The Amity Affliction
Riverstage, Brisbane QLD
June 24th, 2017
Supported by PVRIS, Beartooth and Make Them Suffer
The Amity Affliction rolled back into their home town of Brisbane for the final show of their short but sweet Australian tour covering a staggering 16 song setlist pleasing newer fans more so than their long term followers. But don’t let that dampen your spirits, they also brought Beartooth, Make Them Suffer and (the oddly out of place) PVRIS along for the ride. Lets recap…
At a local and international level, the first band of the night can lack energy; people are still arriving and the fan base is smaller. Make Them Suffer did not have the need for such excuses. Atmospheric deathcore gives an insight to the almost theatrically large sounding Perth born five piece. The first songs dished out from albums Neverbloom and Old Souls threw everyone into a healthy mosh, despite Sean Harmanis’ unclean vocals falling short of the power recorded on album. Miniscule negatives aside, the latest two singles “Fireworks” and “Ether” turned flame into inferno. These singles have taken the combination of a calm, dreamy melody from keys player/backing vocalist Booka Nile, modern metal-core style riffing from Nick McLernon and Harmanis’ Architects flavoured voice and injected musical steroids. The main down side is they need to work on maintaining energy between songs. Harmanis says a few words but the other members flop around stage, failing to interact with their audience. McLernon’s spinning tornado dance moves with his guitar compensates though. These guys are on the rise and from what they showed off, their new album Worlds Apart is going to be a big one.
As expected Beartooth brought the heaviness very early into their set opening with ‘Aggressive‘ and demanding the moshpit open up for them, which the crowd obliged with pleasure as soon as the rough riffs of the breakdown came about. Frontman Caleb Shomo urging the crowd to sing ‘Body Bag‘ with him before moving onto the likes of ‘Sick of Me‘, ‘The Lines‘, the fast and furious ‘Always Dead‘ and wrapping it up (way to early if you ask me) with fan favourite ‘In Between‘ and ‘Hated‘. This band are so on point it’s not even funny. They need to headline their next tour here, the evidence is proven by the amount of fans that turned out early for them.
PVRIS are doing a fine job of mixing dance themed tracks with rock and attracting a respectable following for it. Unfortunately their live performance was a very forgettable experience. Maybe they played their songs slower, maybe they played it differently to the studio versions, or maybe they just weren’t interested in being there. Lyndsey “Lynn Gunn” Gunnulfsen (lead vocals) made a few attempts to get the crowd going by either yelling “jump jump jump” or edging on sarcastically whining into the microphone between a song for a call and response yell from the audience. Big hits such as ‘You and I,’ ‘My House’, ‘Fire’, ‘Holy’ and ‘St. Patrick’ were featured, so at least fans heard the songs everyone was there for. In one spark of energy and showmanship, Lynn grabbed a pair of drum sticks and smashed some cymbals with the touring drummer. It was a fun aspect to the performance; however entertainment highlights like these should be drilled into every song. PVRIS’ music also sounded dissatisfying hollow being sandwiched between three metal bands. Next time, hopefully the audience is reconsidered and the benefits of caffeine are supplemented into pre-show drinks.
The main event kicked off late into the night with distorted backing tape and hard to see visuals on the white AMITY backdrop at the centre of the stage but the entire crowd erupted once the awesome foursome walked on stage and assumed their positions before belting out former closing track ‘Open Letter‘, the moshpit became a frenzy of bodies throwing themselves on top of each other and swaying from side to side. Sounding issues to the left of the stage where I had placed myself didn’t seem to fix themselves for the duration of the show, unfortunately unclean vocalist Joel Birch at times sounded quite muffled and hard to understand, compared to clean (and nowadays unclean) screamer Ahren Stringer. Seriously though, ask anyone about Ahren’s screams last night and they’ll tell you they were so easy to understand it had me wondering if this was a new direction the band were heading in.
With a set list that focused on the majority of their latest two albums and ‘Shine On‘ single, you can only imagine the surprise on my face when the band belted out ‘I Hate Hartley‘ from 2010‘s breakout album Youngbloods which had now become a medley of the iconic first song and title track (‘Youngbloods‘ chorus was played instead of the last verse of Hartley). What was more interesting for myself as a long term fan, was the amount of people in attendance who didn’t know the words when the band threw to the crowd. The obvious stand out sing-a-long tracks were the band’s more emotive songs including ‘The Weigh Down‘ and ‘All
Messed Fucked Up‘ and ‘Nightmare‘ while the moshpit went crazy to the heaviness of ‘Death’s Hand‘. Drummer Ryan Burt smashed his bongos like there was no tomorrow, sounding so tight it was hard to fault the man… actually there was nothing to fault on him at all. Dan Brown‘s guitar solo during ‘I Bring The Weather With Me‘ sounded as perfect as it did on the album too, my only gripe was that Ahren’s clean vocals sounded monotone at times, in comparison to his clear and brutal screams… oh and the drunk obnoxious girl behind me who was singing so fuckin’ loud that she managed to drown out the volume coming from the speakers (which don’t wrong, is more than acceptable but only if you’re singing the right words). ‘Pittsburgh‘, ‘Don’t Lean On Me‘ and ‘This Could Be Heartbreak‘ rounded out the night in an encore and left the crowd feeling elated as we excited the venue.
The band had all the trimmings for a good rock show including confetti cannon, pyro flames, smoke machine and sparklers, all of which added to the spectacle which was fun for the whole family (no literally, there were parents with kids no older than 11 dancing on the hill, one even set up a picnic blanket) to enjoy the night’s festivities. Gone are the days of a brutally heavy show from The Amity Affliction, but good on them for trying to appeal to a much larger market, making them bigger than ever imagined.
Photo Gallery courtesy of Gethin Hill (Gethin Hill Photography)
Please credit Wall of Sound and Photographer if you repost.
Make Them Suffer
The Amity Affliction