Trial By Fire, Brawls & Falls: Northlane Share Unforgettable Opening Sets

10 November 2022 | 3:48 pm | Nic Pettersen

Ahead of their highly anticipated regional Australian tour, Northlane have taken a trip down memory lane and shared their top five gigs that have left a mark.

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Opening our headline show in New Zealand and I fell off the stage (2012)

It was late 2012, the early days for Northlane, and the second time we went to New Zealand. We had a string of shows around the North Island, and our final show was at Zeal in Wellington. Since we had an eight or nine-hour drive to the airport the next morning and a really early flight, we decided to give up our headline slot and open the show. So the whole line-up was flipped on its head, and there were only around 30 people there in the audience when we went on. 

About halfway through the set, one of the legs of my drum throne slipped off the back of the riser. I disappeared from the kit and ended up folded in half down a two-meter drop. The rest of the boys turned around once they heard the drums disappear to see that I had vanished. I picked myself up, joined in on the laughter that had commenced, hopped back on stage and started the song again, hahaha.

Stray From The Path/Counterparts Canadian tour - ‘First International Tour’ (2012)

This tour marked Northlane's entrance to international touring. We opened the tour, and it was our first proper touring experience playing shows almost every day for about a month. I specifically remember playing Quebec, and the crowd had some serious moshes who threw down and crowd-killed violently. 

One guy’s spin kick ended up flipping our merch table over, and our merch guy decided he’d had enough and furiously engaged the pit. He ended up in a tussle with the spin kicker, and they found their way onto the stage. They rolled around together for a few moments until they both gave in and laughed it off. 

Soundwave Sydney (2013)

Technically a festival, but we played second on our stage at around 11:30am. Luckily for us, our stage was directly in front of the entrance to the festival. So as we were waiting to start our set, we watched as the biggest crowd we’d ever played to pooled to our stage. We were shitting ourselves, but as the intro to our set started, three pits opened up, and the crowd looked ready and rowdy. We gave them a warm welcome, and they reciprocated the energy. It's a sight we’ll never forget. 

Karnivool Australian support (2013)

In 2013, we were granted the opportunity to be the only support to Karnivool for their Asymmetry Tour. Karnivool are a massive influence to both myself and Northlane, and I simply deemed us “unworthy” for the slot as I saw them as gods. It was a humbling experience for us as, at the time, we were used to playing hardcore shows where we’d jump around the stage, and the crowd would be moshing furiously and stage diving to their hearts’ content. Although these shows were starkly different, as Karnivool crowds tend to stand and appreciate the set, I believe this tour really pushed us to focus more on our playing over our stage performance and really raised the bar for us in terms of how tight we wanted to sound. 

Marcus’s first show - 'Trial By Fire' (2014)

Marcus’ first tour was supporting Parkway Drive, and Heaven Shall Burn in Europe. His first show with Northlane was in Sweden to a couple of thousand people. If that wasn’t nerve-wracking enough, it was also his first time flying internationally, and he also had to do the flight by himself. We’ve dubbed this show as ‘Marcus’ Trial By Fire’. He was thrown in the deep end and took it in his stride. Talk about stepping up to the plate!

You can purchase tickets to their upcoming tour here

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