Usually, Brunswick Mall is splashes of pretty colours and the boys suited up. Tonight, a sea of black attire, piercings and brightly coloured hair is making the average Sunday punters enjoyingly uncomfortable. As 6pm looms, the line outside The Fortitude Music Hall spans the length of the mall and around the corner on Wickham Street. The confrontation of a fully sold-out show resulting in strange looks and filthy glares from onlookers.
As Coldrain were unable to attend tonight’s leg of the tour, thoroughly making up for it on Wednesday night, Sydney‘s Father Deer Hands have stepped up to the plate. Their post-hardcore sound a perfect opening for the acts they are tasked to support, guitarist Wade took to the stage before the house music finished, saying “I fucking love you guys, I’m nervous as fuck”. Laughter and applause echoed his statement from the crowd.
Fuck me, I was not expecting the performance these lads put on! From almost losing a guitar after Wade swung it around from his neck on the second track For The First Time In Years, to having almost the entire venue clapping. The energy through their entire set was outstanding! These Sydney boys are completely deserving of their spot on the bill.
A pulsing heartbeat echoes through the venue and an eruption of cheers from the crowd follows as The Used take it away with Take It Away, while the one and only Bert McCracken does a non-alcoholic beer spit mid stage kicking things into gear.
The boys are in fine form, sturdy as they swing into the mischievous The Worm and The Bird.
After finishing Fuck You, McCracken addressed the growing scent of cannabis coming from the crowd. In support of the medicinal product available now in Australia, he confessed to using it himself for his knee and suggested if anyone else needed to use this wonderful substance, to google it.
All That I’ve Got was an absolute banger that everyone got involved in, the crowds growing roars conducted by Bert, the closing chorus to a much more loungey guitar from Joey Bradford, the entire track was phenomenal live.
At this point, McCracken noticed a present sitting on the edge of the stage and asked if he could open it. The package contained a stuffed Kookaburra and a plastic worm. It took a moment for the penny to drop for the singer – a bird and a worm. He shared a joke at their expense with the crowd before moving on with the set.
The band then invited special guest, Jacoby Shaddix, on stage to perform Blood On My Hands. The pair of frontmen paraded the stage having an absolute blast together. You could see the young men behind the experienced stage veterans that would have practiced their songs in garages or bedrooms long before playing in front of thousands and that magic is not lost on them one bit, especially sharing that moment as friends.
Before closing off their set, Bert asked to see the biggest smiles the adoring masses could muster and requested they make sure the leave the venue with those same smiles on their faces. A mash up of A Box Full of Sharp Objects and Smells Like Teen Spirit closed off their time on stage and left every single person feeling thoroughly loved.
Darkness fell along the now packed amphitheater, strobe lights pulsed as Papa Roach took to the stage, firing up their set with Kill the Noise. For the last leg of their tour, the boys are on fire!
“What’s up Brisvegas? You’re making this Sunday night feel like a fucking Friday!” Frontman Jacoby Shaddix told the crowd before heading straight into Getting Away with Murder.
Shaddix informed the crowd that he woke to the news their most recent single had just hit number 1 on the US charts! In honour of that achievement, the next track on the setlist was Cut The Line. The chart placement was well deserved if based on the live performance of it alone.
The energetic frontman called for the OG Papa Roach fans, paying homage to the 2001 Anger Management Tour they performed at with the likes of Eminem, Xzibit and Dr Dre with a change up to the intro to Broken Home being an impromptu Lose Yourself cover.
The set was almost halfway through, and the Papa Roach boys were sweaty, but not slowing. And things were only about to get hotter! Marking the middle of the set with a flawless performance and loving tribute to the late legend, Keith Flint of The Prodigy via a cover Firestarter.
After To Be Loved and an instrumental cover of Lullaby by The Cure, the anthem of the evening Scars had the venue once again singing every word like hymn, before the Papa Roach boys invited Bert McCracken back on stage for the phenomenal No Apologies.
One last cover for the night, an adaptation of Dr Dre‘s Still Dre had the room shaking from the moshpit up to the upper-level mezzanine, Papa Roach‘s mix of rock and roll, and hip hop shone through before getting heavier with the cult classic Between Angels & Insects. You could feel every single person reminiscing of the first time they heard the track.
It wouldn’t be a Papa Roach show without the song that blew them up, the angst riot that is Last Resort. The stressed out, firey teens inside everyone erupted to this hit, and the band loved it.
The atmosphere had hit 11 for the closing of the gig, there had been love, angst, booing (at Bert McCracken‘s request), even a flasher and so many people living their best lives. The emotions were high for most, it’s interesting to think at some point, most of these punters were at the brink of giving up and yet, pushed through to be there tonight. And I, for one, am glad they were.