The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
April 3rd, 2017
Supported by: Stepson
When a band can sell out a medium sized venue, you know you’re in for a good show… But when that band can sell out the venue in a country they’ve never been to before, you know you have to get in on the action just to see what the fuss is about. I Prevail finally made it to perform in Brisbane following the postponement of their show due to Tropical Cyclone Debbie’s aftermath caused venues to shut their doors on the night they were set to take the stage, but alas the wait was well worth it for eager fans.
Starting the night off a little late, we were stuck outside in a line loner than the wait at Centrelink’s front doors when they miss a payment and unfortunately we missed local opening act Stepson, actually a whole lot of the audience missed them because it took about an hour to get inside the doors. Upon entering we realised we were also one band down for the night with Void of Vision not being able to attend this stop of the tour due to rescheduling issues which meant I Prevail took to the stage at 8:30 and finished up shortly after 9:40pm. BY FAR THE EARLIEST GIG FINISH TIME I’VE EVER EXPERIENCED. But did they cram in as much as they could for to make it a memorable night? Well here we go…
Kicking off the night with ‘Come And Get It‘ the entire room joins in singing and jumping along to the beat, the heaviness of the song brings us all closer to the stage to get in on the action, unclean vocalist Eric Vanlerberghe sounds so clear with his screaming it’s almost as if they’ve put on a CD and he’s miming the words, this is a guy who’s perfected his talent, the band move into ‘Love, Lust and Liars‘ before addressing the crowd to get more rowdy, stating “We didn’t come back for nothing!” referencing their return to Brisbane following the first show’s cancellation. Almost immediately everyone gets up and moving for ‘Stuck In Your Head‘ one of the better favourites of the night.
At the end of this Samuel L. Jackson‘s Ezekiel 25:17 speech from Pulp Fiction plays out over the venue speakers and my ears prick up like a fox chasing a rabbit. I look around the room and to my astonishment I see a crowd of kids either talking to friends, trying to take photos and not really paying attention to the piece of cinematic history playing before them. Its at that moment I realise I’m one of the oldest guys here. But that wasn’t going to stop me from trying to enjoy the rest of the night and the band get straight into the heavy as fuck song ‘Already Dead‘ followed by ‘Pull the Cord‘ which has everyone moving again singing along before Eric is back up in front of us all, wanting to get some fan interaction for a video. He gets the crowd to scream the words “Home Is Where You Make It” for the camera, then clean vocalist Brian Burkheiser gets us all attentive with his appreciation speech for all the fans in attendance just as the band break out into ‘Chaos‘ which has everyone singing the words they screamed out earlier for the recording.
Another show pause has the band getting us to scream “Fuck Debbie” directed towards the Tropical Cyclone which screwed up their plans to perform the first time, but for something complete different it’s now time for a Band Member Roasting Session lead by unclean vocalist Eric, who is now joined onstage by two fans Haydoss and Doug who kinda did very little up there… First up guitarist Steve Menoian cops the old “He doesn’t own any shirts with sleeves” which to me isn’t really an insult. It’s hot in Australia and he’s just adapting to the climate, I thought! Touring bassist Eli Clark is targetted next and is called a paedophile for his inability to grow a moustache and his liking for driving vans… Which is awkward because I can’t grow a moustache either and I also drive a white van. But it’s okay, I don’t use Home Brand lollies though… Lee Runestad the drummer gets a short but sweet “No one knows who you are because you’re the drummer” spiel before rhythm guitarist Dylan Bowman gets ripped into for not being able to hold a steady relationship. Ok, nice try guys but that part sadly missed the mark for me. No one beats Steel Panther when it comes to ripping into each other on stage.
The band then start a somewhat medley of covers to explain the issues Eric is calling them out for, Dylan starts by playing Avril Lavigne‘s ‘Complicated‘ which then leads into the start of Puddle of Mudd‘s ‘She Hates Me‘ played almost to perfection just in time for the band to rip right back into Eric for asking the guys to help him write his tinder profile. He (and the band) then break out into Drowning Pool‘s ‘Bodies‘ chorus which is a clear, yet entertaining cover that brings us to the end of their little experiment with “roasting” each other. I Prevail then say we’re gonna play one more cover and jump straight into their EPIC rendition of Taylor Swift‘s ‘Blank Space‘, arguably the song which launched their career across the globe and the way they performed it without issue proved they owned the shit out of it. There were phones everywhere, you literally couldn’t see the stage through the mosh-pit of mobiles around you.
Another heavy song ‘Face Your Demons‘ sends the mosh into a frenzy with a circle pit forming, but looking like one of the friendliest pits I’ve ever seen. We then start to wind down the I Prevail Hour of Power with a story about where the boys have come from, working their shitty jobs to now be able to live their dreams, which leads into the typical pop-punk “You can do anything you set your mind to and quit doing what you don’t want to do” speech that opens up the next song ‘Rise‘ which goes off well before the boys announce the final song will be dedicated to everyone in the room and ‘Lifelines‘ plays out. Without error the boys leave the stage amidst a cheering roar from fans… However, in what would be the shortest stage exit of all time, they’re back on within less than a minute and ask the crowd what the last song should be that they play? The answer is a harmonious scream for ‘Scars“, an obvious fan favourite that hadn’t been played yet. The band ask for the venue to split down the middle and start a wall of death… everyone complies but yet again, I feel it’s the wrong kind of show to be calling for something like this, especially with such a pop rocky song to end with. The band play out the last cord and exit the stage for good this time with cheers and applause from everyone in attendance.
I Prevail proved a few things tonight, they are a great band with an important message to spread, they are destined for big things with the obvious following they’ve accumulated, once they work out their on stage presence and who their target audience is, they’ll be killing it as a live band. Also, critics who think they’re nothing more than a cover band, need to get their heads out of their arses and actually seem them play live. These guys have so much more to offer than a one off cover track. Here’s to their future and hammering the final blows to their performance nail.
Review by Browny (@brownypaul)
Revisit our pre-tour chat with guitarist Steve Menoian here
I Prevail – Lifelines Australian Tour
Tuesday 4 April – Corner Hotel, Melbourne 18+ – SOLD OUT
with HARBOURS Wednesday 5 April – Factory Theatre, Sydney Lic A/A– SOLD OUT
with BELLE HAVEN