Invasion Fest 2020
Metro Theatre, Sydney
January 18th, 2020
Featuring: Knocked Loose, Jesus Piece, The Red Shore, Malevolence, Terror, Honest Crooks, Alpha Wolf, Sleep Talk, Justice For The Damned, Daybreak, Diamond Construct, Homesick, Gravemind, Crave Death, Bloom, Falcifer and Life’s Ill
The time was finally upon us where heavy music fans across the nation travel to Sydney, Australia for the highly anticipated Invasion Fest. With an incredibly stacked line up and a new venue for the festival, the event was shaping up to be the events biggest in history.
I arrived at the venue to notice an incredibly long entry line. Punters were happily standing in the rain to get their heavy music fix. With people laughing and chatting with each other before entering the venue, as much as I dislike this phrase, the vibes were on point. Once I entered the venue I was quick to discover how great the layout of the event was, with the large merchandise area being separate from the band rooms and enough bars open to avoid queueing up for a drink at any time, it made walking between stages much easier, with less congestion.
This is a band that I have been aware for some time but I haven’t taken the time to make myself familiar with them. I watched on as this band delivered a fierce performance. To put it bluntly, this is upcoming Sydney hardcore at it’s best.
This group kept up the pace and intensity. I was amazed by the front-woman’s voice. She has an incredible range with an unbelievable amount of projection. With their tight-knit performances and mesmerising stage presence, this act is a must-see.
I was heavily anticipating this set, there has been a lot of hype associated with this melodic hardcore act for a while now, and for good reason too. Their powerful, emotion fuelled lyrics, instrumentalists that play in unison without missing a note and a performance which is hard to take your eyes off, leaves you wanting more at the end of it all.
This is an act that has come a long way! The amount of energy and effort this band invests into their shows is intense. The fans had obviously reacted well to this as the events first violent mosh pit, deafening singalongs and wall of death were produced, and believe me when I say, it was wall to wall!
This incredible act burst onto the stage with a powerful entrance, claiming “This shit starts right now”, from that very moment, a chaotic mosh pit erupted and maintained it’s size for the entirety of the set. Its always a pleasure to watch this act perform, vocalist Kynan is a professional at connecting with crowds. With new music from these guys coming this year, it’s worth keeping tabs on them.
This is a band I simply can’t get enough of. How they demonstrate their music, the way they conduct themselves on stage and their skill as musicians is mind-blowing to watch as their professionalism is outstanding. With an impressive catalogue of heavy tracks, I feel it’s safe to say that these guys have a bright future ahead of them.
Justice For The Damned
JFTD started their set with a shoutout to the firefighters and all those involved in protecting our fine nation from further damage, then went on to perform the best set I have ever seen them play. This is a band that I feel are somewhat underrated. Vocalist Bobak has incredible projection in his voice, I watched on in admiration as he stalked the stage from right to left, gathering momentum and using that in his performance. I couldn’t help notice how well the stage lighting was and how it did nothing but compliment the band’s performance.
It’s always a good time watching this band perform, whether you’re a fan of this bands old material or their new material (or both), you’ve got to love them. Vocalist Lochie Keogh jumped on stage with his signature bucket hat and guitarist Sabian Lynch with his black mask. As they began playing, a rowdy and passionate fanbase threw themselves around the mosh-pit. Picture deafening singalongs and circle pits. They played with conviction and proved that they deserve their spot on the Australian heavy music festival circuit.
Honest Crooks continuously improve in leaps and bounds. This set was astonishing. This band played incredibly well and punters were losing their minds over it. Guest vocals from Underminer vocalist Lachlan Woods and Relapse vocalist Ethan Robinson only increased the feeling of amazement throughout the crowd. Towards the end of the set, the band announced that this show would be guitarist Jesse Green‘s second last show.
If you’re not familiar with this band think heavy-hitting, old-school American hardcore. This act let their experience shine through in their performance as they played complete and utter confidence in every meaning of the word. With lots of moshing and sing-alongs, this set was potentially a favourite by many.
I was completely taken back by this act. The reception they got from fans on their first-ever show in Australia was phenomenal, there were fans doing backflips off speakers into the crowds, mass amounts of stage dives and a plethora of mic grabs. They have definitely spent some time practising their synchronised headbanging as they all moved as one. To top it all off, Knocked Loose vocalist Bryan Garris joined the band on stage to do his part as a guest vocalist.
The Red Shore
The time had come for the most heavily anticipated act of the entire event, TRS had returned for their first show in ten years. Before the band had even walked on stage, the crowd was chanting “The Red Shore” over and over. Original vocalist Chase couldn’t make it as he is fulfilling his duties of being a firefighter (Revisit here), close friend of the band Jack The Stripper vocalist Luke Frizon filled in, he did an exceptional job. Watching this band made it hard to believe that it has been ten years since their last show, their musicianship was absolutely outstanding, the played such a tight-knit show while head-banging and encouraging moshing. If this band were to ever return full-time, I truly believe they would stand up strong with the best extreme deathcore bands in the world.
Jimmy Kyle (Chasing Ghosts)
A pleasant surprise to the events festivities was Jimmy getting on stage in front of the invasion fest crowd and giving a speech on aboriginal culture as well as acknowledging the native land and its traditional owners by speaking in a native aboriginal language, then translating it to English for the entire crowd. It was a powerful speech which offered some knowledge to keep in mind as Australia Day/Invasion Day fast approaches.
Watch the full speech here
What a fantastic way to end a tremendous day. Knocked Loose stormed on the stage and began playing “Trapped In The Grasp Of A Memory“. If you have been lucky enough to witness this band perform, you would already know just how chaotic this set would have been. With the guest appearances of vocalists Steffanie Adele from Caged Existence, Bobak Rafiee from Justice For The Damned and the most unlikely of suspects John Floreani from Trophy Eyes, it was a set to remember. It was easy to see just how much guitarist Issac Hale loves seeing a crowd mosh as he encouraged it every chance he got, and the crowd seemed to respond with moshing harder every time.
This was a professionally run event and I take my hat off to all those behind the scenes who made it all possible and helped the event run so smoothly. I may feel as if I had just completed a full marathon but it was worth every second!
Review by Adam Rice @adamrice1994
Justice For The Damned
The Red Shore
Jimmy Kyle (Chasing Ghosts)