Unwritten Law + Cailin Russo – The Back Room Brisbane [Live Review]

Review and gallery : Dan Maynard 

After a rescheduling of dates, San Diego punk veterans Unwritten Law have finally hit Australian shores for their long awaited tour for their latest album The Hum. A packed out Chardons Corner hosts a sold out show, with a merch line that goes from doors open through to after their set in a room packed to the brim with mega fans.With only one support tonight on the bill, we’re treated to something a little left of centre but very dear to any true Unwritten Law fans heart. It’s Cailin Russo, daughter of UL frontman Scott Russo and the reason behind one of Russos biggest hits, Cailin.

It’s clear as day that exceptional talent runs through young Russos veins, as she takes to the stage with brooding lights and an enigmatical presence. Russo presents herself in such a calm and mysterious manner, flowing across the stage as she sings as a silhouette to the crowd. But it’s not long before the vibe transitions into an upbeat fun dance atmosphere. Under the earnestness that sits within her music, lies a fun loving and happy go lucky human being who’s here and loving every second of it all. It is incredibly evident that she is so in the moment and so mentally euphoric at playing across the other side of the world and that energy and quality is taken on by everyone in the room.

Cailins music may be as different to dads band as yoghurt is to a pot noodle, but this doesn’t stop her from bringing the crowd to life and proving that she deserved that spot as the opening act. I heard so many people walking away blown away by Cailins performance and I truly believe she is as talented as they get. Nothing compares to a genuine smile and amazing music and that’s what Cailin brought to the stage tonight.

As the room is now completely packed out, barely an inch to move, the crowd erupts as the Poway legends walk onstage. After a moment of crowd interaction, drummer Wade Youmanthrows the band into the opening hits of Beggars from 2022s The Hum and we’re off, the crowd showing their love for the latest album. Without missing a beat, we’re transported back to 1998s self titled hit Teenage Suicide as the crowd go into a frenzy of nostalgia.

The set is filled to the brim with big hits and deep cuts, blending old and new perfectly with recent tracks such as Ghosted and Magnetic, right back to the deep cuts such as Before I Goand Denied. We’re treated to another special appearance from Cailin Russo as she jumps onstage during Cailin, showing her immense love for her father as he sings the heartwarming song named after her, she dances adoringly along with Russo. She sticks around to sing Tell Me Lies, a Fleetwood Mac cover which Cailinappears on in the recorded version on The Hum, once again displaying the power behind her voice.

As the set draws near an end, the band play through some of their more ballad-like tracks, Rest of My Life, Before I Go and How You Feel being amongst them. After a flawless run through mega hit Up All Night, it’s a quick walk off stage before an encore, leaping into a cover of More Than You Are from Australian icons and long time friends of the band, Grinspoon. And closing with one more old school hit, Harmonic.

The energy vibes through the room as the band leave the stage and the crowd head for the doors. Tonight I feel like I’ve seen Unwritten Law at their best. After having seen them multiple times over the past 20 years, this was Scott Russo at his finest. He’s in the moment and having the time of his life, Russo has never looked happier to be on stage and that goes for the rest of the band. Here’s to 20 more years of Unwritten Law hitting our shores!

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