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Gig Review: Asking Alexandria + Supports, 8 April 2016, Melbourne

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Asking Alexandria + Blessthefall + Buried In Verona
170 Russell, Melbourne
8 April 2016
Review by Callum Doig
Photos by Bethany Mafrici

Asking Alexandria’s reputation as a metalcore band comes as more than just a standard group in the genre. Their persona as a live act and a harder rock influenced one helps them stand out a lot more in the scene and take gigs to new heights. Though being regular visitors to Australia, it wasn’t until this year where they would obtain their first Australian headline tour ever, especially with Denis Stoff now taking the lead role as vocalist. Joining them on the crusade down under, were Arizonian quintet and tour mates Blessthefall, and Sydney locals Buried In Verona.

Compared to a majority of other metal gigs I’ve been to, Buried In Verona already brought in a full crowd with the deliverance of intensity and abrasiveness throughout the pit. Whether it be tracks such as Extraction, Hangin Hoes By Their Toes, or Four Years, security were biting off way more than they could possibly chew with what Buried In Verona did to possess the audience into getting rowdy. Of course, the band would have their fun onstage in between songs, from Pokémon jokes to saying that they were playing Slipknot songs for the rest of their set.

Blessthefall, on the other hand, were something a lot more than what you’d anticipate for a live act. Being in the pit myself with everyone ramming into each other, swinging their arms around and even creating a tsunami of crowd surfing, everyone there went beyond ‘berserk’. With their latest record, To Those Left Behind, intact, Blessthefall launched into a number of tracks from it, as well as a mix of their older material such as Hollow Bodies and Witness. Their forty-five-minute set felt as though it went for at least three hours for myself. Not that I was complaining!
Now, with the headliner that everyone was waiting for, Asking Alexandria had everyone singing along the very second they began their set with, I Won’t Give In. Of course, having a new record and frontman involved, one would assume that it would all about, The Black. However, Asking Alexandria unleashed an equal mix of songs from their four albums such as The Death of Me, A Prophecy, Breathless, Let It Sleep and Run Free. Even a build-up for, To The Stage, came through with a tight, and astonishing result in guitarist Ben Bruce getting the crowd to bob down and jump on the count of three. I’ll admit, I was a little tense about whether or not Denis Stoff would have the confidence to pull off such an important role in the band. But, the guy really got into it and felt that he went through with it way better than Danny Worsnop ever did for them.

Overall, the evening was but an utter sensation. For me, to be at a gig with one band I never really got into, one that I had heard of but never actually heard, and the other headlining that’s one of my favourite groups to listen to, it was quite exhilarating from beginning to end. Some people may not understand and abuse those that work in the metalcore category, but there’s a lot of power involved in the shows than just the audio recordings for a record. If such a line-up was to occur again, I’d be happy to catch the same gig in the future.

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