EQUINOX featuring Northlane and In Hearts Wake
Supports – Hands Like Houses, Ocean Grove
June 10, 2016
Aussie pride; loud and proud. It’s not every day that Perth gets honoured to be a part of the first leg of a full touring package, including the opener who resides on the East Coast. The ‘Equinox’ tour essentially showcases some of Australia’s best musicians in the heavy and alternative sphere, and of course we’re talking about Northlane, In Hearts Wake, Hands Like Houses and Ocean Grove. It seems like UNFD Records are just warming up from the new music festival Unify, to organise a tour of this magnitude.
Metro City gathered a handful of excitable fans to catch Ocean Grove who got things going at 8pm on the dot. The Victorians had a lot to celebrate, playing their first show since their recent label signing; oh and not to mention new single and successful EP taking over the alternative music media (read our interview here). For a genre that band members often display themselves under sub-cultures of some kind, Ocean Grove challenged this notion in a fun way. With vocalist Luke Holmes sporting a varsity jacket, another band member channelling Wes Borland from Limp Bizkit with a bright green shirt on, another with overalls and then one shirtless with long-matted-heavy-metal hair, they had quite the mix going on.
The band got some head-banging going from loyal fans and got a huge reception for single ‘Lights on Kind of Lover’. It was clear how much Holmes appreciated the support slot with an opportunity for exposure; and with their hip-hop infused hardcore vibe, it seems like they would have certainly gained a handful of fans – “download us on LimeWire” he says – “do whatever you gotta do”.
By the time Hands Like Houses were gearing up, the venue was filled with a sea of people and their red cups, preparing for a big party. As many touring packages go, the Equinox tour did have the one band that may had a bit of a different sound from the rest of the evening’s genre; though it seemed like many fans were quite content with this. The rock band from our nation’s capital sported some of their hits from album ‘Dissonants’, fresh with melodic climbs and tight riffs. Vocalist Trenton Woodley thanked everyone for coming out, and was particularly excited to be supporting In Hearts Wake and Northlake (not a typo) – oops! Surely the band heard this and were node impressed?
Having released a celebratory EP together, we all knew Northlane and In Hearts Wake were about to deliver something really special, we just had no idea what that was going to consist of. Who was going to play first? Will they play the EP? How is this shindig going to go down? All was about to unfold.
As the lights dimmed, a few chords began and the crowd ceased forward with anticipation of who was getting things started, and then with a monstrous presence, In Hearts Wake graced the stage, punching breakdowns and growling an electro-wave through the nightclub. Vocalist Jake Taylor, wearing an orange tie-dyed tee, was well-primed for this show, with his optimal growl bursting through from the get-go. At this point, fans were just taking on the journey of uncertainty for the evening; oh and enjoying one of their favourites doing what they do best. After a handful of songs, the boys from Byron Bay quickly disappeared.
Without a single blink in time, that prolific riff began – ‘Dispossession’ from Northlane’s ‘Discoveries’ album – and queue mosh detonation. Bear in mind, with new vocalist Marcus Bridge still quite new on the scene, it was going to be an interesting performance. Looking like a combination of Russell Brand and Adrian Grenier (from Entourage), Bridge truly channelled his inner progressive-metal image. The rest of the band sported their usual black outfits, working well for their sound, in a Periphery kind of way.
Instrumentally, Northlane were absolutely magnificent; guitars were tuned to perfection for each track, glistening each recognisable chord with such focus and passion.
Unlike more recent visits to Perth, the metalcore monsters played a majority of their setlist from ‘Singularity’ which was marvellous, especially because Bridge pulled them off beautifully. After playing favourites like ‘Rot’ and ‘Quantum Flux’ the band disappeared and we thought that that’d be all from both bands. But alas, In Hearts Wake returned immediately for another dose of ‘Skywalker’ and ‘Earthwalker’ bangers. With beach balls being launched into the crowd, the party vibe was certainly on point. ‘Wildfire’ and ‘Badlands’ had punters screaming with excitement as they sang along.
After a couple of hours’ worth of back and forth between both bands, the fans were truly satisfied, but the best part was yet to come. They had already delivered some of their best live tracks, even with guest vocals from Ocean Grove, but the night was not done yet. The back-drop changed to the ‘Equinox’ album art and punters had one of those “aw shit…” moments.
Having taken over the Aussie music scene over the last few years, it was chilling to see Jake Taylor and Marcus Bridge bellowing lyrics next to each other on stage to ‘Refuge’ – a track that really infuses both bands’ unique musical styles in a truly eclectic way. Closing with ‘Hologram’, Bridge led the charge with the blistering opening verse whilst Taylor savoured the moment between clean vocal sections by Kyle Erich of In Hearts Wake. The strobe lights layered the stage with an x factor to the gold standard of heavy music. For those are yet to catch this tour, you’re in for a bloody treat.
By Ricky Aarons – https://twitter.com/rickysaul90
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