Oxford Art Factory, Sydney NSW
November 2nd, 2017
Supports: The Beautiful Monument and Yours Truly
Opening the the Sydney stop of the Back to Beginnings Tour was Sydney’s Yours Truly, a 5-piece pop punk outfit fresh to the scene but with a very bright future ahead of them. This was the first time I’ve seen them perform, and what I saw and heard really, really impressed me. The up and comers smashed through a number of originals from their Too Late For Apologies EP, which I would highly recommend you check out on Spotify. The split up the collection of originals with a great cover of Neck Deep’s ‘In Bloom’ (and if you’ve heard the song, you’d know that it takes some serious pipes to successfully belt out that chorus). The crowd responded really well to them, and I think they were the perfect choice for an opener. Apart from other emerging locals Stand Atlantic and Eat Your Heart Out, the NSW scene has been lacking in strong female fronted bands; Yours Truly are exactly what we needed. Every local band that was hand picked for this tour is fantastic, and you should definitely head out early if you’re going to any of the other dates!
Up next were the main support, Melbourne’s The Beautiful Monument. They aren’t a group I would have picked to be on a tour like this, as their sound is considerably heavier than that of Tonight Alive and the rest of the pop punk genre the headliners belong to. Opening with ‘Liberation‘, a song I was familliar with through the play the song has gotten on Triple J this year; I specifically remember this because shazamed the song a number of times because it was certainly familiar and enjoyable, but I could never remember who it was by. This song by the way, went OFF. They powered through the next two songs with enough talent and confidence to engage the crowd, although you can tell that their stage presence is still developing. Overall, the set was filled with crowd clap alongs, a little moshing and a long of metal hair flips by them; I respect what they’re doing, and they’re a band I hope will grow on me and the rest of the Australian music scene.
Finally, the curtains parted and homegrown favourites Tonight Alive graced the stage, kicking off the night with certified BANGER ‘Lonely Girl’, from their 2nd album The Other Side. By the time they began playing second song ‘The Ocean‘, there were crowd surfers coming over the tiny barrier, and their guitar tech and merch guy had to step in and direct them off the stage as the band members dodged and weaved around them.
After saying their hellos and welcoming Sydney formally to the evening, the band launched into the namesake of their debut record, What Are You So Scared Of? When I was 16, my tumblr URL was ‘waysso’ because I was a mad TA fan, so this song will always have a special place in my heart and it was very cool to see it live once again. Following on were more old school bangers; ‘Listening’ (LISTENING, ARE YOU LISTENING?!?!??!?! *guitar riffs*), ‘Wasting Away’ (how Jenna hits these notes live is beyond me), and feelsy ballad ‘The Other Side’.
We then delved into a little acoustic interlude, with Jenna and guitarist Jake Hardy performing ‘Five Years’ and ‘My Favourite Thing’, two tracks from their first release, All Shapes & Disguises. Since the departure of lead guitarist Whakaio Taahi, Hardy has stepped up to the plate and taken over his role, making this tour the first he and Jenna have performed acoustically together. He smiled the whole way through the interlude and you can tell he’s taken to the position as a duck to water.
‘To Be Free’ and ‘Don’t Wish’, aka more certified bangers, followed on, prefaced with a speech by Jenna about the growth and change she has seen in the music scene, and how very different it is from 10 years ago when she entered it herself, also giving a shout out to all the strong women in the room who are doing badass things in the scene right now. They followed on with ‘World Away’, a standalone single released earlier in 2017 that served as a bridge between their Limitless album cycle and the new era of Tonight Alive. Next up was ‘The Edge’, a song from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 soundtrack (and again, another ABSOLUTE BANGER).
Tonight Alive rounded out the set with ‘Temple’, the first single to be released from their upcoming album Underworld. The prominent riffage, powerful lyrics and wild performance did the song complete justice, and makes me so incredibly excited for the rest of the album. The set was a fantastic mixture of old tracks that spanned their whole career, giving everyone in the room a chance for a nostalgic sing-along.
Everything about this show was perfect; the pure joy present on the band members’ faces, their interactions with the adoring crowd, the enthusiasm shown by all audience members and the overall vibe that everyone there knew this show was something special. I love Tonight Alive and will continue to attend their shows for a long time to come.
Gig Review & Photo Gallery by Georgia Moloney.
Please credit Wall of Sound and Georgia Moloney if you repost
The Beautiful Monument
Tonight Alive – Back to Beginnings Tour