Gig Review: Fear Factory + Circles + Jack The Stripper, Melbourne, 5 June 2016

Fear Factory + Circles + Jack The Stripper
The Prince of Wales, Melbourne
5 June 2016
Review by Callum Doig
Photos by Wylie Burchall

I don’t even think it’s necessary to give Fear Factory an introduction these days. All I can really give you in this paragraph is that they’ve only been one of metal’s most highlighted bands of the ‘90s and ‘00s. After their massive tour across the country through the final Soundwave Festival, Fear Factory returned for their own round of headline shows in support of their latest record Genexus with the national support of progressive metal quintet Circles, and local metalcore lunatics Jack the Stripper on their second Melbourne show of the tour.

Jack the Stripper have obviously made a big name for themselves locally with all of the support gigs of late and even local headline slots in the country. It wasn’t surprising at all to see them support Fear Factory. Jack The Stripper definitely strike an intense height every time they’re onstage, it’s what gets them the kind of opportunities to support an entity as big as Fear Factory. The local five-piece would constantly throw themselves about onstage, in particular frontman Luke Frizon, who would stop at nothing to try and bring the crowd closer in preparation for the main event. While they were met with not much of a receptive audience during their set, Jack the Stripper didn’t seem to notice as they focused entirely on bringing everything they had to the table.

With Circles being Fear Factory’s main tour support, they have managed to garner a great reception from their audiences all across the country. This time at the Prince Bandroom, they were met with a warm reception from a large number of patrons that managed to rock up for the evening. Not having done many shows in the past year, Circles were still in prime form. With a number of songs performed off their Infinitas and The Compass records, Circles also managed to provide some newer work towards the closing of their timeslot. While they’re not the type to go absolutely nuts onstage like Jack the Stripper do, they put a lot more into the execution of each song and it shows.

As far as Fear Factory’s shows go, most of the time, you’d catch them performing their songs in a certain order where they would focus on a set of tracks from each album before moving onto the next lot of tracks from the next record. This time, Fear Factory’s set consisted of a bigger mix of songs that were separated from the LPs they were featured on. From older tracks such as Edgecrusher, What Will Become, Resurrection and Pisschrist. To the fresher material, such as Powershifter, Regenerate and Soul Hacker. Fear Factory delivered an equal balance of their discography that met the needs of their heavy devotees.

Unfortunately after the first two songs, Fear Factory started to experience some technical problems. This resulted in Fear Factory having a small Q&A with the fans, which resulted in the patrons asking if they could have Dino’s guitar, and bassist Tony Campos asking why no one was drinking. Having so many metalheads in the audience that had been around since Fear Factory’s debut, there was that strong feeling that it was going to be one hell of a riot. Though, the view from the barrier wasn’t all that intense, seeing as there would be constant pushing from the back, it was quite tame even with all of the constant moshing and circle pits that would take place. Nonetheless, Fear Factory had their extremely committed and highly enthusiastic fan base singing and screaming their hearts out all the way through the process.

Despite the constant venue changes in their recent Australian tours, Fear Factory have never been the fastidious type, having played The Palace, Max Watts, 170 Russell and the Prince Bandroom in the space of six years. But to see them in the Prince of Wales with such a dedicated and intimate fan base throw themselves around, was just as good as seeing them at festival crowd of over ten thousand people. No matter how many people they play in front of, they always put their best foot forward and that’s why their loyal fans keep coming back to see them.

Written by Callum Doig

Growing up around tracks at the young age of eight from Rage Against the Machine to Queens of the Stone Age and At the Drive-In, I found my love for heavy music develop quicker and quicker, as I got into countless bands in genres from Alternative, Prog, Stoner and Math Metal over the years. Being part of the music journalism industry since 2013, I’ve had the honour to review the legendary Soundwave Festival twice, Unify, and the last ever Big Day Out, as well as interview big names such as Zakk Wylde, Matthias Jabs, Richard Patrick, Greg Puciato, Mikael Akerfeldt, A Nameless Ghoul and many, many more. With metal and rock music playing a massive part of my life since I was young, and eventually became inspired to pick up multiple instruments, I couldn’t have picked a better genre to influence me into getting involved in the scene, regardless of what the position would be. Heavy music has done more for me than anyone or anything else, and I intend to stick around for more and more as the years go by.

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