The Amity Affliction, Alpha Wolf, Terminal Sleep & RUN – SOPO Gold Coast [Live Review]

Review: JD Garrahy
Photography: Luke Petty 

First gig of the year and it’s off to a flying start. When The Amity Affliction first announced a regional Australian tour, I never thought Gold Coast would be on that list. Tonight however, the SOPO main ballroom is packed out for what surely will be a contender for concert of the year.

Leading things off is Melbourne locals RUN. These guys came to the Gold Coast to take no prisoners and that’s exactly what they do. Smackin’ riffs and hefty breakdowns are plentiful in this set. Front man Lochlan Watt takes a moment between songs to informs us of his recent battle of illness, which he then leads the crowd in a chant of “FUCK CANCER!”. Absolute chills when you hear such a chant from a large congregation.

Terminal Sleep, well fuck me! Why have I not heard of this band until now? Slaying every single riff, drum beat and gut-wrenching bass line with ease, the 5 piece from Melbourne deliver one of the most energetic shows imaginable. Front woman Bec absolutely commands the stage and the amount of head-banging she executes makes MY neck hurt. An absolute powerhouse of a band, I can’t wait to see them live once more.

Alpha Wolf is a band of epic proportions. Whether you’ve seen them on a headline show or a support slot for your favorite band, I guarantee you walked away a fan. There’s so much you get out of an Alpha Wolf show, Lochie’s raw vocals, Sabian’s killer riffs or Mitch’s percussive work that appears completely effortless, these guys just give every show their all and it ALWAYS leaves the crowd wanting to see them again as soon as possible. Scottie, John and Sabian all run around the stage and play up to the crowd while demonstrating that they are all true masters of their crafts.

As Lochie incites the first Wall of Death for the night, we get a true taste of what it’s like to be at an AW show. “We’re on the Gold Coast, so I KNOW you fuckers can surf. So, we don’t want to see you stop surfing for this whole next song” (brilliant with all the screens displaying a ‘No Crowd Surfing’ graphic around the venue) screams Lochie to the crowd as the set winds up.

Finishing with ‘Akudama’, the Tassie lads depart stage with a plethora of new fans and the loyal devotees craving more (if you haven’t already, get yourself a ticket to Cvltfest, you won’t be disappointed).

Its time for the main act, among the crowd, it’s hard to see people NOT rockin their favorite Amity shirt or the one they just bought from the merch booth. The fan base for this band is massive, and rightly so, they have been a solid part of the melodic metalcore scene in Australia for just over 2 decades now. Destroying stages around the world and delivering breakneck tunes to the masses is second nature to the 4 piece from Gympie, and tonight is no different. As smoke fills the stage, the lads hit the stage and launch straight into Death’s Head, It’s clear they mean business and to annihilate the eardrums of tonight’s crowd.

Following with All My Friends Are Dead and Drag the Lake, Ahren’s voice is at 110% for tonight’s show and the crowd imitates his vocals to the best of their ability. Absolutely amazing. Now, while on the subject of vocals, I’m not sure when I have heard Joel sound so fucking good. Absolutely crushing it through every single song, he’s here to give the Gold Coast crowd the best possible bang for their buck. Phenomenal work on his behalf.

With a LED screen drum riser on stage, it’s clear to see that they want to give the punters as much of a full-scale Amity show as they possibly can. As we approach the end of the set, tracks such as ‘Pittsburgh’ and ‘Not Without My Ghosts’ pepper through the set much to the delight of their fanbase. Rounding out the set with ‘Ivy (Doomsday)’ and ‘It’s Hell Down Here’, we’re all left more than satisfied with how intensely hefty this set was. A true ‘fan service’ setlist if ever I heard one. Now, we all know there’s always time for one more song, and tonight we get an encore of ‘Soak Me in Bleach’. Holy shit, I don’t think I’ve ever heard this song played live so well. Well done lads, that was incredible.

Departing SOPO into the warm night air, the first gig of the year is officially behind us. Now, for any other bands touring this year, good luck in equalling that performance, truly magical. Stay brutal Gold Coast, it was incredible.

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