At The Drive-In
Eaton Hills Hotel, Brisbane QLD
October 2nd, 2017
Support: Le Butcherettes
Whether it’s because of the bands tonight or the fact Eaton Hills Hotel is the equivalent of stepping through the wardrobe and taking an adventure to Narnia. There is an alarming amount of people being frisked by security tonight. Adding a sense of danger to the proceedings, as if someone is ready to fuck you up at any minute.
So basically, welcome to an At The Drive-In concert.
Starting the night on an appropriately jarring tone is the enigmatic trio Le Butcherettes whose front-woman Teri Gender Bender is a demonic presence onstage. Shaking about as if she’s seen far too many reruns of The Exorcist, she exudes power and mystery in equal measure. Their songs match this persona by fluttering through powerful discordant riffs and keyboard lines that are an onslaught to your senses. Making you feel as if you’re the one possessed and the band is nothing more than a reflection of your broken mental state.
The only negative is her band members, in particular bassist Riko Rodríguez-López lacks any of her nuclear energy. Instead rocking back and forth onstage, doing absolutely nothing else and ultimately making Le Butcherettes feel less like a group effort and more like the backing band of a solo act.
Whatever the case, they do more than enough to amp the room up for the one and only At The Drive-In.
Heralded as the progenitors of modern post hardcore and armed with their first new album in 17 years. The greeting At The Drive-In and more importantly front-man Cedric Bixler meets is akin to a rapture, as the haunting drum sounds of ‘Arcarsenal’ fill the venue, causing everyone who hears it to lose their collective shit. Chaos abounds as seas of limbs flail about the venue – new and old hits such as ‘No Wolf Like the Present’ and the classic ‘Pattern Against User’ are schizophrenic anthems which send the mosh-pit into an aching frenzy. The band exude the same level of energy as their outrageous front-man, adds to the sense of drama permeating the atmosphere by dragging his microphone around like a sonic corpse.
Deeper cuts such as ‘198d’ tone down the tension and become intimate moments, allowing a breather before the intensity ramps up again and songs such as ‘Invalid Litter Dept.’ turn the night into singalong moments, with every word screamed back to the band like a political rally. Unfortunately all good things must come to an end and the band save the best for last as they exit the stage, before promptly reappearing for the iconic ‘One Armed Scissor’ which sounds absolutely huge tonight as the band and crowd push each other to the limit until the final note rings out into the sweaty packed room.
Tonight is a reminder At The Drive-In are well and truly back, armed with a new album and a deeper appreciation of their legacy. They have given Australian fans a dramatic statement of intent and solidified their future beyond being merely a nostalgia act relying on past glories.
Review by Kaydan Howison