Max Watts, Melbourne, VIC
September 3rd, 2022
Supports: Thousand Below, Earth Caller, Inertia and Alera
Country Victorian outfit Ocean Sleeper have been making big moves this year. With a newly released stellar EP behind them, the band have taken to the road to show off their latest efforts. Joining them on their biggest headline tour to date is Californian metalcore four-piece Thousand Below, who are guests in our country for the first time and we were psyched to be in their presence.
I arrived at the venue to notice an extraordinarily long queue to enter the building. Excitement was in the air as the line moves at a steadily fast pace. I made it just in time to see Melbourne locals Alera kick off the night’s festivities. Having seen this band perform a few times in the past, I knew what to expect, however, my jaw was still finding itself on the floor as the dynamic between vocalists Hayden Oakley and Matt Ashley never ceases to impress. The crowd were quick to begin moving with two-steps that could be seen coming from the moshpit as the band broke into their track ‘My Pain On Paper’. The band closed with their popular single ‘Bleak’ which evidently left the crowd hungry for more.
Inertia walked on stage to a crowd that was buzzing with excitement. Playing a healthy mix of old and new music, this four-piece let their experience shine through as they performed with complete confidence and conviction. Vocalist Julian Latouche shows no issues with hitting those impressively high notes, just as he does throughout the band’s studio recorded material. Encouraging the crowd to display their phone torches throughout their song ‘Memoria’, it was clear that Latouche is an expert frontman who competently interacts with the crowd and keeps everyone entertained.
The heaviest band on the lineup, Earth Caller, showed no problems warming up the crowd on a cold night in Melbourne. The recent addition of internet-famous keyboardist Misstiq adds a new dynamic to the band, giving them a fresh look and sound. In light of this, frontman Josh Collard dedicated the song ‘Exposed’ to every female in the audience which was welcomed with a cheer from the packed out band room full of punters. Collard is an entertaining frontman to watch, he constantly stalks the stage from left to right while managing to incorporate two-steps and other dance moves, all while maintaining strong interaction with the crowd. Issues rose to the surface as Collard became increasingly frustrated with the venues failing stage lights. He made obvious attempts to grab the attention of the lighting designer in order to fix the situation to no avail. Despite this issue, the group nailed that set and looked damn good doing it.
The time had come for Californian heavy hitters Thousand below to perform for the first time ever in Melbourne. This is a band that has a rising reputation as a must-see act and for good reason! The way they execute their music in a live setting is powerful. Their fluidity and ability to play as one, like a well-oiled machine is awe-inspiring, to say the least. The Melbourne crowd welcomed this act with open arms and loud sing-alongs during their newest single ‘Venenosa’ as well as ‘Sinking Me’, ‘Gone To Me’ and more. My connection with this band is just beginning to fuse but I can clearly envision myself becoming a Thousand Below fan for life.
Finally, it was time for Ocean Sleeper to display their talent on the big stage in front of an audience in their home state. The packed venue went dark as the stage’s visualiser lit up with images of Ocean Sleeper and Thousand Below on their journey through Australia during this tour. When the opening song, ‘You Kill The Good In Me’ began playing, a hungry crowd began to match the band’s energy with overwhelming moshpits and deafening sing-alongs. It’s not hard to see why and how this band manages to make their way into the hearts of metalcore fans throughout Australia (and the world). Their perfectly executed stage presence is world class, tying that together with their incredibly powerful and impressive catalogue of songs, every punter was left hanging on frontman Karl Spiessl‘s every lyric.
The abundance of guest vocalists during this set included Jaydon Colvin of Outloved, Julian Latouche of Inertia, Patrick Goodman of Mirrors and Tom Devine-Harrison of Tapestry, making this special night even more memorable. The set list ranged from fan favourites throughout different eras of this act’s career including older material such as ‘Six Feet Down’, ‘Worthless//No Purpose’, ‘Hate Me Like You Mean It’, as well as new favourites like ‘Your Love I’ll Never Need’, ‘Parasite’, and of course ‘Forever Sinking’. The group walked off stage at the end of their performance, just after frontman Karl Spiessl thanked the crowd by saying “We are just four f*ckwits from country Victoria. Things like this doesn’t happen to people like us. Thank you all so much”
It is evidently clear that Ocean Sleeper have reached new heights. No longer can they be referred to as a small local band from country Victoria, but rather as a key player in the future of Australian metalcore bands. Bravo Ocean Sleeper, Bravo!
Gig Review by Adam Rice
You Kill The Good In Me
Hate Me Like You Mean It
Running Through My Head
Six Feet Down
Sleep Life Away
Your Love I’ll Never Need
King of Nothing
Light In My Dark