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Gig Review – Sydney: Hellions + Supports

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Hellions + Void of Vision + Justice For The Damned + Our Past Days + Lifes Ill
Blacktown Masonic Hall, Sydney
15th March, 2015
Review by Melissa Rochfort

Blacktown Masonic Hall saw one of the best local shows I have been to in a very long time on Sunday afternoon, with an impressive crowd gathered to see and partake in some awesome hardcore shenanigans.

Lifes Ill kicked off proceedings for the day to a decent sized crowd, who were either right up front, or who held back and threw their fists and feet in the air. Our Past Days got everyone cosy up front for their set, with vocalist Matt urging all to come down the front. Throughout the set Matt went onto the crowd floor and sang with the audience circled around him. Crowd favourites included Quicksand and Car Bomb, which generated the most singing from their avid fans. Justice For The Damned the heaviest of the supports were up next, with vocalist Bobak beginning by removing the felt-covered wooden box that separated the stage floor from where the audience stood, placing it upright next to one of the speaker stacks. Despite being marred by technical difficulties throughout, they put on an energised set that got the crowd pumped and punching for the rest of the evening.

Void Of Vision took the stage area with much enthusiasm from the crowd, starting their set with a new track, with vocalist Jack mentioning to the crowd that they wouldn’t know the words, so to just bang their heads or do whatever they pleased. As soon as they started playing, a mass of fans charged forward onto the stage floor, and pretty much remained there for the whole set. They played a flawless set, with Dissipate most definitely being the crowd favourite.

Finally, Hellions took the stage, and if anyone new to hardcore thought the previous crowd surge was huge, then they were in for a massive surprise. Starting the set with Hellions, the crowd literally went wild, launching themselves on top of fellow gig-goers, surging so far forward that the band were forced to move onto the platform where the drum kit was staged. I ended up having to photograph most of the set kneeling on top of that felt-covered wooden box, as there were people and mic stands flying everywhere – it was awesome!

Throughout the set, vocalist Dre was getting a real kick out of how enthusiastic and overwhelmingly into it all the crowd were. A collaborative vibe started to come out when Dre went out to the middle of the floor and got the crowd to start a circle pit around him. At the end of each song he had to get the crowd to ‘reset’ and move off the stage floor so the band could play on the same level, but during every song, the surge kept pushing the band back onto the drum platform. At one point Dre got everyone – including the rest of the band – to sit down on the floor as they played. A few times throughout the set the crowd lifted Dre over their heads and had him crowd surfing back and forth while he belted out lyrics. Song-wise, the entire set was absolutely on point, but some of the highlights were definitely Creasy (which was definitely my favourite of the whole afternoon), 23 and Infamita, which was played at the end of their set and chosen by the crowd after some very loud chants of “one more song!”

If you’re into hardcore and you haven’t yet listened to or seen Hellions live, then you really need to get out from under that rock, buy their album Indian Summer, and get yourself to a show ASAP. You will not regret it.

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