The Amity Affliction
Venue 114, Sunshine Coast QLD
January 31st, 2020
Support: Ocean Grove and Antagonist A.D,
Warning; The following statement may shock, confuse and offend Australian heavy music fans. I have never seen The Amity Affliction before. Yes, that’s right, even though they have been a staple of the heavy music scene for almost 20 years and have played many gigs, I have never made it to one of their shows. Here’s where it gets even more controversial, while I like Amity and know a lot of their songs, I have always been on the fringes of the bandwagon. I like them and think they are great, but I was never super invested, I honestly have no idea why. While I am in a safe place and being honest, I will admit that the main drawcard for heading along to the All My Friends Are Dead Tour was Ocean Grove who I am obsessed with but, I also decided it was time for me to get properly into Amity (it’s never too late right?) and Friday night’s show was one hell of a cherry-popping.
This gig meant a trek to the Sunshine Coast to Venue 114 which was in the middle of housing with a school across the road and had a basketball court floor giving it a school dance feel. The ‘cool kids’ were hanging out on a stage at the back of the room, and the floor made it slippery for those partaking in the circle pit.
The anti-fascist Antagonist A.D helped me achieve another first; I finally got to be in a crowd and chant “Fuck Scott Morrison”. These guys are from New Zealand and let the crowd know that there was no room for racism, sexism and homophobia at their show. Vocalist Sam Crocker passionately told the crowd that anyone that disagreed with their message should show themselves out. He also spoke about the anger Australians should have at their government at the moment. Like so many young people, I feel disenfranchised by our government, and I got caught up in this message and enjoyed the set so much. It was incredibly empowering to dance along to angry songs about the cancerous nature of humans and the state of the world.
Next up was Ocean Grove. I have loved OG since hearing ‘Thunderdome’ and honestly listened to ‘Ask For The Anthem’ almost daily last year. This song is still at the top of my “On Repeat” playlist on Spotify and made the number one song in my 2019 year in review. To say I was excited about this set is an understatement. Starting with the ferocious recent song, ‘JUNKIE$’ which I have been blasting since it came out, the band’s energy was high from the second they started. The set included latest banger ‘SUNNY’, old favourites like ‘Thunderdome’ and ‘Intimate Alien’, an incredible crowd sing along with ‘The Wrong Way’ and finished with ‘Ask For The Anthem’. They even threw in a sneaky brand new, unreleased song. The band themselves are cool, they are dishevelled, and each member has their unique style. Vocalist Dale Tanner gave YUNGBLUD vibes in a kilt and had the most infectious stage presence. He’s energetic, pulled off a backflip and has a flamboyant Davey Havok-esque performance style. On top of all this he has an incredible voice and the band themselves are fantastic musicians. Before ‘The Wrong Way’, Tanner said Ocean Grove shows are where everyone was welcome to be their weird selves and not be judged and that feeling came across so well. I felt so accepted and comfortable in the crowd during the set. I can’t wait until Ocean Grove releases their album next month and I can catch them on their inevitable headlining tour.
Ocean Grove Play Unreleased Song Off Their Forthcoming Album!Did you catch Ocean Grove supporting The Amity Affliction on their recent tour around the country? If you paid attention, the guys played us a new song off their still-to-be-announced forthcoming album! We are keen as fuck for this new album, so hopefully we’ll hear more about the new album soon. Until then, check out the song below!
Posted by Wall Of Sound on Saturday, February 1, 2020
After Ocean Grove, the crowd suddenly became a lot tighter, and there was barely any breathing space. The lights went down, and The Amity Affliction came out to flashing lights and dramatic drums. It was straight into the intense screams of brand new song ‘Coffin’ from upcoming album Everyone Loves You… Once You Leave Them, then it was straight into the banger ‘All My Friends Are Dead’ which saw the crowd completely erupt. From this minute on, the crowd was surging, sweaty and wild. The set was diverse and spanned a number of their albums, going as far back as Chasing Ghosts with ‘Open Letter’ and the album’s title track. As expected, everyone lost their collective shit during ‘Ivy (Doomsday)’ and ‘Drag the Lake’ had us singing along to Ahren Stringer’s gorgeous, soaring vocals in the chorus. A fun moment was during ‘Feels Like I’m Dying’, because of the song’s more dancey vibe, instead of a mosh, it became a dance party. I know this song was met with a bit of resistance from hardcore Amity fans when it was released, but I have always really liked it, and it was great to see everyone getting into it and getting down. ‘Pittsburg’ rounded out the set in a frenzy with more people than seemed possible coming from the back of the crowd to mosh one last time. The encore saw Joel Birch bring his son onto the stage and the band played ‘All Fucked Up’. It was adorable, and dads with babies are one of my weaknesses. I would be fine with every band I go to see from now on bringing their cute kids out.
Like Parkway Drive, The Amity Affliction is Australian heavy music royalty, and their fans love them, like really love them. All around me were people who sang every single word of every song, and I saw quite a few older people with adult children that were as into the band as their kids. People connect with Amity because of the subjects of their songs. Their fans are people who have struggled with mental health issues, addiction and any number of traumas and the band make no secret of the fact they have struggled with these too. Their lyrics are literal, and they don’t beat around the bush about these prevalent and incredibly debilitating issues. The band have said many times that music saved their lives and I know that there would have been many fans on Friday who are still around because of their songs. I wanted to go to this show because I knew I would enjoy myself and I knew it would tip me into fully-fledged fan territory, which it absolutely did. I am now eagerly awaiting the release of Everyone Loves You… Once You Leave Them and will be making sure I quickly clock up my Amity gig tally.
Review by Caitlin MacDonald (@cait_2tone)
All My Friends Are Dead
Soak Me In Bleach
I Bring The Weather With Me
Feels Like I’m Dying
Drag The Lake
Don’t Lean On Me
All Fucked Up