Dwelling somewhere between the realms of Rap Rock, Hardcore Punk, Rap core, and Nu Metal, DEEZ NUTS put on one banger of a show last night at Amplifier Capitol. The Melburnian group performed alongside RATKING, WORLDS APART, and OLD DEVIL as part of their second national tour for 2018, following their recent 10-year anniversary tour of their debut album Stay True.
OLD DEVIL kicked off the night with a bang… literally. The sudden tenacity with which they dove into their performance made the entire crowd jump, myself included! It certainly made for a high-energy entrance and was a clear mark of their on-stage craftsmanship. Betwixt drumming and ravaging guitar riffs, their energy as a band was impressive, as they collectively possessed an incredible amount of vigour which translated to a fiery performance. With clear influences from the likes of THRICE and LETLIVE, this punk rock band with an attitude gave it their all for a fantastic opening act. I did find it odd, however that there was almost no spoken crowd engagement, and I do feel like this is something worth improving. They never mentioned themselves by name, either, which definitely didn’t do much for their publicity amongst those exclusively there for DEEZ NUTS – they merely became an anonymous side act, which is truly a shame.
Then came WORLDS APART, whose performance I can only describe as chaotically divine. From the second their performance began they emanated this furious energy, brilliantly embodied by lead vocalist Brandon as he aggressively traipsed across the stage with ferocity. His robust persona easily made him the centre of attention, as he drew in the crowds with ease. In contrast to OLD DEVIL, his level of crowd engagement truly served as a mark of his musicianship and experience, even handing the mic to the audience at certain points to allow their beloved fans to join in. With the crowd screaming “Bring it on” WORLDS APART did not disappoint. Winding up the energy with their song “Demon Days”, seriously heavy instrumentals came into play, sparking a violent mosh pit that had clearly been waiting to happen. People quickly began to thrash around, their violent flailing aptly matching the musical chaos.
RATKING were up next, delving immediately into a short, sharp piece of technical skill. Dexterously challenging guitar riffs were played flawlessly alongside soaring vocals and cheeky on stage personas. Actively engaging with the crowd from the get-go, their Australian accents were a clear reminder that they were home grown talent – something the audience were obviously proud of. With some serious head-banging going on, RATKING perfectly set the tone for DEEZ NUTS to make their appearance.
Despite performing 19 shows across Australia over the last two months, DEEZ NUTS did not turn down the heat during their Perth stopover. They did what they do best; smash out massive breakdowns and riffs, alongside strikingly resonant lyrics that had the crowd going wild. Hard hitting bass lines shook the venue, whilst vocalist JJ Peters showcased his unrelenting ability to capture the audience’s attention. Crowd surfing was even thrown into the mix, as Peters launched himself into the sea of people chanting his name. Punchy drum lines were complimented by crisp, heavy guitar tones, whilst crushing riffs rightly drove the crowd wild. The punk-infused guitar playing of Matt ‘Realbad’ Rogers oscillated between having contemporary heavy tones and a faster, high-voltage attitude, making for an impressive show. With Salinger’s technical skills serving as a much needed rhythmic backdrop and Kennedy filling the gaps with his crushing bass lines, DEEZ NUTS collectively work to create a musical experience that situates itself somewhere between punk, hardcore, and metal, with some Australian flair.
Whilst I have to admit that the Rap Core genre isn’t one I gravitate towards on an ordinary day, it was hard not to be drawn into their lyrics, with their candid simplicity and contagious catchiness. Raw, yet polished, their work reflects their individual characters, which is something I loved as it further testified to their authenticity and realness. Whilst those within the hardcore scene either love or hate them, one can’t help but admire their commitment to their own sound, standing proud in their uniqueness. This pride translated to their performance, proud and energetic in the face of their roaring fans.
In terms of crowd engagement, DEEZ NUTS excelled. Whilst some technical difficulties unfortunately arose that brought the performance to a halt, Peters seized the opportunity to engage with the crowd, personalising the overall experience. Exchanging jokes and stories with the audience, he afforded us the opportunity to get to know him more as a person, rather than an artist.
It’s without a doubt that DEEZ NUTS put on a show to remember. Aside from doing what they do best, blasting riffs and crushing breakdowns, they also created a personal experience for their fans, making the most of an unfortunate situation to connect with them one on one. It doesn’t get much better than that.