Live Review: Strung Out with supports Hot Wax and Driven Fear, The Brightside Brisbane 22nd June 2018

For a band who’s always thrived off of playing small club shows but still has the fan base where they can play to thousands, Strung Out were more than excited to keep the party going after kicking off their Australian Tour last night in the Sunshine Coast. They headline the Brightside tonight and pack out the venue early with a vastly older crowd keen to jump around and create havoc to the sounds of their critically acclaimed album released in 1996, Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues.

Driven Fear opened up the show and warmed the crowd up with their hard hitting drums and fast guitar licks to go with it. Making use of the small stage within the Brightside, the band powered through their songs with some friends singing along with them. Having seen this band on two separate occasions I can say that they’ll be someone to keep an eye out for! Closing out their set with Fireball (Mr. Sinister,) Driven Fear certainly turned the meter on the thermostat up a notch and gave everyone the warm welcome to tonights show they needed.

Now unfortunately for the next band Hot Wax I found they didn’t really connect with the Brisbane crowd. The lead singer was kind of staggering around the stage and just gave me the idea that he was a bit intoxicated. Whilst one or two songs were decent and had some of the crowd moving, it didn’t continue to grab my attention. I’m sure others may think otherwise but the vibe I got from watching them was a bland sound with someone singing drunk. Hopefully next time I see them perform it turns my opinion around to something a little more positive.

Having been a band from the US punk scene for just under 30 years Strung Out have garnered a strong fan base around the world and bring 100% to the table every time. This is the 5th time I’ve seen Strung Out and they are performing one their best albums in full; Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues (1996), plus an array of their best hits to go with it.

With the Brightside getting a whole lot more cramped Strung Out came out and launched straight into Firecracker, the opener on the album. The audience popped as if someone had jabbed them with an adrenaline needle, and what followed wouldn’t slow down the heart rate either. Going in order of the track list for the album, they followed with Better Days, Solitaire, Never Good Enough, and Gearbox, much to the crowds delight. It’s obvious this album is one of their best because I didn’t see the audience stop singing once, even keeping in tune with the beat of the songs.

Finishing out the album they still had at least ten big hits from their other albums ready for us. Slowing it down a bit with two acoustic songs; Architect and Town of Corazon, it gave the audience time to recuperate the energy for the remainder of the fast paced set. Utilising the acoustic guitar, Strung Out went into my personal favourite Calling and burst back into double speed! With hits like Animal and the Machine and Matchbook they closed out their set, not including their encore that every band does on headline sets.

The encores were Mission to Mars and Analog and with one last pop the crowd went nuts. The energy that this band provides is second to none and it’s shown as they’ve lasted nearly 30 years in the music industry.

If you’re going to this Australian tour and you’re sitting on the fence about tickets, I’d recommend buying in and enjoying an old school punk show. It’s worth your time and you get to witness one of the best punk albums of the 90’s.

Tickets to Strung Out Australian Tour available HERE!