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Live Music Reviews

Posted 15 Feb 2017 @ 12:26pm

Party In The Paddock

White Hills, Tasmania

Friday March 10- Saturday March 11

 

The voyage from Melbourne to Tassie in most circumstances is an easy one. But throw in a delayed flight, a missed bus, two closed supermarkets, a long and arduous taxi ride to the wrong side of the festival, and you've got yourself a recipe for disappointment.

 

Arriving...

Posted 15 Feb 2017 @ 11:43am

 

First to grace the stage at summer hotspot Shimmerlands was Pseudolux, with an inimitable combination of throbbing synths, with a metal backbone. Setting the scene for a diverse lineup, punters knew they were doing their Sunday right.
 
When East Brunswick All Girls Choir took over, scratchy guitar blared from the speakers as the backdrop to Marcus Hobb’s screeching vocals...

Posted 13 Feb 2017 @ 3:57pm

 

PBS Drive Live is a yearly festival of five evenings of live music, broadcast to radio. The PBS radio station opens up its doors to the public, so they can watch this fantastic parade of live local acts take to the studio. Tuesday drive time on PBS every week is Mixing Up The Medicine presented by Erica.  The lineup featured RVG, Miss Destiny and ORB for a couple of hours of solid...

Posted 10 Feb 2017 @ 2:34pm

Before Justin Timberlake, there was James Taylor, himself a devastatingly handsome man in his youth, and now, at 68 and favouring chinos and flat caps, looking more like your dear old uncle who enjoys a spot of bird-watching.
 
Sure, he might not have quite the same vim and vigour as Springsteen, but what matters most is that Taylor’s voice, that plaintive, clear croon, is in...

Posted 10 Feb 2017 @ 10:44am

 

When the Shimmerlands program was unveiled, City Calm Down was undoubtedly one of the highlights. Heavily promoted in the lead up to the evening, you couldn’t have asked for a more torrid dose of weather when the day finally rolled around.
Set among the regal buildings of Melbourne University’s Parkville campus. The chosen courtyard included a small marquee around the bar, which...

Posted 8 Feb 2017 @ 1:25pm

Wetfest has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the share house of Wet Lips’ Grace Kindellan and Jenny McKechnie. Now a daylong event at The Tote, the festival has become an incredible celebration of the strides the Melbourne music community has made towards diversity and safety.

 

The festival kicked off with Hexdebt who delivered a solid set of fast-paced rock...

Posted 3 Feb 2017 @ 4:31pm

 

Alexander Biggs sold out the Gasso upstairs and if the crowd’s reception is anything to go by, sold out shows will become something of a habit for Mr Biggs.
 
BATTS opened the night, her angelic voice and quirky humour winning over the rapidly filling room. Playing unaccompanied, BATTS wowed the audience with her honest vocals and guitar strums between little snippets of...

Posted 3 Feb 2017 @ 11:35am

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band 

AAMI Park

Thursday February 2

 

There are certain elements that you expect going into a Bruce Springsteen concert; showmanship, musicianship, heart-on-the-sleeve and knees-to-the-floor pleas to your most uncomplicated emotions. His first show of his 2017 summer tour at Melbourne’s AAMI Park provided all of the above in a huge...

Posted 3 Feb 2017 @ 10:17am

Complete with the backing of two fantastic albums, Glass Animals presided over an 80-minute party at Melbourne Town Hall, filled with high energy and boundless enthusiasm. Launching into Life Itself, fans started bouncing in time to Joe Seaward’s drums and the crowd singalong that would continue for the whole show shot into gear. From the moment the 1500 strong crowd belted out the chorus...

Posted 1 Feb 2017 @ 1:34pm

 

The mythical Zimmer frames were placed in an orderly fashion as an abundant audience shuffled into the Melbourne Zoo to relive memories of a misspent youth at Bombay Rock, Bananas or The Venue.
 
