Against The Current
The Factory Theatre, Sydney NSW
8th October 2017
Supported by Just Breathe & Stateside
The last time Against The Current graced our shores your old high school friends were still tagging you in the ice bucket challenge and every kid under 10 was singing Frozen songs. Since then these guys have blown up and proved that this first headliner down under will definitely not be their last.
Just Breathe were the first to open; a band whose name I’d heard floating around a lot however this was the first time I’d actually seen them play. Their set was energetic and they were definitely talented, however people were still making their way into the venue and catching up with the person next to them so the band didn’t really get the chance to break the ice. I feel as though their set would have translated better with a smaller audience.
Then came Stateside; who fit so perfectly with Against The Current that i have to give props to whoever curated the bill. These guys came out swinging and owned the stage like they were headlining. That confidence coupled with vocals from front-woman Erin Reus that easily belong in an arena, left me surprised. Looking around, the crowd was split; half were dancing, smiling and a few even singing along, but the other half were just standing and watching. It seemed as though the band took this as a challenge, setting the bar even higher with some impressive heavy vocal features and guitarists with energy to contest the likes of Alice Cooper. Their presence was awe inspiringly large and I wholeheartedly believe we’ll be seeing them blow up very soon. Finishing off their set with the powerhouse single ‘The Way We Were’, The band left winning over the rest of the venue and (judging by the EPs in hand) a whole new set of fans.
With a half an hour wait time, the anticipation had built to a peak and as the lights dimmed and the opening bars of ‘Wild Things’ played, the crowd erupted. Frontwoman Chrissy Costanza, came out with such velocity, it looked like she was going to take flight. I’d initially questioned the notably spacious stage layout, however as Costanza danced her way through energetic bangers ‘Blood Like Gasoline’ and ‘Paralyse’, its necessity was made clear.
Bouncing from one end of the stage to the other in a graceful marathon, her vocals were not phased in the slightest. The stamina in this girl was next level. However the audience took it upon themselves to match it… or at least try. Singing back every word , the crowd seemed determine to let the band know they should’ve come down sooner.
Constanza prefaces ‘Forget Me Now’ with the intention to play through their debut album. I hadn’t realised how easily that album is to dance to, but boy was I informed; there were body rolls, there were sprinklers and you bet there were finger points! This was swiftly followed by ‘Runaway’ which has one of those hooks that you scream out of tune with your group of girlfriends while you pretend you’re in the end of a teen movie. Needless to say the vibes were as palpable as the crowd was sweaty.
Absolute gems ‘One More Weekend’, ‘Chasing Ghosts’ and ‘Roses’ show off the interplay between the drums and the melodic guitars, before Costanza’s high notes take front and centre, blowing everybody’s mind and jaws to the floor.
The banter that prefaced ‘Dreaming Alone’, comprised of anecdotes of cultural differences a good ole “Aussie Aussie Aussie” and no demands for shoeys… thank the fucking lords.
The rest of the set was filled with older hits, including ‘Brighter’, ‘Talk’ and ‘Wasteland’, Costanza’s stage presence continuing to thoroughly entertain even those who were not familiar with the band’s older work.
Then came the obligatory “ONE MORE SONG” chant, or in this case “A-T-C”.
Then it happened…
‘Gravity’ has gained over 18 million views on YouTube since it’s release in 2014. Needless to say the crowd not only knew every word, but they themselves defied gravity as the vibe transcended to a whole other realm of crazy. Both band and crowd alike drained every last ounce of energy left into this encore and it was truly a sight to behold.
It’s not hard to see why Against The Current have blown up over the last couple of years. Each song is performed as vivaciously as it appears recorded, with Costanza’s banter, dance moves and crowd interaction only complimenting an already impressive vocal range. She holds herself together throughout an undoubtedly draining performance, genuinely giving her all to an excited crowd who will remember this night for many years to come as will I.
Against the Current