Live Review: Hellions, Pridelands, A Ghost Orchestra, Valhalla

9 August 2016 | 10:51 am | Will Oakeshott

"The audience spent more time in the air than standing."

More Hellions More Hellions

Enigma Bar has a trademark for astonishing punk shows, with a similar identity to the old basement show days of the underground. It hosts an adoring attitude to the bands, which passes between them and their fans, making a great home for punk rock.

Local act Valhalla opened to the initially small crowd. The quintet are still fresh, and though their sound was impressively polished their inexperience on stage crippled them. The band excellently blend influences from the likes of Misery Signals and Emmure. Though the five-piece can execute a professional sound, they seem like boys at a disco, scared of interacting. Vocalist Aidan Fitzpatrick was commanding in his role, especially during My Ghost and New Beginnings, but they need to commit to as many shows as possible to refine a live presence.

A Ghost Orchestra gave a required kick of intensity to the night's proceedings. Even suffering a serious leg injury, balaclava-covered frontman Adam Geisler threw out all caution and stirred the audience with his own being. Instantly, the show improved and Hesitator incited a ruckus, taking quite a few of the crowd members by surprise. This hysteria was heightened by fill-in bass player Nick Evans from Life Pilot, who looks like the craziest librarian in heavy music. The band showcased new material, which had the excellent mathcore instability of The Chariot. It wasn't AGO at their best, but it was still first class.

Emo hardcore troupe Hindsight were next, and they were ready to make this THEIR show. The audience grew exponentially, until it was hard to see the quintet turn the stage into a playground. Featuring tracks off their Disposable Paradise EP, the show became an abundance of bodies and sing-alongs. It is in these intimate natures where the band really soars. Channeling the likes of Californian band Movements, Hindsight maintain a remarkable work ethic that reaps rewards.

For Sydney's Hellions, this tour was their opportunity to become a solid headliner. The new album, Opera Oblivia, is a career highlight deserving of a sell-out show. A proper visual of the five-piece on stage was near impossible and the audience spent more time in the air than standing. Nottingham and Quality Of Life were world class, cementing the band's headline status. The five-piece have refined their abilities through touring, and vocalist Dre Faivre may have one of the best stage personalities in the genre. Hellions are just at base camp and they are about to fly to the top of the mountain in the very near future.