Live Review: Prophets Of Rage, Dead Letter Circus, Bare Bones

23 March 2018 | 9:35 am | Brendan Crabb

"All-star rap/hard rock collective Prophets Of Rage offer a mosh and a message."

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A rather modest crowd greeted Sydney hardcore punkers Bare Bones, but they've become old hands at playing on large stages to unfamiliar crowds.

Therefore it was unsurprising that the hometown mob appeared confident in this environment, and their Every Time I Die meets The Bronx fare boasted spiky riffs and infectious melodies that endeared them to pockets of the uninitiated.

Having emerged from what frontman Kim Benzie described as a "nine-month hibernation" period while crafting a new record, atmospheric rockers Dead Letter Circus appeared pleased to have the opportunity to expend some of that pent-up energy, even if only for half an hour. Debuting a promising, hard-rocking, brand new track alongside the likes of Lodestar, their brief set breezed by, even if they were met with some indifference by members of the folded-arms brigade.

All-star rap/hard rock collective Prophets Of Rage offer a mosh and a message. It's a dichotomy that the Rage Against The Machine/Public Enemy/Cypress Hill amalgam pull off effectively, though. This means they can spit a song like Public Enemy's Fight The Power with conviction and Tom Morello can don guitars emblazoned with "Fuck Trump" and an Aboriginal flag during the same show as Chuck D and B-Real delivered a rousing, crowd-pleasing classic hip hop medley culminating with House Of Pain's Jump Around.

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The outfit's original material is solid, and the likes of Living On The 110 and Hail To The Chief were afforded a more vibrant edge; a trade-off between perennial showman Morello's axe pyrotechnics and DJ Lord adding extra punch. Bruising Unfuck The World is tailor-made to be heard through a loud-hailer at an anti-Trump rally, too. However, it was understandably the sizeable number of Rage Against The Machine covers that punters had primarily shelled out their hard-earned for. And they received plenty of bang for their buck; Testify, Take The Power Back, Guerrilla Radio and Bulls On Parade all delivered with efficiency and lapped up by the rabid gathering. An instrumental version of Audioslave's Like A Stone was a touching tribute to the late Chris Cornell, with a request that fans to either sing along or say a prayer for peace during the song.

Inevitable closer Killing In The Name sent all and sundry home chanting profanities, exhausted and sporting enormous grins. You could argue this middle-aged crew has collectively already blazed their musical trail. Live, they still have something vital to express, however; as a certain band once posited, anger is a gift.