Live Review: Lagwagon, The Flatliners, Mixtape For The Drive

9 December 2015 | 10:23 am | Will Oakeshott

"Lagwagon never missed a beat, mixing maturity and boundless energy into a dynamic set."

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Mixtape For The Drive from Wollongong were invited to open the event (in fact, the tour) and were visibly excited about the prospect. Their set suffered from a lack of individuality, feeling a little derivative of the The Ataris. Credit where credit's due, though: the quartet's live sound was extremely professional, and when influences like Green Day and New Found Glory crept into MFTD's formula it was thoroughly enjoyable (Stranger was easily the highlight), but the four-piece need to find their own identity if they want to progress as a band.

Canada's The Flatliners drew enthusiasm from the Adelaide crowd the moment they hit the stage and it was clear from the outset they were here to destroy Uni Bar and eat it for dessert. The band wears its influences on its sleeve: Anti-Flag, Social Distortion, Polar Bear Club, Rancid and even, oddly enough, Coheed & Cambria. Their set was nothing short of inspirational. Here Comes Treble, Liver Alone, Meanwhile, In Hell, Eulogy and Tail Feathers were all excellent, showcasing an incredible balance of melody, gruffness and near-perfect symmetry of pop-punk meets punk-rock. The set was elating and it was easy to become lost in the haze of blissful energy these four Canucks created.

If Canada brought the intensity, then California brought the party; welcome back, Lagwagon. After 25 years, the quintet still retain a youthful exuberance that immediately promotes cheerfulness. Island Of Shame, Never Stops, Obsolete Absolute, Bombs Away, Western Settlements, Alien 8, Making Friends, Burning Out In Style, May 16, Reign, Sick and Razor Burn among many more instigated mosh chaos at the venue, but with harmonious passionate energy. Singer Joey Cape was a commanding figure, even though compared to his four other bandmates he appears tiny. Lagwagon never missed a beat, mixing maturity and boundless energy into a dynamic set. The majority of attendees would be hard pressed to deny just how fun this show was.