Live Review: Alexisonfire, The Getaway Plan, Behind Crimson Eyes, The Dirty Nil

20 January 2017 | 6:23 pm | Charmaine de Souza

"Get that fucking circle pit going!"

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The flanno was out in full force on Thursday night when Canadian rockers Alexisonfire graced our shores for the first time in four years.

The Dirty Nil were up first, entertaining the crowd with a steady set of high-energy tunes. The Ontario natives didn't let the modest size of the audience dull their enthusiasm, with singer/guitarist Luke Bentham singing with enough power to reach the back row of a stadium. Overall, their charming banter and tight, catchy songs held our attention and even made some feel compelled to beg for a swift return to Oz.

The boys from Behind Crimson Eyes injected a jolt of energy into the crowd with their killer riffs and back-to-back breakneck tracks. The Melbourne locals didn't hold anything back, working the room from start to finish. A sizeable chunk of the audience was comprised of their OG fans, who proceeded to lose their shit as the band launched into an old favourite, Game Of Life.

Fellow Melbournians The Getaway Plan were next, satisfying old fans with tracks like Streetlight and Shadows, and undoubtedly winning over a new crowd with songs from their latest album, Dark Horses. Vocally, frontman Matthew Wright was sublime. The man dipped into complexities with baffling ease; the odd hair flip doing absolutely nothing to sully his singing. The band seemed to change up their sound with every track they played, which not only kept things interesting but also demonstrated just how freakin' versatile they are.

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It was now time for the main event. Fans went insane as Alexisonfire took their places on stage, each punter immediately wrapping up their conversations. The crowd-surfing started as soon as the band launched into their first song, Drunks, Lovers, Sinners And Saints. Lead vocalist George Pettit certainly knew how to captivate an audience, each fan more than willing to scream-shout along to songs on command. "Get that fucking circle pit going!" Pettit screamed right before We Are The Sound. The crowd obeyed. Golden lights frantically struggled to keep up with the manic beats that filled the arena, illuminating a crowd that, at this stage, was going completely mental. One punter right at the front was proudly repping the Canadian flag, its iconic maple leaf adding a dash of colour to the mass of sweaty bodies around it.

By mid-set things got so crazy that Pettit had to instruct the crowd to take a breather and several steps back when he noticed a fan had become a little overwhelmed in the pit. "It's okay to admit that you're a little bit older," Dallas Green cheekily interjected. The dynamic between Pettit and Green was magical, with Green's angelic vocals adding an oddly soothing element to the chaos of it all.

If there's one thing Alexinonfire excel at it's bringing their A-game to what they do and tonight was no exception. Here's hoping we won't have to wait quite as long until their next tour.