GIG REVIEW: Thrash, Blast And Grind Festival Live at The Triffid, Brisbane
The collapse of the great festivals of such as Soundwave and Big Day Out have paved the way for smaller boutique festivals over the past two years, and while none have managed to steal the thunder that the massive fests did in their day, the Thrash, Blast and Grind festival is the first that has decided to take the traveling festival route. If it’s first night in Brisbane is anything to go by, then this won’t be the last time that this traveling splendor comes rolling around and an annual fixture could be something we may see more of.
Kicking off the night were Amicable Treason and while I missed all barring their last song due to some public transport issues, I saw enough to know that they had played a good set. Twenty five minutes is not long enough in my opinion, but the band seemed to do enough in that time together the crowd relatively warmed up. What I did see I liked and hope that I can catch a full set of theirs soon.
Black Rheno were on second and I have to admit that for a three piece, they absolutely destroyed the stage. They had this groovetastic fill of stoner and sludge that was just gritty but still had this edge about it coming from the vocals. For a band that only consisted of a drummer, guitarist and vocalist there was definitely a lot to like up on stage and for a relatively unknown band in Brisbane parts they managed to get a pretty decent crowd reaction. Their set left me wanting more and hopefully it’s not too long before they hit these parts again!
Following up the sludgeness, Whoretopsy brought their fast paced death metal to the stage and it was at that point the night picked up in momentum. I’ve seen Whoretopsy countless times now but honestly can’t tell you a point in which I’ve seen that so commandeering in stage than they were with their Zac Bergholzon vocals for them. Don’t get me wrong, Whoretopsy’s music has always been loud, but there was a depth added to it through the vocals which definitely came through in their live performance. Musically the band was as heavy as expected, with most of the band putting in an energetic display, but I must admit I was slightly bemused by the drummer. Don’t get me wrong, he absolutely nailed his parts, but I wasn’t sure if he hadn’t hit his daily dose of caffeine but he just looked lackluster on stage compared to the energy coming from the other musicians on stage with him. When that’s the only criticism for an otherwise perfect set you know that you missed one hell of a show!
Next up were the only international band on the list with Revocation and by now the crowd had started to wells and truly flesh out. The American’s know how to throw one hell of a performance and this is probably more heightened by the fact that the band had only finished on 70,000 Tons of Metal earlier in the week. Circle pits started to form around the room and those that weren’t in them were pushed up against the front. I honestly couldn’t tell you what captured my attention more, the energy of the crowd; or the guitar proficiency up in stage but for my first time seeing the band live I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest. I loved the fact I could hear all the nuances in their guitar work in the venue and that it wasn’t droned out but just wish their set didn’t have to end.
The Tasmanian Devils in Psycroptic were the penultimate act of the night and although it has been some time since they have played in Brisbane, they brought the goods again. I’ve seen Psycroptic about 12 times now both in Australia and Overseas and each time they never cease to amaze me with just how proficient and hard hitting they are on stage. Jason Peppiat is the world’s most underrated frontman and holds the crowd in the palm of his hand better than most vocalists in the world, and the Haley brothers just make both of their instruments look as easy as child’s play. It didn’t take longer than 30 seconds into their set for the pit to erupt and go absolutely mental and it stayed that way for the duration of their set. Their sound was absolutely crushing inside the walls of the Triffid and their performance on stage mirrored that perfectly.
For the final act of the night King Parrot took the stage at it was at this point that I absolutely took a bath as bit only was Matt Young in fine form as always with his water bottles, but the massive pits that were created when the band started playing caused about three or four people behind me to spill their beers down my back during the duration of their set. Stickiness aside, King Parrot definitely stole the night and I’m not sure if it’s been their time touring the US or Europe, but each time they come back to Brisbane they just feel stronger then the time before. The band was as technically precise as I knew they would be and their energy live is unparalleled in this world. To describe their set in detail would require more words than most would care to read, but it included stage diving, Youngy crowd surfing and having other crowd surfers towards him, bare bums and everything in between. While the crowd went crazy for the entire set, they lost themselves completely when Dead Set and Shit on the Liver were playing. Definitely the best band to close out the night, and a fine performance from the guys.
So at the same speed that this festival thrashed and blasted it’s way into Brisbane’s hearts, it grinded itself out of there destined for the next night at Sydney, but what should be taken from the turnout is that there is a demand for these traveling festivals in Australia. When you consider that five of the six bands were Australian (yes albeit big names), you can easily see this applying to other genres and maybe this is the start of a resurgence of the festival scene in Australia – I guess only time will tell.