Live Review: I Set My Friends On Fire, Awaken I Am, Bay Harbour, Sleep Talk, Exist

9 May 2016 | 1:53 pm | Caitlin Hall

"If a lesson is to be learned from these boys, it is that one simply can't take life too seriously."

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There was no shortage of energy brought forth as American band Exist opened with a blistering intensity. As their frontman twisted and turned his way around the stage, both the band and spectators alike fought through changes in time signature and pace. A relatively small crowd quickly became divided into those prepared to leave with bruises and those too hesitant to come much closer than a few metres.

Local lads Sleep Talk followed, with a distinctly different approach to hardcore. The harsh, unmistakably hardcore-influenced vocals, paired with ethereal guitar melodies brought the tempo of the room down to a crawl. This was only to be torn apart once more with breakdown after breakdown, whipping gig-goers further into frenzy.

Bayharbour delivered the power of metal that Adelaide has come to expect. Armed with the chunky riffs and double kicks characteristic of the genre, the five-piece ensemble from Brisbane fit into the line-up snugly. A short 25-minute set, however, most likely disallowed them from reaching the pace of the previous acts, and it was over as soon as it had begun.

Also hailing from Brisbane, a widely more accessible Awaken I Am brought soaring clean vocals and a progressive sound to break up the ballsy atmosphere. The juxtaposition of melodies and the crashing of the cymbals essentially worked well, however a larger venue could have perhaps better accommodated the vast sounds they were producing.

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Nearing midnight and thousands of miles from their hometown in sunny Miami, I Set My Friends on Fire battled through a self-confessed state of exhaustion to deliver an incredibly charismatic and engaging performance. Opening with Ravenous, Ravenous Rhinos their repertoire was largely nostalgic, while still intermingled with a nice variation of new music and even a few bars of Eminem and Limp Bizkit, none of which went unnoticed or unappreciated by a keen and involved young crowd. It felt more as though everyone had been invited to a late Thursday night jam session with all-inclusive, all singing and dancing high spirits. The final hour was in full supply of fun and good old-fashioned circle pits and if a lesson is to be learned from these boys, it is that one simply can't take life too seriously.