The Amity Affliction’s Bushfire Fundraiser
Corner Hotel, Melbourne VIC
January 20th, 2020
Supports: Northlane, Tonight Alive, Ocean Grove and Windwaker
With the current state of our nation, struggling to battle against devastating bushfires and their aftermath, The Amity Affliction, as well as a handful of some of the biggest names in Australian heavy music put on a benefit show to help raise funds for those misfortunate enough to be affected by the fires. This was an extremely exclusive show with tickets being sold out in just one minute.
Windwaker kicked off the event to the half-packed band room. The crowd were slow to react with the group’s high energy performance, but that really didn’t slow them down at all. Vocalist Will King makes it hard to take your eyes off him, his clear, well-defined clean and unclean vocals, as well as his entertaining stage presence makes him a pleasure to watch. This was the band’s very first show since guitarist/vocalist Liam Guinane officially left the band. His replacement, however, stepped up to the challenge and did a mighty fine job at filling in. Throwing in a cover of Silverchair‘s ‘Freak’ as well as a wall of death forming towards the end of the set during ‘New Infinite’ which finally managed to turn a mild crowd into a sea of moshers. Before walking off stage, vocalist Will announced to the crowd: “now we are going to write an album for you”.
Up next was the colourful characters of Ocean Grove. Vocalist Dale Tanner walked on stage wearing a kilt while guitarist Matthew Henley wore a bucket hat with the tag still attached and to be honest, the amount of character in this lot is brilliant. They managed to execute their new nu-metal influenced sound perfectly while also playing their old material to a tee. Frontman Dale has a very captivating stage presence, his next move is always unpredictable, he even managed to do a perfect backflip on stage during ‘Thunderdome’. During the last song of their set, ‘Ask For The Anthem’, Tonight Alive vocalist Jenna McDougall joined the band on stage for the entire song to sing the backing vocals. The two vocalists danced on stage together which reacted well with punters as deafening screams and singalongs pursued.
It was then time for pop-punk act Tonight Alive to storm onto the stage. Frontwoman Jenna McDougall‘s angelic voice is incredibly satisfying to listen to as it sounds exactly like they are recorded, perfectly! Halfway through the set, Jenna took some time to make a very heartfelt speech about conscious change to positively affect the environment through our habits and daily rituals. The band then went on to play their cover of ‘Little Lion Man’ by Mumford and Sons for the second time in six years, which got an overwhelming response by those in attendance with huge sing-alongs, as well as cigarette lighters and phone torches being put up into the air.
By the time UNIFY Gathering 2020 alumni Northlane hit the stage, the venue was packed and a lot of positive energy was buzzing around the room. They began their set with a techno entrance, the stage was dark with flashing lights as they walked out and kicked things off with ‘Details Matter’. It only took seconds for the crowd to begin moving. During the third song of the set, ‘4D’ guitarist Josh Smith accidentally hit his face against a stage light and he began bleeding from underneath his right eye. His professionalism throughout this situation was immense, he didn’t stop playing, or headbanging as he usually does. The “tears of blood” were brought to attention by vocalist Marcus Bridge once the song had concluded, to see if he was okay.
With an abundance of moshing and crowd surfing, I had almost forgotten that The Amity Affliction were yet to play, this felt like a Northlane headline show! Playing songs mostly from their most recent album Alien, as well as older tracks like ‘Rot’, ‘Quantum Flux’ and ‘Citizen’, it seemed to be the perfect mix of old and new for the fans in attendance because once their set concluded, there were smiles everywhere I looked.
Lastly but not least, headliners, The Amity Affliction took to the stage and kicked things off with an extremely atmospheric rendition of their unreleased track ‘Coffin’. It didn’t take long at all before punters were climbing on their friend’s shoulders, moshing and crowd surfing. This band still has that raw talent that made them famous and they manage to utilise it every way they can. With a healthy mix of old, new, soft and heavy songs in this set, there was something for fans from all different backgrounds and preferences. The band finished off their set with the downbeat and heavy-hearted ‘All Fucked Up’.
In closing, we’re not sure just yet how much was raised for the Bushfire Relief (that information will come shortly), however, I was just glad to see heavy music fans come together to support a great cause, proving how wholesome and thoughtful our scene truly is.
Gig Review by Adam Rice @adamrice1994
All My Friends Are Dead
Drag The Lake
Soak Me In Bleach
Feels Like I’m Dying
Don’t Lean On Me
All Fucked Up
ICYMI: We’re auctioning off a UNIFY Gathering 2020 poster signed by almost all the bands from the lineup. Check it out here and drop a bid to raise funds for WIRES!
The Amity Affliction