Live Review: Windwaker @ The Brightside

28 July 2023 | 1:54 pm | Tyson Beable
Originally Appeared In

Windwaker's Love In The Dark tour at Brisbane's Brightside was an absolute riot of a night.

Windwaker @ The Brightside

Windwaker @ The Brightside (Credit: Tyson Beable)

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In 2019, as an aspiring concert photographer, I first caught wind of (see what I did there?) Windwaker at a local event held by Schema Collective at The Zoo in Brisbane. The show included local band Homefront where Connor Robins, now Windwaker's synths/sample master, played drums.

Due to unexpected events, the Windy vocalist, Will King, couldn't perform at the time. Despite this significant hurdle, the band, led by guitarist Liam Guinane who filled in as vocalist, put on a short but sweet performance for the small Brisbane audience. Although I regretted not ever witnessing Will King's vocal prowess with the band in a live setting, in retrospect, this small matinée foreshadowed Windwaker's emergence as one of the must-watch bands in the Australian heavy music scene.

Fast forwarding to 2023, Windwaker has continually grown stronger. They released their debut album, Love Language, via Fearless Records and adapted to the exit of vocalist Will King, who pursued other ventures. Former guitarist, Liam Guinane, returned to the band as the new lead singer. They've supported acts such as Enter Shikari (UK) and Northlane (AUS) and recently released their first singles with Liam as the new vocalist, Left In The Dark and Sirens.

These tracks serve as a bridge between their inaugural debut album and their highly anticipated upcoming follow-up album. All that brings us to July 2023, when Windwaker has invited Caskets (UK) and Alt. (AUS) for their most significant headline tour to date, the Love In The Dark tour, celebrating their Love Language album and Left In The Dark single across the country with the band's most significant live production to date.

Brisbane's Brightside was the place to be, as it played host to the Love In The Dark tour. The star-studded line-up included the ear-throbbing Headwreck, the stage-breaking Alt., the British invasion of Caskets, and the unstoppable force that is Windwaker.

Headwreck got the ball rolling, shaking up the crowd with their seismic sound waves. In a delightful display of musical bipolarity, their clean, sing-along choruses interspersed with their heavy verses were like a headbanging sandwich - a treat for everyone present.

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Next, Alt. took the stage. And broke it. Yes, you read it right. Amusingly, vocalist Daniel Cullen-Richards confessed it was the "second time this tour." Despite their destructive tendencies, the band delivered standout performances with tracks like A.D.D and Wraith that had the crowd buzzing.

Amidst the whirlwind of local talent, Caskets, hailing from the UK, took the stage. There was a perceptible buzz among a handful of punters, who seemed to have come specifically for them. Caskets didn't disappoint, winning over new fans (including myself) with their electrifying performance. Brisbane gave a hearty welcome to the band, and they returned the favour with a blistering set.

Then came the main event - Windwaker. Despite battling illness, vocalist Liam Guinane was a force to be reckoned with. His commitment to the fans who made this tour happen was evident as he gave it his all, starting the set powerfully with Superstitious Fantasy and Lucy.

The band’s new tracks, Left In The Dark and Sirens, were sonic treats where synth/sample master Connor Robins got to flaunt his magic. The band also broke out tracks from their debut album, Love Language, like The Rain, live for the first time, causing a wave of excitement in the crowd.

Drummer Chris Lalic and guitarist Jesse Crofts showed off their chops on the tracks Trenches and Dopamine Freestyle. Crofts was particularly a sight to behold, becoming one with his guitar in a performance that was just as exciting to watch as it was to hear.

Despite being unwell, Guinane gave it his all, pouring every last bit of his energy into his performance. His technical skill and energy as the band's new frontman were nothing short of inspiring. Bassist Indey Salvestro also deserves a special mention for his dynamic stage presence and for stepping up to assist Guinane with his backing vocals.

The night ended on a high with their fan-favourite Beautiful, leaving the crowd buzzing with adrenaline and basking in the afterglow of a spectacular night of heavy music.

In summary, Windwaker's Love In The Dark tour at Brisbane's Brightside was an absolute riot of a night filled with powerful performances, memorable moments, and a camaraderie that only live heavy music can bring. Despite broken stages and bouts of illness, the bands delivered a show that was an absolute treat for the senses.

Windwaker at the Brightside in Brisbane - 27 July setlist

Superstitious Fantasy
Me + You, But Me Mostly
Left In The Dark
My Empire
The Rain
Dopamine Freestyle