of Visions’ set (Ghost in the Machine) was dedicated to the Security Advisor who had sadly passed away due to a heart attack at the Sydney stop of the festival. A sentiment appreciated by everyone in attendance.
The Texas locals were clearly a favourite amongst the younger crowd opening with their 2017 release ‘Blonde’. The bands fun aesthetic saw Awsten (lead singer) sporting not only purple hair but also a purple jersey and purple guitar. We saw Geoff jump off the drum riser to finish the first single of what looked to be a high-energy set. Then Awsten announced that the second single of the set would be ‘Rare’ it was clearly a fan favourite with the crowd clapping along for majority of the song.
Good Things Festival was the first trip down-under for the Blackpool (UK) Pop-Punk band. I didn’t know what to expect but as soon as Dan (lead Singer) shouted “When this song kicks in, jump the f**k up & down” I knew it was going to be a hype set. They started with ‘Bad Machine’ to get the crowd warmed up before moving on to ‘Digital Ghost’ to get the pit open. The energetic set an excitement for the crowd, with Boston Manor dedicating the third track ‘Englands Dreaming’ to Destroy All Lines.
There was a decent crowd for Northlane and what better way to welcome them than Josh saying “hey hey hey you drunk c**ts” in a mic test. It was a humorous start to what became an agressive set. As soon as the band came on stage Marcus shouted “Let's Move!” and began the first song of the set ‘Genesis’. The Pyrotechnics, whilst not as effective during the day, still made for a great display. The second single ‘Vultures’ saw Brendon owning that stage with both vocals and energy, showing you wouldn’t know her was new to the band at all. In came ‘Rot’ as the third single of the set, drawing heavy crowd participation and a lot of energy from the band. The mosh finally opened during the fourth track ‘heartmachine’ which saw the circle pit go crazy! You could not be disappointed in that set and I wished I could have stayed for the whole thing!
Make Them Suffer
Coming in halfway through a Make The Suffer set isn’t ideal but, arriving perfectly on time to hear them play ‘Let Me In’ was perfect for me. They got a circle pit going right off the bat and their heavy use of strobe-like lighting only made the mosh intensify. Following with ‘Blood Moon’, ‘Widower’, and ‘Uncharted’ that pit was not dying down anytime soon. The crowd was constantly moving for the Perth band and ending with ‘Ether’ was like the cherry on top of a topping-heaving sundae!
Despite clashing with Babymetal the Las Vegas natives still pulled a crowd. Palaye Royale started the set with ‘Don’t feel quite right’ which saw Remington (lead singer) climb on top of speakers and jump off right into the second verse. The second single of the set ‘You’ll be fine’ was a crowd favourite with many fans jumping and dancing. The energy clearly noticeable by the band with Remington jumping on to the barrier to be amongst the crowd. At the end of the track the band thanked the crowd saying “it is our first time in australia so thanks for f**king listening we appreciate it”. I found the set quite enjoyable despite never listening to their music.
There was so much hype around the Japanese trio but damn they kept to it. I caught the last two tracks of the set of which both had theatrical elements to them. The second-to-last single ‘Karate’ had the crowd throwing some weird dance moves. But as soon as they got into the last single ‘Road of Resistance’ it was madness! The mosh pit split down the middle and, leading in with the 3 flag walk-in, the track began and the crowd merged. The girls pulled one of the biggest crowds of the festival and a diverse one at that. If you have not seen Babymetal, whether you listen to them or not, I would highly recommend seeing them!
The first track begins, Bert spits in the air, and the show begins. The Used started their set with ‘Take it away’ and an instant sing-along began. The crowd clearly knowing word for word as the band yelled from the stage. It was a colourful set of Shakespeare, The Used classics and overall energy! When the second single ‘The Bird & The Worm’ started the band got aggressive and made sure they used every part of the stage. From Bert running from side to side, to Jepha pivoting back and forth, and Dan drumming with his body. It was a site to see and a great one at that.
