LIVE REVIEW: The Living End at Waves Nightclub 09/03/17

The Living End are a staple of Aussie rock music, and have been for nearly 20 years since their formation. This hasn’t resulted in them become irrelevant by any means, as they put on a stellar show at Waves Nightclub on March 9th, supported by another great Australian band, The Bennies.

The Bennies did a great job of amping up the audience before The Living End took to the stage, and clearly had a lot of fans of their own in the crowd. In their typical style they took the stage in a cloud of long hair and tie-dye shirts and jumped right into their set. Incredibly, frontman Anty Horgan told the audience that the first gig he had ever gone to was to see The Living End, who he was now supporting – a dream-come-true for any musician! The Bennies’ brand of carefree psychedelic punk rock is predictably popular with the average Aussie rock fan, but is also innovative and technically interesting. Horgan used loops and a samples to create wacky soundscapes, that went surprisingly well with the rest of the traditional instruments. The drummer also incorporated an electronic kit into his regular kit, another interesting twist on traditional rock. The Bennies really got the crowd riled up and reading to rock out to The Living End.

The headliners took to the stage with a swagger befit of their reputation as one of Australia’s best rock bands. Frontman Chris Cheney has kept his punk style after all this time and told the crowd ‘Thing are gonna get out of hand tonight – in fact, I command it.’ This led to a rowdy crowd as the band and audience fed off the others energy.

Their crowd-pleasing set consisted of hit after hit, as well as newer songs from their 2016 album ‘Switch’ including the single ‘Monkey’. As the name indicates, their last release was a departure or ‘switch’ from their typical song-writing style, but the newer songs didn’t seem out of place in the set list. They still encapsulated The Living End’s punk attitude and style and demonstrated their technical skill and evolution as musicians.

A highlight of the set was a cover of Steppenwolf’s ‘Born to Be Wild’, a very appropriate song for the energetic band. The Living End finished their set with their hit ‘Prisoner of Society’ and the crowd sang along with every word.

Cheney and the band really managed to command the crowd at Waves and showed why they are still celebrated as one of Australia’s greatest rock bands. Not only did they entertain the crowd with their banter, but their performance was tight, talented and powerful. Thanks to their unfaltering energy and consistently enjoyable performances, it doesn’t seem like the hype surrounding The Living End is going to end anytime soon.

March 15th 2017 | Daisy Loomes