Nothing better than finishing a hard days work on a Friday than following it up with some good live music. For those out west, this Friday night was well worth a drive to South Geelong to catch In Hearts Wake on their Great Southern Land tour at a pub just off the main stretch through Geelong.

Touring all of the smaller venues in Australia to give all the fans a chance is a long, hard tour but completely worth it. With Geelong only an hour outside of Melbourne, it wasn’t that hard to hop in the car, crank some good heavy tunes and get pumped for the night ahead. The crowd was made out of a lot of fans from the west of Melbourne as well as the locals.

Kicking off the night was Geelong’s very own Amberyse which, by the end of the set, had a fun little mosh going on. Lead vocalist Jayden Andrews was having a killer time up on stage and did not stop moving at all throughout the set. The energy emitting from Andrews and bassist Adrian Trinchera really helped boost the energy of the crowd even though it wasn’t exactly needed as people were pumped already.

After seeing Thornhill when they supported The Brave, it was amazing to see how much they had progresses in such a small time. Lead vocalist Jacob Charlton was a lot more confident from the start and was absolutely tearing up the mic. The feeling from the band on stage didn’t show as much ferocity as Amberyse but Charlton was completely in the zone. ‘Limbo’ definitely added a lot more to the feel from the band with the incredible guitar riff start and heavy breakdown and even had half the crowd waving their hands side to side. Even without a mosh breaking out, they put on one hell of a show. If these 20 year old Melbourne locals can improve this much in this short a time, it’s worth checking then out when their second EP Butterfly drops.

The best thing about small pub gigs is the complete feel of intimacy with the bands playing. No barriers, little security and even being able to run into members of the bands playing that night. Its a feeling you can’t replicate at venues like The Corner Hotel in Richmond or 170 Russell in Melbourne.

The lights dimmed down and people were cheering for the tambourine and Melbourne band Belle Haven hit the stage. Vocalist David De La Hoz was absolutely rocking the overalls and shirt even though the venue was hot and humid. De La Hoz, bassist Tom Mitchell and guitarists Christopher Vernon and Daniel Marinakis were on fire and had the crowd pumped and singing along. As the last of tonight’s local supports before touring support Young Lions, it was easy to see that they were putting 110% into their short 30 minute set. Mitchell was constantly moving and spinning. It looked like he was having the time of his life up there and definitely had this reviewer’s eyes drifting towards him time to time to see what antics he was up to. They regularly headline the Melbourne nightclub BANG and you could see that they were channeling their headline vibes into their set.

Looking like Wheatus frontman Brendan Brown, vocalist Zach Britt looked like he jumped straight out of the ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ video as Brisbane band Young Lions kicked off their set for the night. The stuffy venue was quickly packed with people from the cool sanctuary of the pubs smoking area to catch the main supports set. As hot as it was, it didn’t stop Britt and fellow members Ryan Allison on guitar, Morgan Castle on bass and the ever cool in shades Matt Gibson bringing the fire.

It wasn’t long into the set until Britt went down to a singlet and jumped into the crowd to get everyone around into what they were giving during ‘Burn the Money’ and telling everyone that they should do what they love and not get stuck. It was actually quite uplifting to hear especially when Britt was surrounded by the crowd. It was a constant throughout the set. Allison, Gibson and Castle staying on stage and Britt wanting to be as much a part of the crowd as he wanted to be the frontman of the band.

Cutting almost 10 minutes was a downer yet it was probably a good thing as a fight almost started in the moshpit.

Right before In Hearts Wake tear the venue a new one that the crowd will feel, the crowd was getting pumped singing alone to Choirboys ‘Run to Paradise’,  Jimmy Barnes ‘Working Class Man’ and Bon Jovi’s ‘Living on a Prayer’.

As In Hearts Wake hit the stage with ‘Passage’, three quarters of the room turned into insanity. The Byron Bay boys had the crowd wrapped around their pinky finger. Even after four incredible supports, the energy in this tiny area was crazy. What was 110% before was half of what vocalist Jake Taylor, guitarists Ben Nairne and Eaven Dall, bassist Kyle Erich and drummer Conor Ward were giving. They made half of the floor a moshpit, a quarter of the venue jump up and down and the rest sing along during ‘Healer’. It was utter pandemonium to say the least and to have the whole crowd fist pumping and chanting “NO HATE! NO FEAR!” was incredible.

With Taylor constantly ordering a circle pit, everyone happily obliged and either joined or avoided the area. It wasn’t long until the inflatable boat came out to be thrown around the room well before it was meant to. It was actually a surprise it didn’t come out sooner.

There was a constant stream of moshers running to the bar for a drink only to rush back to the action during ‘Nomad’ and ‘Skydancer’. Every single one dripping with sweat and exhausted but wanting more and with the same smile of ‘damn they’re amazing’. ‘Skydancer’ also saw the first of many fans rushing the stage to crowd surf in a moment they will never forget.

‘Afterglow’ and ‘Survival (The Chariot)’ sent the whole place into overdrive. Yet it was during ‘Survival (The Chariot)’ when Taylor crowdsurfed on the inflatable boat to capture a flag at the back of the room that things were indescribable. Having been tipped ofd half way, on take 2, Taylor made it there and back partially unscathed. I say partially as he was attacked by the roof fan of the venue.

Taylor actually looked worried during ‘Warcry’ as the insanity stepped up notch with people actually hanging from the scaffolding and lighting trusses and throwing shoes on stage randomly. I don’t think he knew how crazy it was going to be.

Finishing the main set with ‘Breakaway’ had the crowd begging for just a little more. They delivered.

‘Earthwalker’ kicked off the encore and finishing with ‘Welcome to Mayhem’ and oh boy. It was surprising just how much this crowd had left in them. I swear it was just pure adrenaline that powered most people in the end and as the song suggests, the pit was pure and utter mayhem.

Nearly three quarters of the way through the Great Southern Land tour, if you’re a fan of In Hearts Wake I suggest you catch this up close and intimate show as these boys are only going up and getting better and bigger.

Don’t miss out on seeing In Hearts Wake perform ‘The Great Southern Land’ tour in your town! Get your tickets here.