I am not even sure how you would describe Scarlxrd but one word comes to mind - amazing. The UK heavy metal rapper started off his set with ‘Bxiling Pxint’ and the high energy performer worked hand in hand with his energetic DJ - DJ Jacky P. Not letting up he went straight into the second track ‘Run’. The single had Scarlxrd standing on the speakers, closest to the crowd, with DJ Jacky P joining him. Before starting his third track, Scarlxrd said “when you come to a Scarlxrd show it’s a fitness exam” and that once he screamed all he wanted to see was chaos. And chaos is what he got with ‘Bands’ starting a circle pit and him and his DJ intensely headbanging to the track. It was definitely a workout but of the best kind.
Bullet For My Valentine
Everyone who has heard any Bullet For My Valentine song was at their set. You had attendees who only knew the new tracks and you had us older fans belting the classics. The band started with new tracks ‘Don’t Need You’ and ‘Over it’ from their new album Gravity. Both were great tracks but it was definitely the following track, ‘Your Betrayal’ which had fans singing at the top of their lungs. It was awesome to see Jamie taking on quite a lot of the vocals alongside Matthew. And mixing in with old classics like ‘Scream Aim Fire’ and ‘Tears’ to including new heavy tracks ‘Piece of Me’ and ‘Letting you go’ it was a setlist made for both old and new listeners. And a damn good set at that.
I missed the band perform the first single ‘The Other’ but made it as soon as they began performing ‘Lonely Girl’. The 2013 release was definitely a crowd pleaser with many of the fans singing along. The second single of the set ‘The Ocean’ got the crowd moving and the energy began to pick up. Finally, a track of the new Album Underworld came into the set through ‘In My Dreams’. Showing that, no matter how many times you see them, you will never be disappointed in Tonight Alive.
These guys have been going for some time but their new album Sunnyland shows they are not slowing down anytime soon. The first track of the set ‘Never Sure’ was a great warm up track for the crowd. Leading into their second single ‘Jersey’, a clear fan favourite with the crowd singing so loud you could barely hear the band. Before getting into the third single, Derek (lead Singer) advised that “it’s hard to be religious” following with the track ‘Satellite’ right after the statement. This single saw Brooks and Alex go completely nuts making use of most of the stage whilst Jeremy came to the front of the stage to sing with fans. You could see Jake putting everything into his drumming which was mirrored from the crowd jumping along to the upbeat track. It was a fun set to watch and a harder one to leave.
All Time Low
I expected All Time Low to draw a large crowd but it took me quite a while to work my way through the crowd to get a decent view. The band are no strangers to Australia and starting of the set with ‘Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don't)’ showed that Australia is no stranger to them either. The multi-colour lighting igniting the set amongst the high crowd singalong. The second single ‘ Everything is Fine’ was introduced by Alex (lead singer) saying “I would like to see you all get f**king crazy right now!”. Of course, the crowd obliged and in came the bras which Jack began to hang on his mic stand. Jack then sat and played in front of Alex before beginning on the third single of the set ‘ Stella’. The whole band was working the stage during the pop track and it showed All Time Low were far from done.
These legends were one of the main acts I came to see and they did not disappoint. From beginning the set with ‘Taipei Person/Allah Tea’ to asking the crowd if they “want a little more you crazy motherfuckers” and obviously the crowd roared. The second track of the set ‘Do me a Favour’ brought out the energy in Josh & Christian with them not only swapping sides but interacting with the crowd. Whilst the third single ‘Knievel has landed’ started the confetti, the fifth track of the set ‘Bother’ had the crowd singing so loudly that Corey let them. He was so proud and emotional about an Australian crowd singing it back word for word. I don’t blame him it was beautiful to hear. The set had a mixture of both old and new tracks but finishing on ‘Fabuless’ was just the ending to what was a perfect set.
The band played the album Smash in its entirety and no complaints were heard from fans about it. Dexter and Noodles set the scene for the set by starting with ‘Time to Relax’ and, before the third track ‘Bad Habit’ began, Dexter told the band to “look at you beautiful people” referring to the audience. After sixth track ‘somethin to believe in’ Noodles said “I am incredulous right now” and set the mood into the next few tracks. The constant change in lighting showed matched the personality the band showed on stage. And with a diverse setlist, and a huge crowd, it is no wonder everyone stuck around until the end. The Offspring were definitely the band to see!
PHOTO GALLERIES - SHELLEY TE HAARA