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Live Review: The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Hawthorne Heights, Mixtape For The Drive

22 December 2014 | 4:43 pm | Michael Prebeg

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus put on a remarkable show in Melbourne.

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Mixtape For The Drive continue to represent the Australian scene with a refreshing pop-punk performance full of powerful melodies and catchy choruses.

They take on a cover of Lorde’s hit Royals with a unique alternative rock twist to please the masses alongside tracks from their debut Stories EP of this year.

The venue is heaving by the time Hawthorne Heights reach the stage and a lengthy sound check makes the audience restless with anticipation. Devoted fans overwhelm the American quartet who hail from Ohio as they perform a special set, playing their debut studio album The Silence In Black And White in its entirety.

This performance is dedicated to long-time supporters of the band and lead vocalist JT Woodruff explains it’s a celebration of ten years since the album was released. Featuring some of their most well-known tracks including Ohio Is For Lovers, Niki FM and Silver Bullet, the band help us reminisce about the time when the new wave of emo was at its peak. With speedy rhythms and just a touch of throat shredding screams thrown in over the top of ultra catchy, punk-rock choruses, the performance is a nostalgic, post-hardcore delight.

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The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus charge out onto the stage with searing guitar riffs and anthemic choruses laced with emotionally driven lyrics. With their dark shades on and long hair flowing, the self-proclaimed American pop-punk rednecks mark their territory on You Better Pray. Their setlist is dominated by songs from their 2006 debut release, Don’t You Fake It, but also features some newer songs from their latest crowd-funded, full-length album entitled 4.

A clear distinction between each era of this band’s musical catalogue makes for a remarkable show with a diverse mix of high-energy rock. The pace slows down for the band’s tender, melancholy, piano-driven number Cat And Mouse and lead singer Ronnie Winter invites his new fiancée on stage to share a compelling and heartfelt, emotional duet. Admitting their dislike of an encore, the band waste no time bringing the night to a close with their biggest hit Face Down. The song is delivered with conviction and packed with angsty, emotional rock while tackling the issues of domestic abuse head on.