Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW
May 4th 2018
Supports: Between You & Me and Aviva
Tonight Alive’s set is really a spiritual experience and that seems understandably intentional; but even when you disregard the cosmic sighs and the vegan attire, it’s clear each and every song played that night spoke to every single person in that room. It was pretty much impossible not to walk out of the venue feeling incredible.
By the time Melbourne natives, Between You And Me, grace the stage, the venue is about half full, but that does not serve as any kind of deterrent as the boys immediately jump into it. They were really well-received by those lucky enough to come early and the stormtrooper balloons were a nice touch (even if they were destroyed within seconds of joining the mosh). Playing a nice mix from their discography along with a few unreleased tracks from the upcoming ep, they win the audience over with charming banter and a classic pop-punk sound that is essentially all the good parts of The Story So Far. Seeing these boys perform is always a treat and I strongly suggest you check them out because judging from this performance alone, their new work is very promising.
Finally, the curtains opened and home-grown favourites, Tonight Alive grace the stage, beginning an incredibly curated set of old favourites and tracks off of the most recent album Underworld including opening number ‘Book Of Love’, which served as quite the hype builder as the crowd erupted in screams of excitement. This was only elevated by the absolute banger that is ‘Lonely Girl’ which had the entire crowd singing back every word. That’s probably the only real difference between the new and old stuff; not as many people were singing along to the new stuff but it’s clear that they still enjoyed it just as much.
The classics continued with the gorgeous ‘The Ocean’ and the absolute powerhouse track that is ‘Listening’ which elicited such a passionate response that it was almost tangible. This is a good time to mention how phenomenal front-woman Jenna McDougall’s stage presence is; it’s clear she is having just as much of the crowd as she dances across the stage as if that were her natural habitat. It’s entirely impossible to pull your gaze away from her as she entrances the audience.
This is extended to the new personal favourite ‘Crack My Heart’ that expertly shows off the extent of McDougall‘s insane vocal range and you can really see her put her everything into the performance; assuring the new album is done justice in a live setting and boy, does she nail it. The band returns to the classics with ‘What Are You So Scared Of’ which expectantly goes off as the room gets progressively sweatier despite the Metro theatres impressive air conditioning systems.
2016’s Limitless has a tendency to split the room and very nearly split the band, so to see the band manage to show the album a little bit of love but continue the ecstatic vibe they’ve created within the show, by reworking the sound ever so slightly was rather impressive and really did them justice. ‘How Does It Feel’ being the first example of this, goes off. Followed by a few inspirational words and an incredibly smooth transition to comeback single and motivational anthem ‘World Away’ which served as quite the highlight, from Jenna‘s ridiculous vocal range to a gorgeously uniting moment as the crowd sang back the hook.
The crowd take a break with a peaceful acoustic performance of ‘Oxygen’ that elicits a steady sway and a few tears.
The rest of the set was filled with a continually smooth mix of their ten year discography, including ‘Human Interaction’, ‘The Other Side’, ‘To Be Free’ and ’Hell and Back’, her stage presence continuing to thoroughly entertain as the audience sing back every word with an equal amount of passion and nostalgia.
It says a lot that the bands last 3 songs, arguably the crescendo of the night, comprised of their biggest sing sandwiched between two new tracks that hold up ridiculously well, and prove that these guys still have a lot to offer. ‘Disappear’, ‘The Edge’ and ‘Temple’ receive equal amounts of love as everyone, band and audience alike exert every last ounce of energy they can muster and assure that the show is solidified as a night to remember.
Review by Bree Vane
Revisit our chat with Tonight Alive frontwoman Jenna McDougall at UNIFY 2018 right here
Tonight Alive – Underworld Tour 2018
May 10th @ Arrow on Swanston, Melbourne AA
May 11th @ Max Watts, Melbourne 18+
May 12th @ The Gov, rAdelaide