Worldwide there is without doubt a metaphoric torrential flood of melodic metalcore and alterations of this sub-genre. With so many acts either following this trend or trying to carve out a separate identity, it’s a wonder how some of these outfits remain relevant or even appetising to the fans of heavy music. As a matter of fact, tonight was proof that the bands who may have pioneered versions of this genre and another who certainly solidified their place throughout the globe are more than relevant, they are near royalty, as countless heavy music aficionados inundated Thebarton Theatre to its capacity, so much for the reputation of Adelaide being a big country town.
Melbourne’s Dream On Dreamer had the honour of opening the event and to their credit, the quintet were not at all threatened by the magnitude of the venue nor the job put in front of them. However, whilst this is usually nothing but complimentary to this writer, the five-piece looked a little too comfortable. There was a lack of intensity evident throughout the set made up of songs from practically their entire discography and it didn’t seem like DOD’s heartfelt nu-metalcore sound could move above the idea of a ballad. The young audience certainly loved the presentation with some ninja moshers warming up their bodies to fan favourites like: The World In Front Of Me and Downfall, but in honesty DOD just seemed to be an opening band in the grand scheme of things, ultimately their own headline tour in smaller venues would certainly pay off for these five young gentleman.
Way back in 2008, unbelievably that is half a decade ago, six young men by the name of The Devil Wears Prada made their very first venture to Australia in support of their sophomore record Plagues. 2013 and two tours of our fine nation later finds a very different looking band from way back then, forget songs like: Dogs Can Grow Beards All Over and Hey John, What’s Your Name Again? as well as the onstage antics of inflatable toys and other gimmicks. TDWP are a metalcore band and want to be considered in the same league as like-minded innovators such as August Burns Red, Parkway Drive and even Killswitch Engage; a fair challenge but one they easily met quickly in their set. These six gentlemen present structured chaos with their live version of melodic metalcore and featuring songs from their last three releases: With Roots Above And Branches Below, Zombie EP and brilliant Dead Throne album, these were executed with the highest level of professionalism, elitism and electricity. Front-man Mike Hranica although smaller in height off stage, in performance he seems gigantic and his vocal screeches and growls beyond human capability, so much so that the recorded output doesn’t in fact do him justice. Guitarist and backing vocalist Jeremy DePoyster exhibited near perfection with his melodies and stage presence as the rest of the men in TDWP ensured they were at an equal level of intensity. Born To Lose and new song Gloom from the forthcoming untitled record were certainly highlights and it was no shock that a request for an encore actually came from the audience for the main support act, that says enough really.
An A Day To Remember show is no longer a performance, it’s a showcase, an exhibition and of an extreme magnitude. Entertainment is the name of the game and these pop punk mosh icons are leading the world in this craft and genre that they spearheaded. Beach balls, smoke cannons, confetti, a t-shirt cannon gun utilised by photographer extraordinaire James Hartley (in a banana suit of course) and ramps for climbing to the tallest heights on offer in the venue for the band members. Jeremy McKinnon has somehow only improved his incredible vocal diversity, with his melodious hooks and varying screams reaching above and beyond what has ever been encountered by Adelaide before rivalling the deafening sing-along provided by the enthusiastic crowd.
To be honest, this Floridian quintet’s well-structured song writing formula might have had an expiry date per se, but clearly this notion was proven wrong. As the band performed songs from all of their five albums: And Their Name Was Treason, For Those Who Have Heart, Homesick, What Separates Me From You and even their unreleased Common Courtesy (becoming quite the Chinese Democracy in this music circle, but good things come to those who wait?), it was the reaction to the five-piece’s oldest material which has proven a more everlasting status than what had become my assumption, it was a frenzy to say the least. Set pinnacles included TDWP’s Mike Hranica joining A Day To Remember for I’m Made of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of?, 2nd Sucks was above the idea of pandemonium and the encore of The Plot To Bomb The Panhandle and You Should Have Killed Me When You Had the chance were conclusively the cherry on top. Can it get bigger or more ridiculous? Time will only tell, but it would be very courteous (pun intended) of A Day To Remember to release album number five already.
– Review by Will Oakeshott, Photos by Shannon Djordjevic