Review: Jack Price
Photography: Dan Maynard
Brisbane‘s The Zoo is no stranger to loud, heavy music, hosting a plethora of punk and alternative bands over the 3 decades it has been open. The second story venue, with its open ceiling of rafters and sheet metal, and its grungy entrance stairs is not exactly welcoming to the uninitiated. But on this Thursday eve, it entices a coven of dedicated fans, enchanted like children under a witches spell.
With an evening of heavy riffs, bone rattling drums and vocals as mesmerising as there are soul shaking, He Is Legend along with Gold Coast rockers Hammers and Brisbane’s Deadyet? make for a line-up that is sure to melt some faces.
As Deadyet? boys stormed the stage with full force, it was all guns blazing. These guys have a touch of Clutch in their music, and boy is it groovy as fuck! All was going amazingly, until guitarist Scott Mitchell ran into some unfortunate technical difficulties which brought the set to a brief halt. Frontman David Fischer entertained the crowd as if it was part of their set, cracking jokes, singing with bassist Chris Arthur and interacting with the eager crowd that was starting to grow.
With a dazzling light display and blast of noise, the boys were back in business. What had turned into an impromptu karaoke session was now groovy and aggressive once again. Despite the technical issues, they finished strong. The boys wished their bests, thanked the crowd and set the stage for Hammers.
Hammers by name, hammers by nature because these guys hit hard! Leigh ‘Fish’ Dowling emits a blood-curdling scream opening the set, followed by the bluesy, metal guitar from guitarist and backing vocalist Lucas Stone. Everything you’ve read or heard about Hammers does not live up to their live performance. The vocal harmonies of Dowling and Stone are perfectly executed in typical rock’n’roll style, the groovy, bluesy bass from Ricky T, all kept in line and time by the machine gun drums from Ryan ‘Ruckus’ Lucas.
Despite the boys suffering from what appeared to be a run of bad luck in the technical department, which was quickly solved by some gaffer tape to repair the frontmans mic, their set was tight as fuck and the room dug it! The country-meets-metal-meets-pub rock riffs were a blast to behold, while vocally and lyrically, the boys are aggressive and cheeky, charming but not unsettling. The lads from Hammers gave Brisbane one hell of a show and definitely propped the stage for the roller-coaster approaching head-on for the congregation.
Now, I’d never had the chance to see the spectacle, the intoxicating marvel of He Is Legend before this gig. I knew the show would be amazing but what I was not expecting was the powerhouse before me. From the intro to White Bat, to the cover of Zero by the one and only Smashing Pumpkins and everything between, the sheer amount of energy resonating from stage to crowd and back again was otherworldly.
The stage presence of energetic frontman Schuylar Croom was a magical spectacle, from his beautifully executed performance vocally, to his engagement with the band’s adoring fans. Like a man possessed, he contorted himself around the stage, acting out the lyrics he ejected through the house PA.
“We’ve been doing this shit for 20 years. We’re no spring chickens man,” Croom boasted, echoed by a call of laughter from the congregation of fans. “The reason We’re here is for you so from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.”
As the band finished up with I Am Hollywood, ears ringing and thoroughly exhausted from the exorcism of energy that had just taken place, the punters called for no encore. Clearly, they had gotten what they came for.
With three more stops across the Aussie landscape, the He Is Legend and Hammers lads will have the energy to go another lap based on tonight’s show. Let’s hope Australia is ready, and they come back soon for round 2.
For tickets and remaining tour dates head HERE