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Live Review: Antagonist AD, Honest Crooks

30 November 2018 | 3:44 pm | Tayla Galvin

"Years of experience can outweigh youthful aggression."

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Auckland hardcore-punk veterans Antagonist AD deliver a rustling and daring set at Brisbane’s The Brightside.

Support act Honest Crooks waste no time taking the stage and creating an absolute riot. A band that can easily be described as brutal and relentless, these guys know exactly how to work a pit with seamless breakdowns and strong stage presence.

Frontman Jerry Chard stalks the stage flipping off the whole venue, confidently proclaiming, “We are here to make you suffer!” leading to track, you guessed it, Suffer. A fast-paced number that showcases their infectious drumming, there are limbs being thrown left, right and centre. Ending their set with False Gods, Honest Crooks are a band that do not mess around and have no problem setting the energy to an all-time high in preparation for Antagonist AD.

An eerie feel sweeps over The Brightside as vocalist Sam Crocker slowly approaches the stage with his back to the crowd, accompanied by dim lighting and a menacing monologue. The calmness is soon replaced with aggression and it is evident within minutes that these experienced Kiwis are as ferocious as ever. With now 13 years’ experience under their belt, this tour is to promote the release of ruthless new single No Justice – a track popular enough with the band’s devoted fanbase to already have been reserved for tonight’s encore. 

Before hitting it though, Crocker and co work through a killer set covering their extensive back catalogue. Opening with These Cities, Our Graves, the title-track from their 2006 full-length debut, they rapidly jump into War Crimes and Paul Allen from 2012’s Nothing From No One. Punters take advantage of an announcement stating, “This mic is your mic, this stage is your stage and we are a family," and cover every inch of the venue.

Other fan favourites like Lovesick, I’m Not There and Show Some Heart (Go Vegan) are also covered as the band work through an intense set, reminding The Brightside that, on occasion, years of experience can outweigh youthful aggression. This point is reiterated by the night’s close when, finally, No Justice is performed in all of its glory. While it could be considered bizarre for a veteran band to leave their newest single to be the last played on the night, this sends a strong and purposeful message to those with broken and bloody fingers from a brutal pit – there’s still plenty left to be said from Antagonist AD.

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