17th January, 2020
Crowbar, Brisbane QLD
Support: Revoid, Isla Vera, Joy In Motion
Friday night was the first gig for me of the new year and what better way to start than getting out to support some local Brisbane and Australian bands. There’s also no better way to dive into the year of music than to see some bands I am only hearing for the first time or have recently just discovered. It was also my first time going to the new Crowbar and look, this review isn’t about that so I’m going to reserve judgement for now because I am pretty sure there is much more to come with the amalgamation of Crowbar and Brightside. I am excited to see where it heads.
Getting the night off to a roaring metalcore start was Brisbane’s Revoid. These guys only formed in 2018 and based on last night’s gig; metalcore fans should be getting excited. Of course, playing the early slot first up will always mean a slightly smaller crowd, but this did not dampen their energy. The performance and sound were ferocious, and I can’t wait for them to be playing higher up on line-ups to bigger crowds that give them the pits they deserve.
For a slight change of pace but certainly not lacking in energy and performance was Brisbane post-rock band Isla Vera. The crowd had grown a fair bit by this time with Isla Vera’s fans who were decked out in merch. Even if they are their mates, nothing warms my heart more than when a local band has loyal fans that come out to shows and make a lot of noise. For a relatively new band, they were super tight and polished probably because even though Isla Vera is new, the members used to play together in The Wisher & the Well. I also haven’t seen a frontman smiling as much as James Waters does.
Bringing the pop-rock and fun vibes was Joy In Motion featuring special guest Jackson Lehane from Stateside filling in for guitarist Jesse Simo-Swer, who was busy playing at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Joy In Motion won the chance to open for the Brisbane leg of Good Things Festival last year, and it is not hard to see why. Their songs are positive and fun, and they are obviously crowd favourites. Speaking of their crowd, I did feel quite old compared to everyone around me, but I still really enjoyed their set (age is only a number right?). At a show, I always try to watch the entire band, and I like to see how they interact with each other. I tried doing that during this set, but I found myself transfixed (in a non-creepy way, promise) to drummer Carly Sinn. She is so talented and her big, thunderous drumming adds so much to the positive pop vibes of these songs. This band are one to keep on the radar, and I think they will continue the roll of success they are on and do more big things in the next twelve months.
Last but absolutely not least was headliners Traces, but only after an unfortunate incident that saw rain leaking in through the Crowbar roof and causing a slight delay to their set. Once they hit the stage, there was no sign that the delay had caused them any issues, and they played incredibly. They started with single “Can’t Stop Me” and tested out quite a few new, unreleased songs. All of which has me keen to hear the self-produced album the band are promising to release this year. Traces’ sound is electronic inspired heavy metal and the songs give me a Northlane type vibe. Their performance is energetic and passionate, and frontman Jack Pallett had poignant things to say about mental health, the environment and the terrible state of Australian politics following the recent fires. If Friday is anything to go by, this album will be incredible, and the future’s looking bright for Traces (no pressure guys). The Can’t Stop Me tour has only just started so try to get along to a show and when the album comes out, make sure you get your hands on it.
Can’t Stop Me
Crown of Thorns
Review by Caitlin MacDonald (@cait_2tone)
Traces – Can’t Stop Me Australian Tour
24th January @ Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
25th January @ Factory Floor, Sydney
28th January @ The Basement, Canberra
30th January @ Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar