Silence the Sun opened the bill at the Crow Bar with their brand of alternative/progressive sound. The dynamics were particularly good for a young band, with loud crunchy guitar riffs and quiet swirling riffs ringing out equally well and accompanied by quite frankly kickin’ basslines. The newcomers did well with their set, the frantic breakdown to finish their set being particularly ear-catching.
Sydneysiders Beggar’s Orchestra continued the show. With vaudevillian grandeur and more than a dash of theatricality, the 4-piece manage to attract the crowd’s attention and even a pair of energetic dances. The band’s sound ranged from prog to alternative to heavy and nearly everything between, all performed with chaotic energy. It was also great to see a guitarist not afraid to show off. Solos varied from speed runs around the base of the fingerboard to clever use of the delay pedal. The plaintive lead vocals cut-through the barrage of noise well but unfortunately, the keyboard was lost whenever it dipped into even a semi-heavier section. Dripping with sweat, the band left the stage, leaving me with the thought that the hair band might have just returned to the modern-day scene.
After Beggar’s Orchestra’s chaotic energy, the focused and tightly aggressive alternative rock of Perspektiv hit the stage. The hometown advantage saw the crowd move to fill the front for the first time. The band showed no signs of rust, with the rhythm section in particular tighter than a promoter’s purse strings. Any descent into heaviness was enthusiastically greeted by the crowd. With the masses demanding one more song, the band finished with the wild ‘Siren Song’, providing the perfect lead-in to Sydonia.
And when the headliners were unleashed on stage, it was to a raucous welcome. Opening with a number of fan-favourites, Sydonia quickly had the room swaying and banging to their demands. The smooth mix of alternative and metal was on show from the start, with the monstrous drumming, brutal guitar tones, thumping bass and wondrously powerful vocals all combining perfectly. The band bar vocalist Dana all abandoned their instrument for percussion and so began a thundering chorus, with guitar somehow overlaid on this sonic wall. The band continued to vary their sound, with a cello being added (although it struggled to be heard). And then came the highlight of the night, ‘Bateria’. Featuring three members from the other bands of the night and bassist Adam on more percussion, the overwhelming rhythm crashed out onto the audience.
This led to all sorts of craziness, including guitar being played on the boobs of a half-naked audience member. From this, the band continued with their typical setup and dialled up the heaviness with each song, as the crowd increased in energy even as midnight approached. And finally, they were done, having wrung the last note of music out of themselves. The band disappeared off stage and then into the audience to exhausted but grateful applause.