The Evelyn, Melbourne, Vic
September 8th, 2023
Support: Wildheart, Everlyne
In the preceding days, Melbourne gave us a fleeting glimpse of spring weather. However, in typical style, she returns tonight to wintry freeze, so it’s wonderful to retreat to the warming, familiar confines of the mighty Evelyn to experience some live, loud and local Aussie rawk.
Melbourne’s Everlyne open the night in exquisite style. Their sound could be described as ‘female-fronted heavy alternative rock’ – they possess a big sound, a big stage presence, and in vocalist Mackenzie Shaye, an excellent singer with passionate and powerful delivery and an engaging stage persona. The band behind her is tight, focused and energetic, and their use of synthy, symphy samples is clever, subtle (ie never overbearing) and adds to the aural lushness of their sound.
What’s more, they are to be commended for the variation inherent in their sound. From boppier and poppier to heavy to dark and gothy to a surprising and nicely selected cover (Chvrches’ ‘Miracle’), this band has a very solid grasp of dynamics. No two songs sound the same, they utilise some subtle electronica to enhance the sound, and their best song is an emotional, meaningful ballad called ‘Surrender’. If they haven’t already released this track as a single, they should. It’s a real winner.
Everlyne pack a lot into their allotted 30-minute opening set, and the ever-building crowd is now warming nicely.
Wildheart are very appropriately named. They slam out an extremely fired-up take on the melodic hardcore sub-genre, with a very convincing unclean/clean vocal tradeoff, riveting riffage and a real ‘in-your-face’ stage presence, all delivered with crushing crunch and angry but infectious energy. Singer Axel Best has lungs made of steel, and the clean vocals of Jordan Olive kick in at highly appropriate places, offsetting Best’s full-throated howls beautifully and providing very welcome melody amidst the onslaught.
Wildheart also pull out a highly unexpected but appropriate cover for the times, Goanna’s ‘Solid Rock’, and with Future Static’s Amariah Cook jumping onstage for a guest vocal spot on the track, their rendition is rousing, different and yet recognisable, and very nicely executed indeed.
Simultaneously slick and ruthlessly abrasive, Wildheart’s 30-minute set also packs a real wallop, and the very respectable crowd is now famished for the main course of the night.
Future Static have been kicking goal after goal in recent times – the clip for their electrifying take on Daddy Yankee’s ‘Gasolina’ has raced to more than 120,000 views on YouTube in around two months, and this is their last local show before they head off on their first ever tour of Europe.
And from the first moment of their set, it’s clear why the buzz around this band is so compelling – they have a sound that is veritably bursting with energy, a stage presence absolutely choc-full of positivity and vibrancy, and in frontperson Amariah Cook they have a pint-sized nuclear weapon. All eyes are drawn to her as she explodes onto the stage and puts on a commanding performance for the length of their set. Switching up from the sweetest of cleans to the gnarliest of screams with effortless aplomb and blazing a trail of spirited energy across the Evelyn stage.
That said, the band behind her are far from slouches too. Bassist Kira Neil locks into the groove with her thunderous fat tone, and her vocalisations with Cook are powerful, dead on the money and very easy on the ear. It’s like these two were born to sing together.
Oh, and the blokes in the band aren’t bad either!
My only complaint about their set is that 45 minutes is nowhere near enough of this band. Especially since they may be away from Australian stages for a little while (although Cook reveals that they have a brand new album (called Liminality) to be released in November, so hopefully it won’t be too long before they are back.)
Closing, and bringing the house down, with the aforementioned blistering rap/metal crossover of ‘Gasolina’, Future Static say goodnight to their adoring fans, bringing to a close yet another satisfying evening of Aussie heavy music. This band forms a massive part of the future of our scene.
Review by Rod Whitfield