Gig Review: Sydney – Funeral For A Friend + Supports

Funeral For A Friend + Vices + Bare Bones + Our Past Days
Manning Bar, Sydney
19 April 2015
Review by Melissa Rochfort

Sunday night saw the return of South Wales “whatever-core” favourites Funeral For A Friend to Sydney’s Manning Bar, bringing Sydney’s own hardcore quintet Vices for the nationwide tour, with hometown support from the always supporting boys in Bare Bones and sad boy pop-punkers Our Past Days.

Our Past Days hit the stage early on in the evening – only half an hour after doors opened – with a good turn-out of keen fans down at the barricade from the get go. They put on an all-around tight set with infectiously catchy pop-punk gems, including a few new tracks such as Mt. Splashmore that went over well with the crowd. Demise was another favourite of the intimate crowd gathered at the front.

If you’ve been to at least one hardcore show in Sydney this year, chances are Bare Bones were one of the support acts, and with good reason – they put on consistently flawless sets of straight up hardcore with a rock n roll vibe every time they hit the stage, and this show was no different. They showed no signs of needing the break they’re now taking from shows to hit the studio to record, with their enthusiastic on stage energy from first song Snake City, to the end of their set. Crowd favourites included Pipeline Fever and Humble Wasteland, both going over very well with the growing crowd of head bangers on the floor.

Vices were up next, serving up something slightly heavier for the evening, which was even acknowledged by vocalist John McAleer in the first portion of their set. John also told several inspiring stories throughout their set, such as his tale of quitting his job, playing music, and how happy he is now after doing this, which gained much applause and many cheers from the crowd. Part 1 created a really cool atmosphere to fall over the venue due to a mixture of dimmed lighting over the crowd, and the slower beginning of the song, which was something completely different within their set, but it still worked. Sustain was a definite crowd favourite, with a fair few keen fans on the floor belting out the words with passion while others were dancing around. They delivered an overall flawless, entertaining and inspiring supporting set.

Funeral For A Friend walked out onto the stage to greet the eager fans both pushing themselves against the barricade to the fans chilling up the back. From the very beginning, it was like everyone’s ecstatic inner emo came out of hiding, with the crowd passionately belting out heartfelt lyrics with each song. Before Storytelling, Matt told the crowd he wanted to see them move, and the crowd obliged throughout the song with their jumping and dancing, earning a thumbs up from Matt at the end of the song. History was another highlight of the set with a communal feeling coming over the crowd, particularly during the last verse, which was sung entirely by the crowd with their fingers pointing directly towards the ceiling. Roses For The Dead had the best crowd response for the set, with the crowd passionately singing every word and a sea of hands raised upwards as Matt sang the line “So raise your hands up high”. The highlight of the evening came during their final song of their set (as there strangely was no encore), Escape Artists Never Die, which had the crowd moving and singing the most of the evening, with enthusiastic rhythmic clapping that turned to clicking at Matt’s direction. There was even a couple swing dancing on the floor throughout the entire song, which was reminiscent of the tap dancing couple featured in the music video for the song.

Overall, it was a great night full of feels, inspiration, nostalgia and enthusiasm.

Written by William Hudson

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Photos: Ace Frehley + Witchgrinder, Brisbane