Live Review: Dead Letter Circus, Clint Boge, Rival Fire

22 August 2016 | 12:49 pm | Fiona Cameron

"Thanking the crowd for their support over the past ten years, the band then 'Rick-roll' the audience."

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Rival Fire is an energetic young four-piece from Melbourne who make a glorious noise. Despite the thin crowd, the band didn't seem to mind, cranking out their hook-laden set. Frontman Rob Farnham is blessed with a great set of pipes that he uses to maximum effect over the eight-song set, interspersing with several shoutouts to the headliners, the crew and the audience. Their sound incorporates some interesting elements, suggesting potential ahead if they can lose the over- produced sheen that veers a tad too close to innocuous Christian rock. Scuff it up a bit, add some grunt.

Clint Boge, along with fellow ex-Butterfly Effect member Glenn Esmond, is always a pleasure to catch in any venue. When the duo appear on the Metro stage for an acoustic set with the big PA, there's a lot to like. There are more than a few Butters fans in the house who were thrilled to hear favourite tunes live and loud once again. One highlight was the unexpected cover of The Church's Under The Milky Way. It was something of a full circle too; ten years ago almost to the day, Butterfly Effect was presented with their first gold record when playing a gig at this very venue.

One thing no one sees coming is the lusty house-wide singalong to You're The Voice during the changeover between sets. However, these kind of antics should come as no surprise to fans of Dead Letter Circus, touring to promote their newly released third album. The band is already talking about material for their fourth, which according to frontman Kim Benzie is scheduled for release next year.

The set blends new material with crowd favourites, features some retina-searing strobes - worrisome for the epileptics - and enough smoke to trouble the asthmatics; along with all of the elements that make for a seamless set from an accomplished band.

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Benzie gives a shoutout to Sea Shepherd, and fulfils his nomination to raise awareness of male suicide. Thanking the crowd for their support over the past ten years, the band then 'Rick-roll' the audience - giving a second unexpected blast from the '80s. Nice to see they haven't lost their sense of humour - this time last year, DLC celebrated bassist Stewart Hill's birthday with a massive cake in the shape of a cock.

Hard to imagine what they'll come up with for next year's stage pranks.