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Live Review: Pat Chow, Foam, Verge Collection, Hip Priest

24 November 2015 | 1:22 pm | Frankie Mann

"Things quickly became chaotic, as Protasiewicz performed his signature move: smashing his guitar into an amp."

A surprisingly small crowd gathered at Amplifier Bar on Saturday night for the launch of Pat Chow's debut album, Are You Okay?.

Indie rockers Hip Priest threw their heart and soul into every song, energetically warming up the lacklustre crowd. With jangly guitars and an array of different pedal effects, Hip Priest smashed through tracks from their demo album, Alone a k/Friends, praising Pat Chow between tracks. Their raw, lo-fi sound came to life with the help from their guitarist who grooved and jived to every song, surfing through solos with immense passion.

Verge Collection were up next, lifting the mood with their bright and bubbly indie pop sound. With a distinctively Australian voice, frontman Ben Arnold serenaded the swaying crowd, emotion pouring out of him as the band sauntered through Goin' Steady. A bizarre, almost unrecognisable cover of Destiny's Child's Say My Name saw the audience scratching their heads, but enjoying it with smiles on their faces.

Technical difficulties saw the usually cool and calm boys from Foam struggling to fill the awkward silence, taking shots and declaring their love for Pat Chow as they waited for the sound issues to be fixed. The buzz from a dodgy bass drum added to the chaotic, grunge sound they're well known for, creating the perfect, dirty tone for their older track, So Far So Good.  With crashing drums and ear splitting riffs, All My Friends saw Ben Protasiewicz from Pat Chow rush onto the floor, creating a small mosh pit that slowly consumed the crowd.

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Pat Chow messily climbed onto the stage, instantly ripping into crowd favourite, Pleasure Unit. Despite being heavily intoxicated, frontman Protasiewicz managed to hold his composure and play each song with perfect precision, not missing a beat. Pat Chow crashed through Flower Power and Outta Words with face melting riffs that held everyone captive, seeing some punters invade the stage, tackling bassist Andrew Meredith to the ground. Playing their debut album from start to finish seemed like a good idea at the time, but some songs are better off being listened to from the comfort of your home, with the crowd becoming visibly uninterested during their slower tracks. Protasiewicz ditched playing all together to embrace members of the crowd during Benchwarmer, thanking them for coming. Things quickly became chaotic, as Protasiewicz performed his signature move: smashing his guitar into an amp, leaving it battered and bruised on the ground. The adrenaline still pumping, Pat Chow were about to launch into an extra song when the house music started blaring through the speakers, leaving the crowd begging for more.