The Brightside, Brisbane QLD
March 23rd, 2017
Support – Seraphic
Acoustic performances, much like a Donald Trump presidency have been known to be a tough thing to pull off. This is especially true for those in metal bands who are used to the distortion as a means to hide any flaws that may arise, but without those things, we’re as naked as the day we were born, our flaws are on display and there’s no hiding.
Welcome to The Brightside, where there seems to be a disturbing lack of Jack Daniels for a venue hosting the king of Southern goth KFC, the horror punk unicorn himself, Wednesday 13. Returning again after less than a year to give the crowd an intimate evening of acoustic renditions of his most famous songs, along with some deep cuts for the more attentive fan.
First things first, we have the delightful Seraphic who join in the fun of an unplugged performance by stripping down to a simple acoustic guitar and keyboard combination. Playing something I would say is heavily indebted to Nightwish, this guy and girl give the crowd an ethereal performance which borders between delicate and sublime in both instrumentation and execution as lead vocalist Sam Wolstenholme weaves piano and her beautiful operatic vocal lines through an exquisite set. It’s honestly enough to make you forget there’s no Jack Daniels at the bar.
Thankfully the lack of my favourite whiskey isn’t too much of a hassle when Wednesday 13 finally takes to the stage. Armed with only his cowboy hat and his trusty acoustic guitar, he launches straight into ‘Blood Fades to Black’ from the Calling All Corpses album. The southern origins of the horror punk maestro are on full display tonight with the frontman’s North Carolina drawl showing through as if he’s ready to cook us a nice traditional Southern barbeque.
Mr. 13 manages to escape many of the pitfalls of an acoustic performance, which is great because the entire set comes across more like a giant Q&A meet and greet, instead of like your drunk uncle trying to drunkenly sing another rendition of ‘Wonderwall’.
The hits are on display tonight as songs such as ‘Dead Carolina’ and ‘My Home Sweet Homocide’ are played alongside deeper cuts such as the Murderdolls ‘Welcome to the Strange’ adding to the intimate feeling of the night, Wednesday stops to tell people stories about the songs, assuring everyone they are all true. I don’t know if they’re all true. But what he does tell the crowd is fucking hilarious and worth the price of admission alone, with topics as far reaching as the time he met James Brown and caused the Godfather of soul to slick sauce in his hair and we shall never forget the hilarious song ‘OJ Did It’ which is exactly what you think it’s about.
Alongside the stories, he also stops to take questions from the crowd, with one person reading my mind enough to ask “If he was disturbed by the lack of Jack Daniels at this venue” (I feel you friend) where he reassured the man there was definitely enough Jack Daniels backstage, so at least one of us was happy. At times, the power of the acoustic renditions almost matched the more distorted versions with the acoustic performance of ‘Bad Things’ dedicated to his childhood bully, causing the crowd to scream every word as if they were seeing the full band version.
Unfortunately all good things come to an end, as Wednesday begins the ever loveable ‘I Love to Say Fuck’ causing everyone to sing and bang their heads. It’s the extra layer of barbeque sauce we all needed on this amazing performance as he sends us home with a smile on our collective faces.
If you were debating about whether to see this because it’s acoustic, I can assure you, the gig tonight is a treat for fans and newcomers and worth every penny. This was for the real fans, the ones who have stuck with Wednesday through everything and they didn’t leave unhappy as the man elevated a simple acoustic set into a special, one-of-a-kind evening. Don’t miss this.
Just make sure the venue stocks more than a shot of Jack Daniels before leaving the house.
Wednesday 13 – Undead Unplugged Tour