Live Review: Fu Manchu, Black Cobra, Matt Sonic & The High Times, The Devil Rides Out - The Rosemount Hotel

8 May 2012 | 5:32 pm | Cam Findlay

"The band rocked the fuck out, and the crowd reciprocated in kind with a few painful crowd-surfing injuries."

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There's been no shortage of gigs purporting the significance of facial hair lately. From Dirty Three to Wavves to, quite obviously, The Beards, it truly has become the time of the hirsute gentleman. Yet nothing would prepare me for what was to come last Saturday, as arguably one of the finest stoner-rock/west coast hardcore acts played in the home of the long beard, the Rosemount Hotel.

The Devil Rides Out set the mark with well-deserved local fanfare, blasting out across the familiarly ear-shattering cavern that is the Rosey bar room. They tend to fit in well in places like this. A broken snare couldn't even slow down the onslaught, as Joey K made sweet rocakbilly love to the mic. A cover of Fight For Your Right was dropped towards the end, honorable mentions of the late Adam Yauch being met with plaudits from the crowd. Coming across from Victoria, Matt Sonic & The High Times were a spectacle to behold. The titular frontman falls somewhere between Justin Hawkins and Robert Plant, both in terms of aesthetic and sheer awesomeness. A slightly less heavy set than the 'Devils mud-stomped through some hazy psychadelic jams and classic guitar-driven jam-outs. As the crowd built, Sonic and the band built up and up, eventually coming to a crescendo of thread-shredding mayhem. Two-piece Black Cobra took stage next, and – if you've seen or heard Black Cobra before, you know what's coming – they absolutely annihilated the room. Taking Cali hardcore to it's thrashy bastard cousin, they emulated a jet engine being plonked in front of our faces. Finally, and with much boozy cheering (and maybe a bit of lighting up – what? Inside?), the glorious Fu Manchu arrived onstage. After a slight welcome by Scott Hill, an immediate blasting of the starting notes of Hell On Wheels fittingly knocked the energy up to 11. The band rocked the fuck out, and the crowd reciprocated in kind with a few painful crowd-surfing injuries. With a heady mix of tracks from all of their albums (Evil Eye, Squash That Fly and Regal Begal being just a few), no one was left short changed over an incredible hour-and-a-half.