Live Review: Tonight Alive The Crowbar

4 June 2012 | 8:10 pm | Lochlan Watt

The ‘sold-out’ crowd packs in so tightly to the stage that from the bar’s vantage point the venue no longer appears to be at capacity.

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It's no secret that Wollongong's outrageous Totally Unicorn are the odd band out on this tour, and that's a fact the band is clearly loving every minute of. With their members taking to the stage in various stages of undress, or in vocalist Drew Gardner's case dressed from head to toe in a rainbow-flavoured Morphsuit, the largely barely-pubescent audience is shocked into their first experience of MAHC (that's Magical Animal Hardcore for those playing at home). Bellyflops, bodyslides and table mounting is all a part of the game as they make their way through the chaos before Gardner strips down to his tie-die underpants prior to the finale of Cool Dads With Cool Sons. Special props to fill-in guitarist Mark Owen, who manages to maintain his vulgar presence well despite multiple broken bones from nights prior.

UK young 'uns Young Guns appear to be hardcore transformed into simple pop music. The traces of punk power chords and the occasional upbeat gallop take a backseat to soaring choruses that could easily be found in some chart-topping hits, and it has the crowd completely within their element. Alarmingly blue-eyed vocalist Gustav Wood has the audience eating of the palm of his hand before getting all Corey Taylor during the band's final song and instructing everyone to sit before jumping the hell up so that they “all go home tired, sweaty and ready for a good night's sleep”.

Melbourne's now-global pop-punk heroes Tonight Alive are clearly the band with the most fans here tonight, and the 'sold-out' crowd packs in so tightly to the stage that from the bar's vantage point the venue no longer appears to be at capacity. Those present at the performance tonight, who until now might have held any cynicism towards vocalist Jenna McDougall's capacity as a frontwoman – perhaps those who thought maybe people only cared so much because she's an attractive, blonde female – are proven to be completely wrong, as she expertly leads her band through a fluid set that doesn't contain a single awkward moment or directionless movement. Covering the majority of their What Are You So Scared Of? album, it is a triumphant and near-flawless end to their tour.