Rosemount Hotel, Perth WA
February 18th, 2018
Support: Tempest Rising and Ragdoll
They may have been your gateway band to metal, or one of your many favourites in the goth/hard rock category, but either way they were well overdue for their first ever Australian tour. Nineties/noughties rock and roll band Saliva made their way to Perth, winding up their five-date tour, and boy did they bring the energy – but more about that later.
Grungy Perth band Ragdoll were the first in the ring on this fine evening. The locals played to a handful of fans as punters were still moving into the venue. For those who hadn’t caught a glimpse of Ragdoll before this gig may have been quite surprised with how seasoned this outfit were, and their musical maturity on stage. With powerhouse vocals and retro riffs, the band cruised through their thirty-minute set, playing an enjoyable set of tracks with humility and enjoyment. The band were a very suitable pick for the energy of the evening.
Tempest Rising were another second West Australian band to jump on stage, and these guys have been popping onto the scene for a little while now, grabbing some decent support slots. Tempest Rising were the perfect happy medium between the other two bands, fusing a hard rock clean vocal influence with the heavy rock attitude and screaming choruses of the headliners; a band quite similar to Disturbed if one had to compare them to a household name. Before completing their set, they played a highly enjoyable rendition of Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Bulls on Parade’ which the crowd were very much into and formed a mosh for. The crowd was certainly growing in size to a decent couple-hundred people, which wasn’t bad at all for a Sunday night in Perth.
Finally, after decades of patiently waiting, South American rock outfit Saliva came on stage to please their hardcore rock and roll fans, and well, let’s be honest, the WWE fans in the house too. Opening with their crowd-pleaser ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’, punters were head-banging with big smiles on their face. With a lent hand from the fine acoustics at the Rosemount Hotel, Saliva were slamming through the riffs and chassis of their opener, bass strong and vocals pumping.
It was an evening less about beers, and more about whiskey. It was an evening less about circle pits, and more about head-banging. And finally, it was less about promoting new albums, and more about playing the freakin’ hits. Saliva got the message and appeased their fans. Their infamous debut album Every Six Seconds got the attention it deserved and the band had a whole lot of fun playing raspy renditions of tracks like ‘Doperide’ and ‘Your Disease’.
Vocalist Bobby Amaru played the role of ultimate rock and roll front-man, begging fans to scream, jump and put their middle finger up. Between songs, the front-man would engage with punters, sharing stories and highlighting how far our worlds were from each other. Amaru resonated with fans in the way he engaged and encouraged crowd participation. The oddest part of the Tennessee band was when the band left the stage, leaving Amaru to play a decent fifteen to twenty minutes of solo acoustic covers. Medleys covering Stone Sour and Alice in Chains were pretty cool, but when he continued to belt out ‘Hero’ by Nickelback‘s Chad Kroeger & Josey Scott and ‘Baby One More Time’ by Britney Spears, confusion was starting to set in. The singer insisted that the acoustic bit was received well in Europe, but we’re not yet convinced.
After the acoustic shtick, the band returned on stage one last time to belt out some final hits from Saliva’s early days, including their ultimate closer ‘Click Click Boom’ which hit us all in the feels; a real bucket-list experience and an obvious marvel for Snapchat.
Overall, the show was really enjoyable and reminded us all a bit of our youth and that the band are still rocking and rolling, which is pretty cool. Look forward to seeing these guys down here again soon, and interesting to see them in a festival setting perhaps.
Gig Review by Ricky Aarons @rickysaul90
Revisit our interview with Saliva‘s Paul Crosby here