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Live Review: Shihad, Young Lions, The Dead Love

20 November 2018 | 11:17 am | Will Oakeshott

"Thirty years of service is a monumental milestone for a band and helping send off one of South Australia’s most beloved live music venues was a bittersweet way to celebrate Shihad's achievement."

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As Fowler's Live prepared to open its doors for the final time, we wondered; how does one express an honest farewell? Do we evaluate our surroundings, recall fond memories and wonder how life arrived at this point? Last night the Adelaide music scene did all of the above.

To open, Sydney trio The Dead Love delivered a flawless post-grunge, pub-rock extravaganza. The band’s chemistry, selflessness and appreciation for their craft were more than memorable. Comparisons to Violent Soho and the early stages of Foo Fighters would be a just description of this three-piece’s sound, but this is only a small insight into who The Dead Love actually are. Wake Up and Sugarcoat were highlights, but their entire performance was inspiring, with the correct amount of danger to excite the near-capacity crowd that had assembled.

Brisbane’s Young Lions were the next to take to the stage, reducing the intensity of the mayhem brought about by the opening outfit and performing You Me At Six and The Getaway Plan-persuaded alt-rock songs. The quartet’s impact was felt and cherished almost instantaneously. Help, Burn The Money, Non-Believer, When Will We Be Free?, Message, Destroy Me and a cover of Powderfinger’s (Baby I've Got You) On My Mind, were all delivered with stadium-level energy, but also with a dedicated, intimate articulation. Vocalist Zach Britt’s departure from the stage to sing among his fans on numerous occasions was undoubtedly a standout.

Thirty years of service is a monumental milestone for a band and helping send off one of South Australia’s most beloved live music venues was a bittersweet way to celebrate Shihad's achievement. As the New Zealand outfit marched on stage to deliver another of their consistently dazzling shows, there was an element that in celebrating one institution we were witnessing another end. Nevertheless, the four-piece did what they do best - Jon Toogood, Phil Knight, Karl Kippenberger and Tom Larkin know how to command and conquer any stage. From Think You’re So Free to Factory, the setlist comprised more than just deafening rock songs, they were explosions of artistry and authenticity. It was impossible to pick a highlight, although an astonishing Nine Inch Nails inflexion did make Brightest Star stand out.

An encore was a must and Shihad delivered Cheap As with warriors' ferocity. It actually bordered on threatening, in the best way possible, and their magnetism was unquantifiable.

And then it was all over. Fowler’s Live was little a piece of heaven, and to and everyone involved it must be said we are forever grateful and indebted for the paradise you maintained so graciously for so many years.

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