The Amity Affliction
Saturday 5th February 2022
Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane QLD
Supports: WAAX, Void of Vision and Nerve Damage
With The Amity Affliction putting their focus on international music tours this year, the Everyone Loves You… Once You Leave Them Australian Tour was a must-see opportunity for Aussie fans like myself. So I was stoked that the already rescheduled Brisbane date finally got the go ahead.
Opening up the night were local metal/hardcore upcomers Nerve Damage. Right off the bat, you could tell how passionate this group were about spreading their politically-infused brand of hardcore into as many ears as possible. Hailing from the Yugambeh/Bundjalung lands, vocalist Shaun Allen in particular articulated his passion towards issues close to home. They set the scene for what was to be a momentous evening.
Void of Vision need no introduction. The Melbourne metalcore group brought the biggest moshpit party Eatons Hill has ever seen… or as it looked, a circlepit rave. Their legion of fans rushed to the front of the stage in droves and tonight, frontman Jack Bergin put on one of their best live performances I’ve witnessed thus far. Believe it or not, this was my third Void of Vision show in the space of two months (following Knight & Day and their surprise appearance at Alpha Wolf a few weeks back). I’ve been enjoying their manic blend of nu-metalcore more with each show that comes. 10/10 a band everyone needs to experience live.
The diversity of bands that The Amity Affliction/Live Nation had put on for this event was topnotch. First we had emerging new punk/hardcore, which was then followed by a top-tier metalcore act who are currently sweeping the nation. It felt like a mini-festival and reminded me of 2019’s Heaven & Hell Festival at the Riverstage. The ample amounts of fans wearing their Amity shirts loud and proud just kinda increased the excitement tenfold throughout the entire evening, adding an immersive “black parade” effect.
Opting for a change of pace just slightly, Brissie rockers WAAX gave fans a taste of unapologetic punk rock. Frontwoman Maz DeVita effortlessly owns the stage and holds an infectious attitude that’s bound to rub off onto anyone that comes across her. If they felt outta place amongst the metal-clad lineup, the band sure as shit didn’t show it nor care. Like everyone else, they were just hella stoked to be there. A huge highlight of their stage time included a fucking cool cover of My Chemical Romance’s ‘Teenagers’ to which the crowd showed much enthusiasm with a good ol’ emo singalong.
When The Amity Affliction finally took to the stage though, it was close to pendemonium. As soon as the white sheet dropped to reveal the internationally renowned four-piece and they kicked off with the opening bars of ‘Don’t Lean On Me’, fans went into excitement overload. Out of all the times I’ve seen the band live, this opening was SOLID. ‘Shine On’ led to ‘Open Letter’, where a group of fans beside me in the pit got together towards the end during “I’m not searching the sky for a reason to live ’cause I found beauty right here and found the passion to give…” for what was a wholesome moment. Joel Birch gave his first speech about looking out for another and mental health, which made for the ideal segue into the live debut of ‘Like Love’ and that heavy breakdown towards the end was borderline insanity.
Their entire performance proved to be the band’s strongest yet, despite it being their first headliner in two years. Giving us a combination of new and old songs from their extensive catalogue, I would go as far to say that the night had something for every kind of Amity fan tonight. As the closing bars of ‘D.I.E.’ slowly merged into the title track of 2012’s Chasing Ghosts, older fans almost went into riot mode. While they brought in tracks from albums as far back as 2012, the biggest surprise came with the epic return of ‘Youngbloods’ (2010), which I don’t think I’ve ever heard live myself. It made for quite the throwback, although I did notice that this song in particular didn’t hit quite as hard as their newer releases like ‘Give Up the Ghost’. Just goes to show that Joel, bassist Ahren Stringer, guitarist Dan Brown and drummer Joe Longobardi have matured and are putting their focus on more current tracks and their future. It should also be mentioned that due to issues with him getting over to Australia from his native USA, Joe couldn’t make the tour, instead Ocean Grove’s Sam Bassall stepped up to the drums and he absolutely filled the spot with precision and professionalism.
As the band reappeared for one final time for their encore performance of ‘Soak Me in Bleach’, I couldn’t help but feel absolutely elated from the performance. Honestly, it felt pretty fucking amazing to see Amity live on stage again and this show will most definitely go down in the history books. The boys were in fine form, and I personally wouldn’t change a thing about this show — there was something in it for fans from all eras of the band’s existence. Which just proves how much of a staple they’ve become in Australian metalcore with a massive legion of fans behind them, not just in Australia but the world over.
Review by Tamara May (@citylightstam)
Don’t Lean On Me
Drag the Lake
Feels Like I’m Dying
Give Up the Ghost
All Fucked Up
All My Friends Are Dead
Death Is All Around
Soak Me in Bleach
Void of Vision
The Amity Affliction
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