Friday 26 March
Stay Gold, Melbourne VIC
Supports: Loose End, The Suburbs
I’ve been across upcoming Melbourne pop punk outfit Paperweight since they debuted their track, ‘Waster‘ last June. These kids have only been getting better and better with each new single, so I figured I just had to make the trip from Brisbane to see if their first ever headliner (which sold out too!) and live set lives up to the hype they’ve seemingly created over the last year.
The night kicked off with The Suburbs, who had the eager crowd pumped with their raw brand of nu-metal and rock. I loved the addition of a nu-metal band on a pop punk show here — definitely gave me kind of a festival vibe. Led by vocalist Steve Cannatelli (who many of us know as the dad/mentor for an array of upcoming Australian bands, including Paperweight themselves), this brash three piece definitely added a little extra diversity to this pop punk show.
The night was off to a rearing start, and after a few beer rounds, the night drifted towards more of what we all came for with Loose End, who put on a gnarly performance with their punchy, angsty blend of punk rock. I hadn’t heard much of these guys before tonight, but they did turn most heads in the room with their angst and attitude, and threw me back to The Story So Far’s golden days, that’s for sure.
Finally, “the kids on the ground” took centre stage with that opening riff from ‘Stuck Out Stateside’ and Paperweight lit up the room in all their colourful attire and stage get-up. Vocalist Haris Dillinger is a natural frontman, feeding off his energy to match the hella stoked fans. The energy at Stay Gold was like wildfire, and only got even bigger as the band belted out a super fun cover of Machine Gun Kelly’s ‘concert for aliens’.
I honestly haven’t enjoyed myself this much since the last Good Things Festival in 2019, and I’m stoked that Paperweight was my first pop punk show back since COVID, given these kinda shows are my favourite by far. Treating us to their entire collection of tracks plus a few unreleased songs like ‘Scapegoat’ (which hasn’t left my head since Friday!), by the time we saw the night out with their latest single ‘Whisper Games’, I think Haris, alongside guitarists Luana Tosti Guerra and Tom Ballinger and drummer Basil February struck up a loyal following of fans that’ll no doubt follow them to the next show.
With their first headliner officially wrapped up, I feel like Paperweight’s next lot of shows will be even bigger. Yeah, they’re still a young band with plenty of growth opportunities, but they’ve got some of the brightest songs in Australian pop punk which will no doubt take them far. If you happen to catch Paperweight on a lineup near you and you love youthful, nostalgic pop punk from the 2000s, then definitely don’t sleep on tickets for too long as they proved tonight that they’re quickly becoming a hot act to follow and are here for the long haul.
Review by Tamara May (@citylightstam)
Stuck Out Stateside
Concert For Aliens (Machine Gun Kelly cover)
The Kids on the Ground
Photos by Sean Fabre-Simmonds. Insta: @gravy_havock
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