9th July, 2016
The Vault, Newcastle
Elm Street’s gig was held at The Vault, a Newcastle heavy metal club, now at Newcastle Leagues, that has been growing in momentum in the last year or so. To set the scene, it isn’t a great venue, or with a decent PA, however tonight it was buzzing with energy, and let’s face it Newcastle isn’t exactly bubbling with many live venues these days. Elm Street hit the stage just as I have seen in the past, with passion and ferocity. I like the fact that they look the audience in the eye and seem to build on the energy as it moves back and forth from the band to the crowd and back again. They opened tonight with a few songs, straight up from Knock Em Out…With a Metal Fist, ‘Face the Reaper’ hit me straight away, despite not being familiar with some of this this new material it was instantly recognisable. The new material is traditional metal with a heavier and grittier edge and I think that this is compliments of Ben Batre’s raspy vocal style. A number of the choruses are quite anthemic and lend them organically to the live setting. The material really has come a long way from Barbed Wire Metal.
As the crowd warmed in to the performance the band kick up a gear and pulled out a number of tracks from Barbed Wire Metal, including ‘Elm St’s Children’. One member of the band that I need to acknowledge here is Tomislav Perkovic on drums. He has on one level a straight forward heavy back beat style, but he seems to glide in and out of sitting on the beat and then pushing it forward, dragging the rhythm section with him. He definitely has a style of his own and this really expands the horizons of the material live. The guitar duo of Ben and Aaron Adie, is tight and complimentary, and this probably is a reflection of that fact that these guys have been playing together since they were teenagers.
Newcastle really has not seen a set like this form some time and the crowd paid that back in loads! Elm Street is definitely on the verge of something special and tonight was testament to this as they closed with their classic ‘Barbed Wire Metal’. It will be very interesting to look back on this gig in a few years time and compare it to where the band is at, at that point in their career.
I had an amazing night. Elm Street is really on their way and I sincerely hope that all of the metal moons line up to support their conviction and talent at this point in their career. And to Ben personally, post interview and gig, he is very focussed and engaging, a young man who knows where his band is headed. The future for Elm Street is very bright and there really shouldn’t be a metal fan in Australia, or internationally for that matter, which hasn’t been initiated with this outfit. If you haven’t already found a copy of Knock Em Out…With a Metal Fist and Barbed Wire Metal check them out, I assure you, you won’t be disappointed.
– Mark Snedden