The Sports were tasked with warming up the crowd in the warm conditions. Unfortunately Stephen Cummings was battling an ailing voice. Original Sportsmen Martin Armiger and Andrew...

Posted 1 Feb 2017 @ 1:31pm

The band may be called Strangers, but to most of the crowd they were familiar faces.
 
Taking to the stage to preview their sophomore album Mirrorlands and launch the titular single, the Sydney four-piece kept the crowd interested with their album’s runthrough. The ten tracks were a potent mix of classic prog-rock sound and a more mainstream rock sensibility, built to please and...

Posted 30 Jan 2017 @ 11:11am

From the moment Nick Cave walked onstage there was a resolution of purpose and quiet intensity to his demeanour. He immediately addressed the audience with waves and locked eyes with those in the front row, as behind him the band dipped into Anthrocene. He bopped, he swayed, he crooned, muttering each phrase as if it were a message of grave importance that he needed to tell you - not you as a...

Posted 30 Jan 2017 @ 10:34am

Twelve years after its inception, Laneway Festival is in the middle of an identity crisis. It introduced itself to the world as the tastemaker’s Big Day Out, a counter culture alternative to Australia’s small and homogenous festival scene. Now that the Big Day Out is presumed dead and the rest of the scene has moved onto camping festivals and genre based blowouts, Laneway, the one-time...

Posted 30 Jan 2017 @ 10:05am

 

When it comes to a live performance, White Lung can’t be blamed for weak efforts. Their performance had so many breakneck riffs, cyclonic drum beats and crushing bass that no ear was left unringing – exactly how noise punk should be.
 
The pleasure in the varied lineup was that every band was worth watching, nothing got too tedious or monotonous from listening to too much...

Posted 25 Jan 2017 @ 11:21am

 

The Corner Hotel was alight with plenty of hardcore fans who came to witness Stick to Your Guns and their powerhouse lineup. Reactions jumpstarted the night, blasting riffs infused with a sharp frenzy that fired up the moshpit.
 
Relentless then added more fuel to the fire with their ear-pounding hardcore set, and Knocked Loose blasted the crowd with heavy breakdowns of...

Posted 25 Jan 2017 @ 11:09am

The Tote hosts some bloody good rock’n’roll shows, everybody knows that. With high expectations of them and no doubt a lot of excitement within them, Chelsea Bleach took the stage and delivered an incredible show. Following Cable Ties is never an easy act, but with their scuzzy punk and rock tunes and a healthy dose of oh-shit-this-could-fall-apart DIY attitude, they pulled of a performance...

Posted 25 Jan 2017 @ 11:06am

 

Self-admittedly, Cameron Avery has eclipsed all expectations of his musical career to date and that’s the kind of modesty we’ve become used to from the ex-Pond, Tame Impala bandmate. Launching his new direction to the world, Avery brought a stripped back, organic band reunion sentiment to a performance embodying a pair of singles and an ensuing album representing so much more....

Posted 23 Jan 2017 @ 7:06pm

When a band walks onto the stage armed with extraordinary music, thought-provoking lyrics and a seemingly unending determination to fuck with your head, you find yourself in for a hell of a night.
 
Puscifer’s show was a gig like no other. Broken into four distinct parts, each act bringing a new way to tell the story created by the enigmatic Maynard James Keenan who, like usual,...

Posted 23 Jan 2017 @ 11:06am

 

Sugar Mountain: a toppling, frosted pile of new and exciting music and contemporary art to provide the extra sweet edge. Or so it says. With Australian festivals either dying or dumbing down, the fact that Sugar Mountain had survived another year was impressive in itself. But whether or not it would be the unforgettable experience it promised was a different question.
 
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Posted 23 Jan 2017 @ 10:36am

The eclectic mix of people at PJ Harvey’s Melbourne performance reflected the artist’s diverse music, spanning nearly a quarter of a century – a testament to Harvey’s drive and constant evolution as an artist.
 
