The fantastic weather and large number of gigs had people out in droves last night and some of those embarked towards The Corner Hotel to watch The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus perform on our shores for another consecutive year running. Whilst the venue doors opened approximately ten minutes late, the professional attitude of “the show must go on” was shown. First band of the night The Vestige still managed to grace the stage on time. Even though doors had only been open about 15 minutes before they started, there was already close to 100 people in attendance.
After their opening song, lead singer Nico Douglas was delivered a beer from a friend in the audience. Of course, the “Shoey” chants started within seconds! Douglas turned around and informed the crowd that it wouldn’t happen, before joking with Kelvin Foong (guitar), Lochie Patterson (drums) and “semi-permament” bassist Tyler (of Keggin fame), “There’s a 50… no, 80% chance I probably will.” The crowd slowly funnelled in throughout the 30-minute set; not just into the Corner, but people were starting to move away from the walls and towards the rail or onto the floor. Throughout their set, The Vestige covered everything from their first song, to their newest single which has received over 40,000 views over the last two months. From the mouth of Douglas, “Most of them are me,” which got a small chuckle from those who heard the off the cuff comment.
Usually I’m one to deliver a nice, deep insight when I’m reviewing a show, but Melbourne’s own Terra left me essentially speechless…
The ever growing crowd had more than doubled in size as Terra took the stage and from the opening note, it was quite obvious the stage wasn’t big enough for this five-piece! Performing a super tight and professional set that meant both The Comfort and RJA needed to lift their game, the energy and passion coming from the stage was being returned whilst fans were singing and those who didn’t know the lyrics were bobbing their head along to the rhythm. Quite easily could Terra be performing on larger stages not only around Australia, but also world-wide. Make sure you check out a show and you’ll see what I mean for yourself!
Brisbane’s The Comfort graced the national headliner position for this tour on the back of their debut album ‘What it is to Be,’ and were performing to what their lead vocalist / guitarist stated was, “The biggest audience ever!” Even though the lights set up on the backing bar blinded the front rows of the audience for most of their set, it didn’t dampen their energy as their heads were banging and those who knew the lyrics were singing along. In what was yet another tight set and raised the bar for Red Jumpsuit Apparatus as Liam Holmes, Dominic Harper, Marcus Parente and Izaac Calrow flawlessly worked their way through 25 minutes of nice Aussie rock. Those in attendance most definitely appreciated the quartet from “Brisbane, Queensland, 4210.”
As the curtain drew to a close and the stage transformation took place, the strong 600-plus crowd kept their vocal chords warm, as songs such as Teenage Dirtbag by Wheetus and Photograph by Nickleback brought out the inner karaoke of everyone! As the lights dimmed and the curtains opened, the singing turned to a huge cheer as Joey Westwood (bass), Josh Burke (lead guitar), John Espy (drums) and brothers Randy (rhythm guitar) and Ronnie Winters (vocals) graced the stage. Ronnie let everyone know ”We’re going to be playing one old song and one new song, all the way through,” before they launched into In Fates Hands to great appreciation of everyone in attendance. As the song concluded, Ronnie reminded fans, “As that was an old one, we’re now going to play a new one,” before treating fans to Fighting Everything from newest album, ‘The Awakening.’ Fans kept the energy surging towards the stage in both a vocal and physical sense, as they’d been treated to Justify and then On Becoming Willing. Continuing the pattern, Damn Regret led the way for Ronnie to introduce the title track of their most recent album ‘The Awakening,’ which can I mention recently spent 12 weeks at the top of the Billboard Christian Rock Charts!
Cat and Mouse took fans on a trip down memory lane, before Ronnie broke sequence and took a seat in the middle of the stage as he was passed a guitar by brother Randy. Ronnie delved into an introduction with, “I don’t usually do this, but this is for a very special reason,” before pointing out how family of the recently murdered Toyah Cordingly reached out to the band. Not only was Cordingly’s favourite song Your Guardian Angel her ringtone and message tone, they also played Face Down at her funeral; this touched the band so much, that they reached out to every radio station in Australia and tried to get the newly named Toyah’s Song as much airtime as possible! Everyone sung alongside Ronnie in a very heartfelt touching moment that got quite a few people teary eyed and a huge round of applause upon completion.
Staying with songs from ‘Don’t You Fake It,’ fans were treated to Misery Loves Company before Ronnie let it be known, “You may have heard this song in a little movie called Never Back Down” as the band kicked off into False Pretence. Ronnie instructed fans to take it down a little as, “I want to start this one out slowly for you;” the cheer that erupted as fans heard the faintest opening notes of Face Down shook the walls! As it built and fans somehow lifted to another level, Ronnie announced that it had been a pleasure to perform before the band started to make their way off stage.
Fans let be known that they didn’t want it to be over yet. After hearing fans cheering for one more song, Ronnie has turned around and asked, “Do you want one more song or two more songs?” before taking a vote. This led into the first dual song encore of the tour as fans were treated to a bonus in Atrophy. Before introducing the last song of the night, Ronnie asked fans “Do you want to hear something that will piss off over 50% of you?” After fans have cheered to say yes, Ronnie turned his back and delivered a quiet “Jesus loves you,” before closing the set with Grim Goodbye.
YOU CAN PURCHASE TICKETS TO THE SYDNEY SHOW HERE!
In Fates Hands
Cat And Mouse
Toyah’s Song (Your Guardian Angel)
Misery Loves Company