In the nine years that followed the 2007 release of Music from Regions Beyond, Californian …
EVERY TIME I DIE & LETLIVE. // Australian Tour
+ Counterparts + Deadlights
9th January 2017 – The Triffid, Brisbane
After the literal sweatbox, floor-show insanity that was an All Ages show at the Phoenix Arts Theatre, we’re happy to report that Brisbane’s second portion of the double-billed Every Time I Die & letlive. tour comes complete with air-conditioning and a breezy beer garden, courtesy of The Triffid. We wrap our lips around a frothy beverage, withhold from crying out in elation, and make our way inside to see the beginning of this evening’s festivities.
Local support tonight comes in the form of four-piece act Deadlights. The room may only be half full at this point, but there’s a comfortable crowd in position, with a mix of curious onlookers, avid beer enthusiasts and ardent fans bobbing their heads to the Brissy act’s moody and atmospheric post-hardcore rhythms. Vocalist Dylan Davidson jumps around with an eager, pogo-stick stage presence, throwing down some commendable mid-range screams, but it’s the tag-team backing vocals and rich harmonies from guitarist Tynan Reibelt and bassist Sean Prior that really shine tonight for their set. Closer Know Hope hints at the potential of their debut album looming on the horizon, and fans of Aussie acts like The Brave, or even the mighty Underoath, would do well to watch this space.
Next up sees Canadian/US melodic hardcore outfit Counterparts return to the Brisbane stage, and they waste little time in kicking tonight’s vibe into overdrive with massive vocal chants and pummelling, floor-clearing breakdowns. It’s good to see fans out in force, as new tracks like Stranger and Stillborn from 2015’s Tragedy Will Find Us album, gather an earnest and dedicated response from the mosh-warriors and greedy mic grabbers upfront. Vocalist Brendan Murphy winds the clock back, digging into old staples like Outlier, Witness and Compass, imploring the crowd to pile-on one another, fill the void in the floor and scream his words back in his face. It’s clear that new guitarist Blake Hardman (of Hundredth and Gideon fame) makes an excellent addition to their already solid line-up, as he stomps and spins throughout their set, never failing to nail those delicate, melodic licks or crushing chug patterns, most evident with the pneumatic heaviness of Choke. Closing out their set with fan-favourite The Disconnect, and the ode to inevitable suffering that is Burn, Counterparts exit the stage tonight on a very high note and leave the crowd salivating for more.
Fortunately, more is exactly what you get when California riot act letlive. are on the bill. And when human live-wire Jason Aalon Butler rips into the piercing scream which opens Renegade 86’, the Triffid hits a veritable fever-pitch. Keeping the energy up, the band launches into Another Offensive Song and the grunge-inspired A Weak Ago from last year’s stellar If I’m The Devil… album, as Butler flails across the stage with reckless abandon like an exercise in ragdoll physics. Rounded out by bassist Ryan Johnson, guitarist Jeff Sahyoun, the formidable Loniel Robinson on percussion and touring guitarist Mishka Bier, the group kicks out all the jams for the Brisbane crowd tonight, with bangers both new & old from across their Fake History (2010) and The Blackest Beautiful (2013) records.
At one point, Butler climbs the scaffolding behind the stage—mid-chorus and screams—before jumping back down to earth to carry the band into Banshee (Ghost Fame).
Butler gets ahead of himself during some stage banter, before informing the crowd that they can be the first ever to try a circle pit to the slow-burn Younger, which they gladly oblige. The inclusion of intro track Le Prologue from 2010’s Fake History is a nice touch, as the refrain of “Stand up!” is roared back from die-hard fans, all before the post-hardcore freak out of The Sick, Sick 6.8 Billion immediately causes the room to explode. At one point, Butler climbs the scaffolding behind the stage—mid-chorus and screams—before jumping back down to earth to carry the band into Banshee (Ghost Fame). Declaring that those who want to be loved, first need to love themselves, Butler slows things down for the melancholy of Foreign Cab Rides. As Butler picks up a guitar for the stirring Reluctantly Dead, he informs the crowd that he doesn’t want to be a cliché, before saying, “Fuck Donald Trump. He ain’t my dude,” which is perhaps one of the most succinct summaries of 2016 that we’ve heard so far. To wrap up the set, letlive. gift the crowd with the powerful, feminine anthem Muther, and the rousing Good Mourning America, ending with a triumph of sonic and socio-political force.
And now we arrive at the main event for this evening with Buffalo’s finest, Every Time I Die. From the very beginning of their set, it’s nothing but ‘riffs up front, and various forms of party up the back’ as the five-piece tear through their legendary discography to give us a taste of their heavy metal-infused, rock’n’roll cocktail. Newcomer Glitches off their flawless, eighth album Low Teens lights the spark, before party anthem We’rewolf and the sludgy Wanderlust get people comfortably in their dancing shoes. In the snarling Underwater Bimbos from Outer Space, vocalist Keith Buckley refuses to stand still, prowling the stage like a caged animal. With a nod to 2014’s From Parts Unknown record, guitarist, man-mountain and wrestler Andy Williams riffs through Thirst clad in a stringlet Ride The Lightning tee, while his partner in axe-crime Jordan Buckley—replete with mullet and Ace Ventura shirt—whips his cheeks back and forth like some form of debauched hypnosis during the catchy Decayin’ With The Boys.
In the snarling Underwater Bimbos from Outer Space, vocalist Keith Buckley refuses to stand still, prowling the stage like a caged animal.
Ex-Norma Jean, ex-Underoath drummer Daniel Davison puts on a high-calibre performance tonight, perfectly accentuating the devastating heaviness of existential rager Petal. Mid-set, the band dive in to their back catalogue with some old faithfuls from 2003’s riotous Hot Damn!, alongside it’s 2005 follow-up Gutter Phenomenon. Bassist Stephen Micciche gets some solid shred time on Ebolarama, while Keith throws the mic in the air for the crowd to rinse out their potty-mouths during Bored Stiff, as the packed room screams out “Hey there, girls, I’m a cunt.” The dance-floor finds a reason for it’s namesake when the iconic The New Black hits, and even those so dedicated to the pit get in on the action. In a race to the end of their set, ETID blitz through a wild selection of Low Teens tracks, including the schizophrenic dirge It Remembers, the Metallica-aping The Coin Has A Say and the mosh-inducing I Didn’t Want To Join Your Stupid Cult Anyway. Closing with The Big Dirty opener No Son of Mine, and the apocryphal Map Change, the group brings their set to a close as the lights dim. But don’t ever say rock’n’roll is over kids, because ETID ramped it right back up, with an encore performance of the sliding, time-signature bending Fear & Trembling and the glorious riffage of Awful Lot. As we gaze out into the sea of faces, some look like barbarians, others might indeed be savages, but you can rest assured that they all left tonight’s show sweaty, happy and content. Proving that after almost two decades in the business, Every Time I Die still got it.
Catch Every Time I Die and Letlive with Counterparts at the remaining Australian dates.
Limited tickets still available.
Tuesday January 10, Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW – Lic/AA
Wednesday January 11, 170 Russell, Melbourne VIC – 18+
Thursday January 12, Arrow On Swanston, Melbourne VIC – AA
Friday January 13, UNIFY Gathering, Tarwin Meadows VIC – 18+
Sunday January 15, Fowlers Live, Adelaide SA – Lic/AA
Monday January 16, Amplifier Bar, Perth WA – 18+