Escape the Fate
May 29th, 2018
Support: Awaken I Am and Between Kings
It was arguably their ground-breaking album, depending if you were team ‘Ronnie’ or team ‘Craig’ back in the hay-day where a heap of band drama was central to Escape the Fate – and we soaked it up. Of course, we’re talking about the important album This War is Ours, which would you believe, has just turned ten years old. Double digits already – they grow up so quick! Perth fans wound back the clocks to 2008 and dusted off the old hair straightener for a night of nostalgia.
Queenslanders Between Kings kicked things off at Amplifier, playing to a sold out crowd who had almost all arrived already. The beer-garden swarmed indoors to catch the alternative outfit who boasted a refreshing sound, possibly described as a more contemporary Arctic Monkeys. The pop-infused band alternated between hooks and catchy choruses that successfully seemed to swoon the ladies in the crowd. Kudos to the band for bringing something different to the table musically, and deviating from the ‘cookie-cutter’ approach to succeeding.
The tempo was perpetuated by Awaken I Am who also brought with them a pop-punk flavour to Perth, with a crowd who embraced the band with open arms. Also reigning from Brisbane, the band soared through a set, filled with controlled cleans and progressively heavier riffs. Awaken I Am were openly having an incredible time on stage, and as we later found out, they were celebrating the life of their late guitarist Connor Verner-Oakley who passed away in a car accident only two weeks ago. Jimmy Stevenson choked up when informing the crowd of the tragedy. Despite the band’s devastation, they pushed through to embark on an Australian tour that their fallen brother would have wanted, and did a smashing job at it. The crowd were incredibly supportive and genuinely enjoyed the energetic tunes.
It was a cold night in the west, but nothing was going to stop Aussie fans from securing a prime position ahead of Escape the Fate’s world debut performance of This War is Ours from front-to-back. Amplifier was heaving with bodies from side-to-side and as the house-lights shut off, the screams were palpable for the Las Vegas ensemble. Drummer Robert Ortiz appeared in the back raising his hands and sticks, smiling to the crowd excitably. The rest of the band followed suit, including vocalist Craig Mabbitt who waved to the crowd, with a candid grin.
The opening notes to ‘We Won’t Back Down’ were strung and the crowd were detonated. The mosh-pit was well and truly alive as punters sang every single lyric to not only the opening track, but the entire album. As eyeliner melted down the faces of screaming fans, the band were on a mission to seamlessly perform the album in its entirety, a feat that they were not accustomed to by muscle memory.
Mabbitt thanked the crowd for coming along to celebrate the important album with them. He announced that the band were making history as they were playing songs like ‘Let it Go’ and ‘It’s Just Me’ for the very first time. Punters went wild, nodding their heads and getting as close as possible to the band. Guitarist Kevin “Thrasher” Gruft knows how to amp up a crowd. The rock and roller depicts the ultimate rockstar with animated facial expressions as he shreds through each technical crescendo.
Although ’10 Miles Wide’ and ‘Ashley’ were undoubtedly highlights of the band’s set, it was the title track that blew fans out of the water. Affectionately known as ‘The Guillotine II’ the song is of course a sequel to former front-man Ronnie Radke’s heaviest track on the band’s debut album. Thrasher did his thing, showcasing the opening speed-metal verse, creating an electric buzz across the venue. Fans’ phones filled the air as everyone captured a quick Snapchat video for their mates. The beauty of playing albums in their entirety, is that the tempo slows straight back down, just like it does on the album – an incredibly cathartic feeling.
An Australian tour wouldn’t be complete without a ‘shoey’ or three; the vocalist looked at his bandmates with confusion as to what Perth fans were screaming, and once the penny dropped for him, without any further ado, he popped off his Vans slip-on and did a ‘shoey’ live on-stage, much to the amusement of fans. “You Aussies are insane” he says hysterically. After doing a second ‘shoey’ for good measure, he even convinced Ortiz to take a moment from his kit and do one – suppose the full album live wasn’t the only debut for Escape the Fate in Perth.
The American rockers left the stage gracefully after finishing the album, but they were by no means done. Escape the Fate returned on stage to play a whole bunch of hits, particularly from their more recent releases. Treating fans to renditions of tracks like ‘Gorgeous Nightmare’ and ‘Remember Every Scar’, the crowd had no reason to keep their voices at Amplifier. After a second encore, they returned one last time to close with ‘One for the Money’, ‘Just a Memory’ and a My Chemical Romance cover which had the crowd go insane. Perth really set the bar high for the band’s Australian tour, so make sure you dye your hair black and catch a glimpse of your old time favourites.
Gig Review by Ricky Aarons @rickysaul90
Awaken I Am
Escape The Fate
Escape The Fate – This War Is Ours Anniversary Tour
Tuesday 29th May – ADELAIDE Fowlers Live Lic/AA
Wednesday 30th May MELBOURNE Corner Hotel 18+
Friday June 1st SYDNEY Manning Bar 18+
Saturday 2nd June NEWCASTLE Cambridge Hotel 18+
Sunday 3rd June BRISBANE The Triffid Lic/AA