Crowbar, Brisbane QLD
March 12th, 2019
Supports: War on Women & Jousting
There is a certain intimacy one loses in larger shows. Being close to the band; being under a small ceiling, not being harassed by security. All these are hallmarks of small local shows that make the experience more visceral, more memorable. So when you get the chance to see fucking Converge in settings like these… There’s no way you’d miss it.
Newcomers to the scene, Jousting, took their sexy brand of noise rock and smeared it all over the walls. Apparently, it was their first show, but the way the vocalist shouted and moved with the microphone stand, leaving and running back like they were in a damaging relationship seemed oh so natural. The music was fast, noisy, and louder than you’d imagine coming from a band fronted by a man in a blue suit jacket. The bass was of particular note, I could almost imagine seeing the notes fly off and into the crowd Scott Pilgrim style. And when your set begins with an Acknowledgement to Country, you know your in good hands.
Like a whirlwind of punk and politics, War on Women dominated the stage for the next forty minutes. They do little to hide their feelings from the crowd. “If you’re not with us, you’re against us. If you’re not with us, then fuck you.” Their message is clear, Shawna Potter could not have made it more so. Whilst their mixture of hardcore punk and at times, thrash left a little to be desired, the stage presence of the entire band did not. Every member legitimately belongs on a stage; the bassist screaming in solidarity, waggling her eyebrows at the crowd, the guitarists both shredding away in their own sides of the stage, and even the drummer behind the lights washing the stage was just flat out happy to be here. War on Women are an exhortation of bubbling anger and a call to action that you definitely need to see.
Under those same stage washing lights, a mere twenty minutes later, Jacob Bannon prowls the stage like a caged animal, a primal energy waiting to gnash and tear at the confines of his own skin. The juxtaposed introduction of ‘Reptillian’ rings out, Bannon getting more agitated before, it begins. The band in unison launches into a battering tirade, a screeching torrent of noise and anger. Equally fast and abrasive songs ‘Dark Horse’ and ‘Under Duress’ followed, the crowd already a heaving, sweating mass is in a perpetual state of movement, of screaming the lyrics back whether they know them or not.
Slower, but no less heavy tracks like ‘Trigger’ and ‘Glacial Pace’ offered somewhat of a respite for the moshing masses. Nate Newton, I must say, sings a lot more than I had realised, and it was great to see. Where Bannon is screeching, seething hatred, Newton is deep, bubbling anger. The energy on stage is massive and addictive. Being pushed back onto the crowd in an all encompassing wall of screaming and wailing guitars, the tone shifts back to the fast, brutal and breakneck speed of earlier in the set.
‘All We Love We Leave Behind,’ my favourite song of the eponymous album (besides maybe ‘Shame in the Way’ sees the transition into the encore. From an expected one song, the crowd is graced with the wonderment of four! Bannon soaring above the crowd, a Jesus like figure above the sea of sweat and movement; and Kurt Ballou, a predatory figure in the shadows, torturing his guitar to bring forth ‘Eagles Become Vultures’ and of course, ‘Concubine.’ A classic ten years, ago, a classic today. Spastic guitar lines and the unhinged, unrestrained howling fill the room, the crowd mutilating itself in a mass orgy of pure emotion. A fitting end to a night of insanity.
Converge Setlist —
A Single Tear
Eye of the Quarrel
Broken by Light
Worms Will Feed/Rats Will Feast
All We Love We Leave Behind
Eagles Become Vultures
Reviewed by: Dylonov Tomasivich
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