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Gig Review: Parkway Drive + Supports, Sutherland, 26 June 2016

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Parkway Drive + Make Them Suffer + Polaris
Sutherland Entertainment Centre, Sutherland
26 June 2016
Review by Jeremy Vane-Tempest
Photos by James O’Connor

I was waiting out the front of Sutherland Entertainment Centre, when I hear someone exclaim “this is my first time seeing Parkway Drive.” Well, this is my eleventh Parkway Drive show and trust me, you are not going to be disappointed! I love Parkway shows in smaller venues, seeing them pull five thousand punters to the Hordern Pavillion is fun, but there’s nothing like an up close and intimate show like we have tonight.

Local boys Polaris get us started on this leg of the All Aussie Adventures Tour and my one regret is that Parkway didn’t pick my suggestion of ‘Crushed by the Price of Fuel’ tour. There’s a tonne of Polaris merch being worn by the punters and deservedly so. God they’re good live. How are they not on a label? If they were US-based, they’d have done Warped Tour three or four times by now. The pit wasn’t exactly heating up but nothing really could on a frigid night like this. Mind you, you know you’re getting old when you don’t go in the pit because you fear what your Wife will do to you if you hurt yourself, more than you fear those maniacs doing karate kicks.

Everyone has a band that just rubs them the right way. Make Them Suffer are just such a band for me. I love them to pieces, so you can understand my frustration that I’ve seen them five times before tonight and this, the sixth, is the first time I’ve seen them where their set hasn’t been cut short by openers who run over time. No one really gets into it at first, but that changes pretty quickly. The set highlight was a mashup of Neverbloom‘s title track and the crushing outro to fan favourite, Maelstrom. Meanwhile, my ears are killing me thanks to the ludicrous volume that Make Them Suffer were playing at!

And then, there was Parkway Drive. These dudes bring people together in a way that few other bands can manage. They transcend language barriers, age differences and even familial relationships. I know this because there was a family of three standing near me and the daughter, who was rocking a Deep Blue shirt and a denim jacket straight out of the 1990s, was maybe 13 years old. Just as I really started going deep on my reflection of how Parkway bring people together, the little bugger jumped off her Mum’s shoulders and landed right on my freezing cold feet, crushing both my toes and my sense of good will.

Anyway, there’s nothing I can say about a scene-defining band that hasn’t already been said. Everything from the mix to the lights to the set-list was perfect, so I’ll defer to all around Legend and anti-Desmond, frontman Winston McCall himself: “I am so lucky to have been able to live this life for the last twelve years. I feel so blessed and I know that all the guys here feel the same; the fact that you’re all here, smiling back at me, after twelve years, is insane. How my weird little life brought me to this point is beyond me. Thank you. Thank you all.”

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