Live Review: Nikko - The Waiting Room

26 June 2012 | 2:34 pm | Bradley Armstrong

Ascending up the stairs tonight sees a slight delay, as the 'Please Come In' sign being replaced with 'Sold Out' holds up the stairway as droves of people turn out for former locals Nikko's first Brisbane show in some time.

Opening the night, Sydney's Sucks are pulling out an energetic set of punkish alternative rock. The band are clearly enjoying themselves and the crowd in turn lap it up. Unfortunately when they bust out a cover, it just sounds tacky and unnecessary. Still, when they stick to their own tracks they really shine through.

A few people shy of the Sucks crowd, Idylls are seemingly about to have an aneurysm as they belt out their blend of hardcore and metal. While they stick out like a sore thumb on tonight's bill, the show works and is quite loud. The somewhat indecipherable vocal (or growl as the kids call it) combo of high (courtesy of Jordan Pulman) and low (of James Horgan) works really well in the live environment and immerses you into being pissed off about whatever it is they are pissed off about. A great live band that are clearly growing in strength.

The car park is packed and 'guards' are placed on the backdoor as people still try to get in and buy tickets to the show. Inside still remains full, as The Rational Academy push the volume even further. The mix between the guitars is perfect as the band cover the sonic spectrum. Yellow Pony is delightfully heavy and feels a little like its white cousin tonight. The set at points even delves into too loud territory, as Thomas Roche's cymbals smash through while the lower end is dominated by delightfully punishing guitars. Not that that's complaint worthy, as the level of musicianship is on fire within the band tonight. The band preview new tracks, deliver old favourites and even bust out a bit of Sabbath.

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With their recent album Gold And Red album having just dropped, tonight's headliners Nikko and their devoted audience are keen to see it go down onstage. Everything is looking great, with a light show backing each track perfectly and really setting the atmosphere for the night. The use of a violin in songs like the dark ascent of Smoke Alarms really immerses the audience in the experience and simply sounds great. Ryan Potter's vocals sound as good as on record, not losing an inch of quality in the live setting. It is over all too quickly though, as the band wrap up a good show to an appreciative audience.

A great night of loud and (somewhat) local music that finds one of Brisbane's best live music spaces testing its limits.