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Live Review: Pendulum, Earthlings

27 June 2018 | 11:42 am | Paul Mulkearns

"They power through a mix of tunes, almost more like a DJ set rather than a band."

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Earthlings, a live dubstep/alternative electronica duo from Brisbane, start the night off with a medley of mash-ups, from artists like The Prodigy, Nirvana and Violent Femmes.

They definitely have a presence on stage, although they rely heavily on remixes of pop songs, with the crowd not reacting as well to their original material. They throw a few beach balls into the audience, which seems to interest everyone more than the music. This reviewer can see them getting a fair bit of radio airplay when they smooth out the edges.

After Earthlings finish, there is a bit of a lull, but the crowd grows in the central pit area as we get closer to Pendulum's start time, which is understandable, as they haven't toured Australia in eight years. Tension builds as the members walk onto the stage, finally broken by rubbing Salt In The Wounds. They power through a mix of tunes, almost more like a DJ set rather than a band, including a crowd favourite, their remix of Voodoo People by The Prodigy. In the big vocal sections of each song, the crowd is more than obliging to sing along, Witchcraft being the first of these.

Most of the intros and outros have been cut to start, with the crowd not given much downtime, bouncing and waving arms continuously. As the night progresses, however, they begin playing tunes from the beginning, giving everyone a much-needed break in all the dancing. Playing their more house-based tunes like The Island (Part 1, Dawn) also helps as it drops the tempo down quite a bit, with less energy than their drum'n'bass numbers. They stay quite mellow for a while before moving into the half-time drum'n'bass intro of Slam, which is received with cheering and yelling from the crowd before the place properly jumps at the drop. The fact that Pendulum are playing songs in their entirety means people seem to lose interest 30 seconds after the drop, but the breakdowns get them hyped up again and they have no worries going again at each drop.

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After playing a few more tunes there's a huge cheer going up from the crowd, so much so that the music is barely audible underneath it. Of course, they are going off at the intro to, arguably, Pendulum's most famous song, Tarantula, featuring the brutal lyrics of Tenor Fly, which gets a massive sing along. Unlike the previous tunes, the crowd is buzzing the entire way through this one, with a big cheer to finish it off. Everyone is obviously in the mood for singing, as it continues into Hold Your Colour, which they finish their main set with. Chanting emerges from the crowd for their cheeky ABC News remix, which they are happy to come back on stage to play, with more camera phones out for this song than any other.