Dear Chester, I only realised a few days ago that it’s nearly been a year …
BELLE HAVEN with Casey, Stateside, Fever Speak & Reside
Evelyn Hotel, Melbourne
Saturday 7th July 2018
With a line of fans wrapping around the corner of Melbourne’s Evelyn Hotel, last night’s triple feature of Belle Haven, Casey & Stateside was shaping up to be huge right from the get go! The line-up also featuring two local supports Reside and Fever Speak to get us all warmed up for the evening.
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With the bulk of the crowd getting in early opening act Reside received the privilege of playing to a size-able audience. Bringing us their own brand of emotional post rock, but keeping the energy up a notch higher than other bands of a similar genre, Reside kept their fans new and old dancing and having a great time up front with vocalist Liam whipping his hair around and delivering a passionate performance for all.
Fever Speak up next gave us something similar but different. With a sound that comes at you in waves rather than hits you all at once, the band fills the room with washy ambient textures which they build up to huge overwhelming rhythm sections. This is where the powerful vocal style of singer/guitarist Brent really shines! The band closing their set on a powerful instrumental piece was met with overwhelming applause and cheer as they left the stage.
Here to change things up, along comes Brisbane band Stateside treating us to the incredible vocal talent of singer Erin Reus. Reminiscent of modern pop rock acts like PVRIS with a little bit of old-school pop-punk vibe thrown in Stateside sure know how to get a crowd moving! With Erin commanding the audience to bounce and dance along with her. Also hitting us mid-set with a heartfelt speech about suicide awareness and the importance of reaching out for help and reminding us all we’re not alone. Stateside not only left us with something to enjoy but also something to think about.
There’s no doubt that UK alternative act Casey were going to be a crowd favourite tonight. Everyone in the room crowd racing front and centre ready to share an intimate moment with the much loved band. Similar in a sense to the previously mentioned Fever Speak, Casey are a band that love to fill the room with ambience, letting the lyrics of vocalist Tom Weaver really be heard before building up into huge powerful chorus’s and instrumental sections. Watching Casey live can be a deeply introspective experience, listening to Tom as he tells you the stories of his ups and downs and just getting lost in a wash of sound when the band comes in at full force.
“Do it again! Same song!” Yelled someone from the crowd just after the band finished playing Hell. It’s not hard to tell how much the Australian audience really appreciates and is equally moved by Casey’s music. Ending the set with immense gratitude and thanks for both the fans and the opportunity to play for us thanks to other main acts Belle Haven and Stateside, Casey left the stage to a delighted crowd that would have gladly accepted an encore if it were on the cards.
But tonight was Belle Haven’s night after all! Gearing up for the chaos and energy, the fans around the room all knew what they were in for. Everyone took a quick breather before packing right in around the front of the stage again ready to go!
Belle Haven were showcasing their latest album You, Me & Everything In Between. Delivering each song with the body slinging chaos the band so well known for. Backed up by an equally impressive lighting display Belle Haven kept us all engaged all set long with a mix of high energy and some heart-warming surprises scattered through-out the set.
You can really tell how much emotion vocalist David puts into not just his performance, but his lyrics too. Which have been carefully crafted and he deeply seems to mean what he shares with his audience. At times David was even thrown back as the crowd chanted his words right back at him louder than he could sing them himself.
This tour is also the final run of shows for drummer Jake Zammit and you could see him up the back giving this show his all and adding to the chaos of the night. Additionally Belle Haven had a little surprise up their sleeve as a bunch of road crew dragged a second drum kit out into the middle of the room which was then played by the bands former drummer James, also eldest brother to both band members Chris and David. The other band members on stage bringing out some handheld strobe lights to illuminate the crowd and James’ performance during the song Hollywood. A nice tribute to the bands history.
Taking it down a notch mid-set with the emotional By Hook Or By Crook featuring just David’s vocals and piano accompaniment by bassist Tom. Then, after exchanging some brief philosophy, the band quickly picked the energy back up for final few songs, closing on a mentioned favourite of Jakes, Closet which also featured a surprise guest vocal spot from friend of the band Steffanie Adele (Caged Existence). “Show the outside the inside” screamed David as the crowd just went crazy and got completely lost in these final moments.
Exhausted and satisfied Belle Haven left us to the sounds of overwhelming cheer, applause and adoration from the room tonight.
Catch the remaining Belle Haven shows with Casey (UK) and Stateside.
Wednesday July 11th – Rad Bar, Wollongong (AA)
w/ Whatever Forever
Friday July 13th – Crowbar, Brisbane (18+)
w/ Wildheart and Tired Eyes
Saturday July 14th – Hamilton Station Hotel, Newcastle (18+)
w/ Elk Locker
Sunday July 15th – The Red Rattler, Sydney (AA)
w/ Watchtowers and Oaks