An almost detached Harvey marched onto stage, in the middle of a military like drumming procession. Covered from head to toe with black gloves, asymmetric purple cloth and...

Posted 20 Jan 2017 @ 10:14am

 

One of the greatest gifts an audience member can get from watching a live performance is witnessing a musician acting outside of their shell, taking control and baring their pure essence to a crowd. Thando managed to execute this perfectly in a career defining show at Chapel off Chapel, highlighting her versatility as a performer. Her vocal range boomed across the room, her backing...

Posted 18 Jan 2017 @ 12:58pm

 

Before the growing juggernaut that is Unify Gathering announced Ontario’s Alexisonfire as their 2017 headliners, many fans thought they’d never see the five-piece live ever again. This was typified when vocalist George Pettit exclaimed ‘You didn’t think this was possible did you?’
 
Despite not being sold out, it was clear as punters made their way into the venue that...

Posted 18 Jan 2017 @ 10:23am

 

Taking their most ambitious and latest album, Departure Songs, out for the final time in its complete form, We Lost The Sea brought a sold out Northcote Social Club to the heights of sonic ecstasy.
 
Absolutely stirring the crowd into a frothing frenzy was main support The Crooked Fiddle Band, whose unique, self-styled, post-apocalyptic world music was the perfect segue...

Posted 18 Jan 2017 @ 10:20am

 

The Toff was packed tighter than a can of John West sardines before Californian hardcore punks Trash Talk hit the stage. Word of the free show had gone viral and every hardcore kid and his dog had squeezed into the modestly sized venue the instant doors opened. Beers were chugged and beads of sweat rolled down necks as punters grew impatient lingering in the sticky humidity. Trash...

Posted 18 Jan 2017 @ 10:18am

 

170 Russell played host to hordes of thrash punk and nu-metal fans as Every Time I Die brought their boundless energy and solid lineup to the stage.
 
Melbourne band In Trenches kicked the night off and demanded we pay attention with their sludgy hardcore metal. Canadians Counterparts burst onstage and refused the crowd of any kind of reprieve as their music whipped the...

Posted 18 Jan 2017 @ 10:17am

 

Upstairs at Bar Open, Yarbles tore a new orifice in the brutalised corpse of punk rock.  The lead singer paced and prowled in front of the stage.  His vocals pierced the crowd’s cerebral cortex.  The band thrashed like a crocodile wrestling its prey in a death roll. It was chaotic, but it held together. 
 
The set finished, and I walked over to Old Bar where Parsnip were...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:43pm

“You need a higher education to understand this music,” joked Ausmuteants guitarist Jake Robinson, “Lucky we’re doing this at a university.” The Geelong punks then proceeded to blister through tracks about extreme apathy and the cathartic power of having sex with cops. Robinson’s quip was one of several bits of banter from the DIY-minded lineup that seemed equal parts thrilled and bemused to...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:38pm

 

One year on from their set at the Corner, it was a huge jump for Modern Baseball to 170 Russell. Foxtrot started off the evening with an adequate set, but there wasn’t much to write home about. Their drummer gave it a hell of a go though and his fills gave the band technical precision that didn’t seem to make it on the drawing board for their lead singer.
 
Hometown...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:34pm

 

After hearing of underwhelming shows on his last tour, punters could be forgiven for entering with slight trepidation, but those fears were quickly cast aside. Jamie T moved commandingly around the stage and used that traditional British rockstar arrogance to get the crowd dancing in no time.
 
Opening with crowd favourite Power Over Men, the set started with maximum...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:29pm

 

Fortunes were up first. Conor McCabe’s honey-smooth vocals were the clear highlight, the frontman strutting the stage, bouncing gently on his toes, doing his best to stimulate the crowd. Producer Barnaby Matthews manned a modest station, each instrumental detail a result of his electronic wizardry. That seemed to be the idea, anyway. It was so difficult to detect just how much input...

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