Riverstage, Brisbane Qld
21st January, 2017
Support – The Dirty Nil, Behind Crimson Eyes, The Getaway Plan
“This isn’t a funeral, it’s a fucking wake.”
These were the words of Alexisonfire front man George Pettit when the band graced our shores in 2012 for what would be the final shows of their career. Those shows had a power and finality to them, it was a celebration of everything the band had achieved and it seemed like we would never get to see them again.
But…nothing stays dead forever. Five years on from their last goodbye, the guys have returned from the ashes to make a declaration and they’ve decided to bring some of their friends along for the ride.
First up The Dirty Nil who grace the Riverstage playing their own brand of frenetic rock and roll with their songs containing a Violent Soho vibe but with a more frenzied approach. Sadly, there’s not much the band can do to win over the disinterested crowd who look like they’re witnessing Donald Trump’s inauguration speech. Their performance is admirable, but as the final note rings out… I think most people have already forgotten who they are.
Next up are Behind Crimson Eyes who are an example of cashing in on emo nostalgia as they attempt to make the kids remember when they were a relevant band. Their songs sounding pretty much the same throughout, there’s nothing memorable about this third-rate emo act as they kick about the stage, flailing aimlessly and screeching into the microphone. The people watching the band look like they would rather be anywhere else. Including me.
The biggest surprise of the night goes to The Getaway Plan who defy all my expectations and end up being a personal highlight. Their frantic prog music was a welcome touch after the first two acts seemingly bombed out; the crowd eating up everything coming from the stage as Mathew Wight’s distinguishable vocal theatrics explode in your ear drums. Playing hits like ‘When the City Meets the Sea’ which has everyone singing along like it’s the greatest banger in the entire world they really leave the stage with everyone ready for the main event.
Wasting almost no time Alexisonfire fire on all cylinders as the crowd rushes forward to greet their heroes. Pettit, Dallas Green and Wade MacNeil cut ominous figures as they launch everything into hyper drive with the opening notes of ‘Drunks, Lovers, Sinners and Saints’ emanating throughout your entire body and create a mass of sweating bodies and limbs in the pit within seconds.
Following up with the iconic anthem ‘This Could Be Anywhere in The World’ highlights the vocal interplay of both Green and Pettit as they contrast and complement each other and add a level of depth a tunefulness to the song. Ultimately culminating in a chorus which causes everyone to scream like they’re at their first Westboro Baptist Church sing-along.
From here on songs such as ‘Old Crows’ and ‘Boiled Frogs’ sound positively venomous as the crowd greets each song like a long lost friend, adding their own voices and limbs to the rapturous event ensuing onstage. The amount of anthems this band have in their arsenal is astounding with a personal highlight being ‘Crisis’ as the opening guitar part proves to be unquestionably lethal tonight.
Leaving the stage for a moment after the beautiful ‘Young Cardinals’ the band return for a four song encore with ‘The Northern’ being nothing short of otherworldly with the dreamlike light show adding to the effect as every person in the venue destroys their vocals as they sing-along. Ending the show with the touchingly flawless ‘Happiness by the Kilowatt’ gives people a reprieve from the onslaught they’ve experienced throughout the night with it being nothing short of awe-inspiring as it launches us into the stratosphere. Honestly, it’s fucking monstrous.
Alexisonfire are undeniably back. Now when will we get a new album?!
Photo Gallery by Mitch Camberlain. Don’t use without permission. Bands feel free to use.
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The Getaway Plan
Behind Crimson Eyes
The Dirty Nil