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HANDS LIKE HOUSES w/ Ocean Grove, Endless Heights & RedHook
Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Saturday 9th Feb, 2019
Hands Like Houses made the second stop on their biggest tour yet on Saturday, hitting up the Enmore Theatre in Sydney. After a pre-show feed from Soul Burger (seriously, if you haven’t had their Southern Fried Chicken burger you haven’t lived), we settled into the venue for a night that would prove to be a mixed bag of some of finest rock Australia has to offer.
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Hometown heroes RedHook kicked off the night. Whether it was a sign of some nerves or some issues with sound, their set did lean into too loud and screechy territory when it started (or maybe we’re just old). Thankfully for all our ears, this was sorted almost immediately and the Sydneysiders were back to spreading their infectious energy through the theatre. Seriously, there’s a reason we keep hyping up the self-confessed screaming rap rock electro pop mutants. They’re loud, punchy and in your face-what else could you ask for out of an opener?
Endless Heights, another set of hometown heroes (are you sensing a trend here?) followed. Their sound can cause a little contention between listeners (is it a little shoegazey? is it a little grungy?), but the one thing every punter could agree on was that the band had a whole lot of energy. With the room rapidly filling up, Endless Heights let loose with of the biggest crowds we’ve ever seen them perform to, even finding time to slow it down a little to play their delicate, emotional masterpiece Paralyse. Our highlight of the night though? Watching vocalist Joel Martorana master the art of jumping around like a madman while maintaining a pitch perfect vocal range. Seriously, he even threw in some head banging and an air guitar sesh with his mic stand and still sound flawless, what is this sorcery?!
With almost deafening chants from the crowd, Ocean Grove took the stage next, a little fashionably late. Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen a few concerned fans comment on the bands lineup changes, and how *gasp* “Triple J” their new track Ask for the Anthem sounds but let us reassure you all, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Leading the Odd World Collective into an odd future, full time vocalist (and former bassist) Dale Turner absolutely smashed it. He wasn’t alone though, newly fledged bassist Twiggy also absolutely smashed it. Hell, the whole bloody band absolutely smashed it. Upping their production values, bright lights flashed across the stage for the set, moving in time with the heavy vocals and heavy riffs—we promise they’re still there! The skinny six may have evolved into a different beast, but it is one that will be headlining their own tours at the Enmore Theatre one day. Take it or leave it, they ain’t going nowhere!
And finally, it was time for Hands like Houses. With a set leaning heavily to their latest work Anon, production was amped up massively. With strobing lights and fog machines, it was an arena-esque set to match an arena-esque sound. Almost immediately, vocalist Trenton Woodley jumped headfirst into the crowd with his mic stand. But it wasn’t just Trenton that was a fan of a bit of surfing, with bassist Joel Tyrrell literally treating the Enmore floor like a wave, riding a surfboard over the crowd during Bad Dream (we couldn’t make this up). Even the crowd was feeling it, we counted at least three rows of punters rowing along in the pit when Introduced Species kicked in.
There may have been some little technical hiccups through the set, with the sound and a broken headstock, but the boys overcame it all like seasoned pros. The best part though? They found the time to shoot down fan requests for a shooey (seriously its 2019, can we let this shit die already?). Closing with Half Hearted (shoutout to the punter who decided to jump across the stage), they left the stage in a flurry of confetti.
One of these days Hands like Houses will be playing their own arena tours. This is the tour we will remember that set them on that path.
Catch Hands Like Houses with special guests Ocean Grove, Endless Heights & RedHook at the remaining dates:
Friday 15 February // The Tivoli // Brisbane
Saturday 16 February // The Forum // Melbourne
Friday 22 February // HQ Complex // Adelaide
Saturday 23 February // Astor Theatre // Perth*