"Parkway Drive delivered us a lifetime memory; simply unforgettable. "
An all-star line-up rocked the Red Hill Auditorium on Wednesday night to a crowd champing at the bit with anticipation for the huge new album drop from the headline act. The combination of the quality of the venue, warm night air and talent on display gave the show a true, if abbreviated, festival vibe.
From desert to dust Arizonian metalcore act The Word Alive kicked off proceedings with a solid dose chug and widdle — the technical terms for heavy rhythm and technical lead sections respectively. TWA take the prototypical radio approach to metalcore — clean, soaring vocals, but the instrumental melodies keep the set interesting.
Fellow Americans Memphis May Fire took over the set, unleashing their newest track My Generation as the voice of a misunderstood and misaligned youth. Sound familiar? Correct. Metalcore is the conduit of this generation's frustrations and that is precisely the feel that MMF hammered home. Closing with Vices highlighted the keys to a good core act — the singalong.
The evening took a much darker turn as Blacktown natives Thy Art Is Murder dropped a couple of guitar steps and unleashed the deathcore on a mostly unsuspecting crowd. The young 'uns struggled for the most part — pee no doubt dribbling down their legs at the sheer brutality of the act. Reign Of Darkness killed it but the night belonged to 2013's The Purest Strain Of Hate; super tight, super heavy, no singalongs. Perfect.
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Then it was time for the act everyone was here to see. The amphitheatre steps were covered and those in the flats writhed, itching to see one of the biggest and best core bands on the planet. There is no doubt that Australian superstars Parkway Drive have a knack for writing intense, introspective and masterful tunes. With Perth marking the first leg of the Ire tour we became the guinea pigs for a world first.
Flames roared and a streamer cannon burst though the air as the curtain dropped. Destroyer and Dying to Believe were unleashed for the first time in history and the crowd erupted. A Maiden-esque lead riff in Destroyer instantly crushed any doubts about live translation. This album was for real, and designed to be played to a fist-pumping, heaving throng of fans with both tracks marking instant classics.
Clear chords rang out and the crowd instantly knew what was coming. Beers were chugged and thrown over the shoulder in a rush to get into the pit for Carrion. The horde moved as one for the anthem. It wasn't enough for frontman Winston McCall. Karma kicked off with its epic riff and syncho-drum start and was promptly aborted. "Whoa, whoa, whoa... there is only one thing you guys need to do when you hear a lead riff like that. Circle pit." And thus it started.
Flames continued to pour from the stage. The epic intros of Dark Days and the heavy Deliver Me crushed the skulls of the awestruck crowd. New tracks wove with the old with Vice Grip receiving a warm reception. Song of the night honours belonged to Sleepwalker which generated a roar from the pit. Bottom Feeder and Romance Is Dead followed.
A shower of sparks rained upon the boys from Byron as the show reached its climax, closing with Home Is For The Heartless. Good bands deliver you an experience. Parkway Drive delivered us a lifetime memory; simply unforgettable. This show was one for the grandkids. This is a call to action for the rest of Australia; get out and see this tour.