Review : Nev Pearce
Photography : Dan Maynard
Back in 1999 when the Nu Metal movement was at its peak, the music world was flooded with thousands of Korn, Deftones and Limp Bizkit sound likes, and while I was into the bulk of the acts of the genre at the time it was starting to get a little stale aside from a small handful of bands that pushed their way through all the noise and baggy pants, carving out their little pocket in the scene.
One of those bands was Powerman 5000 who gained international acclaim with their major label debut Tonight the stars revolt! an album that hit me like a freight train and resonated with my love of metal and sci-fi.
While PM5K was riding high on their success and hitting almost every market in the global touring circuit they missed Australia completely, which was confusing considering how everyone I knew also seemed to love them as much as I did.
Well after 20-plus years Spider One and his crew finally make the trip down under and the excitement at The Zoo in Brisbane is electric as well as diverse as it seems both metal heads, punks and everyone in between have shown up in full force to see their metal sci-fi heroes.
Opening the night are NZ/Australian band These Four Walls, who have done some impressive supports in their time and know how to work a stage, kicking off with Chaos, the band sound massive and put on a live show that is above and beyond your average opener.
The band also seem very stoked and appreciative of the opportunity to open for PM5K with frontman Steve Gibb beaming that he was also a long-time fan since the early days, staying up late to record their videos on VHS which is something we can all relate to.
On top of their heavy grooves, soaring melodies and catchy as fuck hooks, they are insanely tight and know how to interact with a packed room, their onstage enthusiasm and charisma drawing the crowd closer towards them as they get further into their set with tracks like Dead Air, White Lies, Bravery and Talons.
These Four Walls are one of the best bands around and a great way to get the fans warmed up for the evening.
With the Star Trek theme song as their introduction, Powerman 5000 hit the stage to an incredibly warm (and well overdue) welcoming response for their first show in Australia, even the band themselves are slightly taken back by the reaction as they launch into Footsteps and Voices with explosive energy.
Now, these days I’m not usually one to run headfirst into a pit, I’ve definitely hit that age where I prefer to stand midway and nod my head and sing along but tonight was definitely the exception, as soon as the robotic opening sample to Nobody’s Real starts I found myself possessed to head straight to the front with the other maniacs being uncontrollably hypnotised by the anthems of our youth being blasted over the PA.
Powerman’s founder and mastermind Spider One is hands down one of the best frontmen in heavy music, not only does he get the punters moving with his fist-pumping chants and commands as he bounces around the stage, but he also sounds fucking incredible and exactly how you remember hearing on record 20 years ago.
The setlist is a career spanning with a great selection of tracks from their catalogue from the past two decades.
Songs like Supervillain, Black Lipstick and How To Be A Human are crushing live and give us all a good work out which I am still paying for as I write this. (worth it!)
The band is extremely entertaining to watch, they are all musicians of the highest caliber and show off their improv skills turning the song Horror Show into the White Stripes Seven Nation Army halfway through, using it as a launch pad to then blend and weave in other well-known songs like INXS’s Devil Inside, Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell and even Spider’s big brother Rob Zombie’s hit song Dragula which is a real treat to see.
As the show rolls on with V Is for Vampire, Bombshell and then wrapping up with back-to-back bangers Supanova Goes Pop and When Worlds Collide, it’s one hell of a finale and leaves the fans screaming for more.
You can’t deny that Powerman 5000’s first show of the tour was a successful one, everybody I spoke to after shared the same sentiment that it was one of the best damn gigs we’ve ever attended, and I got the feeling that the band felt that too.
While Spider joked during the set that the next time, they return they will need walkers, I definitely hope that isn’t the case, come back as soon as you can and let’s do it all over again, until then we will keep watching the skies.
For tickets to the remaining dates head to : https://tickets.metropolistouring.com/Default.aspx?Event=158613