OLD ENDINGS FORGE NEW BEGINNINGS

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

BIRDS OF TOKYO TAKE FLIGHT WITH NEW SOUND

LIVE REVIEW: Birds of Tokyo at Waves Nightclub 17/12/16

Birds of Tokyo have gone through many changes in their 12 years of being a band. From their Silverchair-esque debut album ‘Day One’, to their 2013 release ‘March Fires’ filled with ambient, pop soundscapes, Birds of Tokyo have covered it all. Their latest album ‘Brace’, however, came as a surprise to many. Produced by David Bottrill, well-known for his work on gritty, dark albums such as Muse’s ‘Origin of Symmetry’, ‘Brace’ sees the band take on an antiestablishment, aggressive mood, making for a great album, and a fantastic live show.

December 17th saw them take to the stage at Waves Nightclub in Towradgi, following Introvert and Strangers as support acts. Both acts shared Birds of Tokyo’s new, heavier sound. Introvert were up first, giving a taste of Deftones with their alternative metal sound. They were followed by Strangers who geared up the crowd with their fast tracks. A highlight of their set was the drummer who played with a massive grin on his face, looking not unlike a joyous dog with its head sticking out the window of a car. You could sense the band’s love for performing as the lead singer jumped down to walk in the crowd, giving out hugs and high-fives.

Birds of Tokyo took to the stage next amidst an impressive display of lights and graphics behind them, something to be commended in such a small venue. The animations followed the themes of destruction, creation, technology and change and added a dramatic flair to the performance. Most of Birds of Tokyo’s setlist was taken from their new album, ‘Brace’, which created a very cohesive, almost theatrical show. Even the appearance of the band fed into this; all the musicians played standing up, including the keyboard player and the drummer. Lead singer Ian Kenny was decked out in all white and sporting an impressive beard, which along with his dancing and gestures gave him a true rockstar appearance. The new album’ singles ‘Brace’ and ‘Empire’ have been played extensively on radio (despite the band touting the new release as something that would be rejected by mainstream radio) and were hits on the night as the crowd sang along. However, a Birds of Tokyo show wouldn’t be complete without older classics such as ‘Lanterns’, ‘This Fire’ and ‘Plans’ being played, all of which proved to still be massive hits with the crowd. The lighter nature of their older songs didn’t seem out of place with new tracks from ‘Brace’, as the band had clearly taken into account speed and dynamics to modify the songs to fit in.

It’s clear that even after all this time, Birds of Tokyo haven’t lost their energy or creativity. Even with their new, aggressive lyrics, they remain a band that put on a genuine, skilled show that just makes you want to sing along.

Jan 10th 2017 | Daisy Loomes