Live Review: Billy Talent, The City Shakeup

14 August 2012 | 1:34 pm | Benny Doyle

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Midweek gig attendance is always hit and miss, especially throughout the winter months, however, The City Shakeup needn't worry about that as they are greeted by a packed and receptive room all but ready to get bashed around with some chunky riffs. The Gold Coast foursome show a level of confidence that is fairly unheralded for a support act, but when the tracks stand up, it's no surprise they've got plenty to crow about. Lanky guitarist Cam lays down creative lines in what seems to be a MCR jacket circa Black Parade, but no one holds it against him, especially when they rip heavily into new track Too Frightened To Offend.  The band offer a nice balance of full punk sounds with traditional rock flair, and Hanging By A Thread caps the set off in stomping fashion, the bouncy song leaving the right taste in the mouth as we bide time during intermission.

As their name hangs ominously in blanket bold letters behind the drum riser, Billy Talent nonchalantly stroll out on stage, the band quickly setting the tone for the night as guitarist Ian D'Sa unleashes the thick opening riff of Devil In A Midnight Mass, the track jamming a rocket under the arse of every punter in the room which the Canadians then promptly set off with a quick fire Turn Your Back and Living In The Shadows. The band treat the converted to a 'best of' set, well balanced across their three studio albums. Frontman Benjamin Kowalewicz is an absolute maniac centre stage, calmly sending out verses on more refrained tracks like Rusted From The Rain and Surrender before practically exploding in a ball of fury, veins pressing out from his skin, his eyes darting around the room furiously, looking for a punter to connect with and make their night. Not that that was ever in question. Brand new single Viking Death March is an exciting taste of their upcoming LP, the anthemic track suggesting bold shout-alongs a plenty, but it's the older stuff that really gets volume in voices, tunes like Line & Sinker, River Below and a brilliant Try Honesty ripped into with impassioned vigour, the back-ups of D'Sa and bass player Jonathan Gallant inciting wild fist pumping throughout. Then just in case we still had something left in the tank, the band put us to bed with a three song encore of Devil On My Shoulder, Falling Leaves and Red Flag; and although the closing track might suggest that “The kids of tomorrow don't need today”, when it's a day like this it's more than clear that they do.