UNSW Roundhouse, Sydney NSW
March 16th, 2018
Support: Justice Of The Damned, Resist The Thought and DVSR
As of recent years if you were a metal fan and lived in Australia, you knew Northlane. Celebrating the release of live album Analog Future, the boys came out swinging with one hell of a live show and one hell of a lineup. This became very clear the moment you walked into the grandiose doors of UNSW Roundhouse.
Opening the show were DVSR, a rap metal band from Sydney. Punters were still filing into the venue, but that definitely didn’t deter the band from going full force. Those select few who decided to plant themselves at barrier were treated with the energy a band like DVSR just exudes when you’re not aware of the sparsity of the room. In general it was a really tight set and they’re all clearly very talented musicians. They definitely left the stage with a few new fans in tow.
Swiftly following was Resist The Thought. So oddly these guys have been around for awhile but sort of fell off the grid after their 2012 release Sovereignty and then all of a sudden just started releasing music and touring again this year. Needless to say they had an impressive amount of fans present for a 2nd support. No one was really taking the set to seriously; opting to instead open a pit for a select few to show off their karate skills, which was honestly equally entertaining. You could definitely tell the band were seasoned performers based off of their stage presence and musicianship. The confidence definitely set a tone through the room and really got everyone hyped which is everything you want in a support band so I applaud them for their efforts.
From the chatter around the room, it seemed as though everyone was rather hyped for Justice For The Damned, almost as much as Northlane themselves. Despite being 20 minutes late due to a kick drum issues, the crowd still roars as the bands run out. The boys are running across the stage like mad men; flailing their arms, banging their heads, desperately reach out into the crowd with such a desire to connect. That being said the band’s energy paled in comparison to that of the crowd. The pit opens up once more, however this time half of the venue are running in circles, people are fly kicking across the room and one guy pulls off a cartwheel with such perfect technique that the ex-dancer in me got a little jealous. Needless to say it was a beautiful spectacle. ‘Please Don’t Leave Me’ was a clear fan-favourite based off of the huge response it elicited and was the perfect way to end such a tight set.
The room covered in a thin layer of sweat, the floor efficiently littered with cans and long lost hats and shoes… The time had come for the main attraction
The moment the introduction to ‘Quantum Flux’ filled the room the energy just flipped from exhaustion to pure excitement. Marcus Bridge comes out swinging, his steps seem almost as light as his new blonde hair, as he skips across the stage. It’s evident from the ear to ear grin that the stage is a second home to this man; his showmanship and pure talent exudes this confidence that every musician would die for.
The crowd universally remain at a steady head nod through bangers ‘Aspire’, ‘Rot’ and ‘Colourwave’. That changes the moment ‘Dispossession’ beings to play, people around me make sounds of shocked excitement as they run to the front and the pit opens. This is the moment things really kick off. ‘Dream Awake’ (a personal favourite) enjoyed a similar reception and Bridge really does the track justice so props to him.
Newer tracks ‘Heartmachine’, ‘Intuition’ and ‘Savage’ receive just as much love, with the first noticeable wave of crowd surfers and the crowd screaming back every word. It’s clear the band has the most fun with the newer stuff and that excitement is transferred to the crowd easily.
Northlane continue to deliver a tidy cross-section of their back catalog with crowd-pleasers ‘World Eater’ and newer masterpiece ‘Render’ that intertwined fans both new and old with an impressive ease. It should be noted Bridges vocals in Render were straight off the record level of good and definitely a highlight of the night performance wise.
‘Obelisk’ and ‘Masquerade’ finish the set off in a rather timely manner… however everyone in that room knew exactly what was missing.
The moment the first bars of ‘Citizen’ filled the room, the vibe transcended to a whole new level of insane. Something about that song just gets you pumped anyway so imagine hundreds of people listening to that while also realizing that it’s their last chance to mosh. Crowd and band alike exerted every last piece of energy until it met its timely end.
With this being the last Australian show for a while I honestly think they went out with a bang. The entire band’s musicianship and stage presence is intoxicating and I could honestly watch them a thousand times and never get bored.
Revisit Northlane‘s Marcus Bridge co-hosting Wall of Sound: Up Against The Wall right here
Resist The Thought
Justice For The Damned