Given the events leading up to this nights show, it was very difficult to dodge the elephant in the room. And it was a mere few seconds after I had joined the line to get into the venue that the conversations started. “So The Faceless aren’t playing tonight….”, it began, and while I’m not going to go into specifics, it was this sort of phrase that mirrored a lot many of the overheard conversations from different fans all night. But the night wasn’t about The Faceless – it was about the bands that were on show, and as soon as the music started, that became quite clear.
Unravel opened the night and set a phenomenal tone for what was to follow. Intricately tight with the right combination of Death, Grind and aggression filtering down from the stage, the band gave everyone that got out early a chance to see something refreshing in this day and age. It made me start to question just what is in the water over the other side of our country, to give birth to as brutal a sound as this. I’ll be watching this space to definitely hear more from these guys.
The second act of the night was Melbourne legends Whoretopsy, and this is where the night really started to take off. I don’t know what it is about them, but everything they do just has a flair of excellence and polish to it, and their performance here was no different. The energy they brought to the stage was easily the best that I have seen from the group, and their sound was definitely on the heavier side for the night. Drummer Jake Sproule lead me to believe he is some sort of a cyborg, because last night (and probably the last 3-4 times I have seen the band), he played with the intensity of a machine gun, but gave the impression that this is all a leisurely session for him by blasting with such ease and not even breaking a sweat – even when he lost two Toms for the final two songs. If you have the chance to get out early and see these guys in any of the upcoming shows, then you really need to.
The third act up for the night was Putrid Pile, and where do I even start? Being somewhat of a cross between RainbowDragonEyes and Nile, I just don’t know what it was about this solo act, but I found myself completely transfixed on stage. With nothing other than his guitar, a microphone in front of him and a blistering backing track, Shaun LaCanne provided one of the greatest shows of a solo artist in recent memory. And it wasn’t until he got to the tail end of his set that most of the crowd actually appreciated and understood what they were watching. Heavy and frenetically quick riffs was definitely the main course of this set, and by engaging Disentomb vocalist and Brisbane local Jawd James to perform guest vocals on a song, Putrid Pile did the one thing that could enhance this performance a little bit more to the Brisbane crowd. Definitely a band to see live at least once.[metalwani_content_ad]
Headliners The Black Dahlia Murder were absolutely phenomenal in every sense of the word, and it was great to see so many people turn out for then. I have never seen a tighter or more cohesive unit on stage in recent memory, and this was a sentiment that was shared right throughout the venue. The enigmatic Trevor Strnad weaved his way around the stage, flailing his hands about like he was at the helm of an orchestra. It was a pleasure to watch the sea of fans tilt their heads from side to side watching his every motion, and his vocal delivery highlighted why many consider him one of the best in the business.
But the joy didn’t stop with Strnad, as the one-two guitar combination of Brandon Ellis and Brian Eschbach performed as one of the most in-sync guitar duos I have ever had the pleasure of watching live. It was this trio that really spearheaded the bands assault through the setlist which covered a wide range of the bands history.
Never ones to mince around with the regular tropes of the Industry, The Black Dahlia Murder opted not to perform an encore and closed out their set with “I Will Return” – and with the house lights going up, a brilliant evening came to a close.
However, the real MVP of the night definitely was the sound guy. I have never, in the past six to seven years of attending gigs at this venue, heard the sound as on point as it was during this show. Everything was clear enough that it didn’t matter if I was at the barrier, down a side or towards the back of the venue. It all still sounded perfect.
So did the last-minute cancellation of The Faceless affect this tour? Would the band showing up have enhanced this show? Yeah, it might have had an impact for some fans to some degree. But on a night when the topic of conversation was on their freshly cancelled tour mates, these bands led by the ever impressive The Black Dahlia Murder didn’t let any of the external problems dampen their party. Each band came out and did what they are all known for – playing good music and putting on a one hell of a show!
Also check out our Photo Gallery of the gig here!