Knocked Loose – Gig Review & Photo Gallery 27th March @ The Princess Theatre, Bris QLD

Knocked Loose
The Princess Theatre, Brisbane, QLD
March 27th, 2023
Support: World of Joy, Crave Death

The day after the final Knotfest here in Brisbane, the festival’s heaviest, most aggressive band Knocked Loose (sorry Malevolence!) have a dense queue building in front of The Princess Theatre for their hyped sideshow. Later announced as the Kentucky five-piece’s biggest headliner in this country, there is certainly an air of anticipation throughout the plush venue as it rapidly fills. However, it must be said that while the Brisbane/Australian hardcore scene has come out in droves – the amount of Speed merch on display is insane – there feels to be a lower energy vibe throughout the crowd from the start. With seemingly every punter here deep in conversation about how roughly they pulled up this morning after being crammed into the RNA Showgrounds with 30,000 sweaty metalheads yesterday, these tales of hangovers and sore backs/knees/necks set the tone for the show to come.

Local five-piece World of Joy get the task of opening this evening with their traditional hardcore, high-energy sound. Eschewing low-tuned guitars and excessive breakdowns, their 25-minute showing packs plenty of pace and power, with the prominent two-step sections bringing out the first couple of hardcore dancers. Bolstered with an immediately strong mix, especially the thick bass tone, World of Joy’s new material from their latest release The Feeling of Freedom is their brief showing’s highlight. Although very positively received from a vocally receptive crowd, the lack of movement on the floor is a little disappointing.

Following fellow Brisbanites’ Crave Death’s downtuned chugging and feedback-soaked slot sees us dragged into the heaviest end of modern hardcore. While there is certainly something immediately satisfying about their thumping single-digit riffs and crushing grooves, the moments of dark dynamics are where the quintet begin to stand out. With the performance leaning heavily into the freshly dropped EP Die Slow, Crave Death have a huge amount of potential – commanding vocalist Candice Bankovacki is a clear focal point. Sounding akin to this evening’s headliners, you can guarantee that while there wasn’t much pit action (again), Crave Death have put themselves firmly on people’s radars tonight.

With a major venue-size upgrade from the last time they were in Brisbane, Knocked Loose have undeniably grown into one of the biggest modern hardcore bands in the world. Greeted like returning heroes, the five-piece launches immediately into ‘Where The Light Divides the Holler’ before seamlessly diving into the 2019 pace-driven track ‘Trapped in the Grasp of a Memory’. Although the crowd shows signs of life immediately, it’s not until the older cut ‘Billy No Mates’ where things get bumped up half a notch, with a proper circle pit kicking off during the following ‘Belleville’.

While the dedicated mosh-lords up the front rage throughout, the rest of the crowd’s restrained atmosphere is certainly not lost on the band. Both frontman Bryan Garris and guitarist Isaac Hale call and demand all night for more energy and movement up the back with minimal luck. Not that this is a slight against Knocked Loose – the whole group worked their collective backsides off from start to finish. Powerful and tight thanks to the years of touring, their heaviest moments and breakdowns sound even bigger live thanks to a filthy guitar tone and reverb-soaked drum sound.

Almost all of their most recent EP A Tear In The Fabric Of Life gets an airing, with ‘God Knows’ and the frantic ‘Return To Passion’ fitting into the setlist perfectly. The minute and a half classic ‘Counting Worms’ garners one of the biggest reactions, as does early tune ‘All My Friends’ and recent anthem ‘Mistakes Like Fractures’, with a few extra bodies hurling themselves towards the wide-eyed Garris. The show closing ‘Permanent’ is a scorching way to end proceedings, with the effects-driven outro drawn out even longer to climax with a wall of reverberating feedback.

Knocked Loose’s 45-minute set is short and snappy, pulling material from across their rapidly expanding back catalogue. The band are fantastic throughout, effortlessly proving that they deserve to be out of the dives and onto the bigger stage. However, perhaps this reviewer’s expectations were running a little too high, but this evening just didn’t contain that dangerous ‘anything could happen’ energy that makes hardcore shows so vital.

Knocked Loose did as much as humanly possible to motivate the masses into action, and while most were happy to stand back and watch, it’s obvious to everyone in the Princess Theatre tonight that these young Kentuckians’ ascent from the underground is far from reaching it’s peak.

Review by Andrew Kapper

Photos by Sean Fabre-Simmonds. Insta: @seanfs_photo
Please credit Wall of Sound and Sean Fabre-Simmonds if you repost photos.

World of Joy

Crave Death

Knocked Loose