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HALLOWEEN HYSTERIA – Mansfield Tavern – 02/04/2022

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Words by Jimmy Glinster

Pix by Squirty G

Wow, what a set-up! 3 separate rooms with 3 separate stages. And the branding was on point with line-up cards on entry, show posters, full day run sheets, beer coasters, table displays and even fully blacked out Halloween Hysteria windows. You couldn’t be mistaken, you’d officially made it to Halloween Hysteria.

Buckle up, I reckon we are in for one hell of a ride here!

Wildheart kick of proceedings on The Faction stage with full force brutality. The room is half full and building song by song. Not bad for a start only half hour after doors. The vocalist quickly makes his way to the moshpit and gets right up in the crowd’s face.

Meanwhile, Something Something Explosion are underway on the Rebel FM main stage. It’s a big room, so there is plenty of room for the few early punters. Shame really, cause it’s rockin’ in here. Something something about a cunt and this band has instantly won me over.

Rockin good cunty times.

My first adventure into the Garden Room and the Sounds of the Underground stage introduces me to We Set Signals who introduce me to them with a massive intro and some electronic drums. Things then get pretty heavy pretty quickly. The sound in this room is a bit heavy on the bottom end, and a touch muddy, but I’m sure that’ll clean up quickly enough as the day progresses. This band has some big catchy choruses.

The gents in DisKust kick it off next on the Faction stage. I’ve seen this show before, as many of you have. Difference this time is there’s Maniac masks in the crowd and not just onstage. The room fills quickly, and the pit opens up. Many a Maniac in the making.

Time for some Flange, Flangipannis that is. If you know this band, you know what to expect. And on that note, I walk into the vocalist talking about taking a piss. This was followed with a song about anal sex. Need I say anymore?

Back to the garden room I stroll for Observist. Ooft … this shit’s heavy and detuned as fuck. There’s no bass player though, probably because it doesn’t need it amongst the 808 sub drops.

From Crisis to Collapse unleash complete fury as I wander back into The Faction stage. Brutal and technical with flawless delivery. The room is still full following on from DisKust, and the drinks are flowing fast. The pits a tad gentle, but those drinks will sort that soon enough.

Off I go back to the Rebel stage to check out The New South Wales. They play punk, old- school punk which I really know fuck all about. The crowd seems to be enjoying it though.

Back in the garden room, it’s one big breakdown as Apate rip everyone a new one. Not sure if it’s the room, or the production, but the sound is just not quite right in here yet. Shame, because the talent in this room has been killer so far.

As I’m sitting outside catching up with some mates and throwing down a quick beverage, I hear absolute doom grinding from behind me. I walk back into the Main room to find a stage now decorated with gore and band called To The Grave absolutely destroying the stage. This is some god damn heavy shit!

I step back to The Faction stage to rest my ears. And I fail miserably as Bare Bones rock my fucking ass off. Why I’ve never seen or heard of this band I have no idea. Talking to some promoter friends in the crowd, these guys are gonna have some nice opportunities coming their way.

A loud high-pitched scream welcomes me back into the Sounds of the Underground stage. Onstage is The Last Martyr. Heavy, heavy band with an impressive front woman who quickly switches between big cleans and frantic screams. A sneaky Linkin Park cover reminds me that I’ve seen this band before so off to the Rebel FM stage I go.

Gravemind are absolutely crushing it, and the crowd is the biggest I’ve seen it in here all day. This is the third band I’ve seen today with no bass player. Has everyone finally agreed that bass players are not at all necessary?

Arse, that’s an interesting band name. Hopefully that’s not a description of their sound. Well, the sound in the Garden Bar had improved and it now sounds far from arse. Heavy Punk vibes, almost Thrash in parts with an indie twist.

Holy fucking shitballs, Disentomb, brutal! Get ya horns up the vocalist tells us, and the whole crowd obeys. Not sure what else to say, so let’s just stick with brutal.

The crowd definitely weren’t crying for She Cries Wolf back at The Faction stage. Many hands were in air in the now packed room. The moshpit was rocking and bouncy. These guys were commanding attention.

I now get the chance to check out a band I reviewed recently for their latest album release. The band is The Ascended, and they are just as heavy as I remember their album being. The sound in this room finally seems to be on point, and The Ascended are making the most of it with a shit tonne of shred!

Loser, another interesting choice for a band name, and the least heavy band I’ve seen on the faction stage all day. I’d call it pop punk or something like that. And I know that usually offends punk musicians, but as you know, I’m not afraid of offending anyone. Not my thing, but not bad.

Who’s ya daddy? Probably someone else’s if your’e a Stepson. Anyway, I haven’t got time to figure out who’s got daddy issues in this band. By the time Stepson gets their intro sorted I’ll be on my way to The Garden Room. Anyway, they finally start, and they aren’t too fucking bad. With samples all the way through the tracks, I can understand why they took their time to get them right. Those sub drops though … Ooft!

Bondage Dolly Parton made an appearance in the Garden Room for the Mountain Wizard Death Cult show. Now, that’s a mouthful, the band name that is, not dolly. Well, also Dolly. Anyway, this band has some seriously downright dirty desert groove. No doubt the crowd will leave a little dusty after this storm of heavy!

Turns out The Faction stage had gone all hippity hoppity all of a sudden. Nope, that’s just Fangz warming up. These guys sound massive, but they do have Chippy at the sound desk giving them an extra nudge through the full room of punters. They let us know the suns down, and it’s times to party. If this room wasn’t rocking already, it sure as hell is now.

Back at the main stage I walk into a violin solo … this is strange. This might be Sofia Isella? I have a dilema, two stages kicking off 5 min apart. So, here’s my one song review of the JJ Speedball set in the garden bar. Straight up punk rock, energetic and relentless.

The bright red locks and intense vocals of Emmy Mack grab my attention the moment I make it back into the Main room for Redhook. Biggest crowd of the day in this room and the band is rocking them all hard.

After only 10 min of my love, I head back to The Faction stage, but not before getting accosted by the angriest front man in Australian metal. Yeah, you got it, it’s Miller from Black Rheno. Well, he’s actually one of the nicest blokes you’ll ever meet, but I just happened to walk straight into the firing line of him screaming out to the smoking area to tell everyone to come the fuck back inside. Most of them did too, I wouldn’t argue with the bloke and his band of heavies. They are a 3-piece with no bass player and are heavier than most 5 pieces you hear! Out of my respect for this band, and in fear of a lynching if I leave, I
stay and watch their whole set. Absolutely banging!

Flaming Wreckage is up next in the Garden Room. Unfortunately, they kick off while the metal crowd is still making its way over from Black Rheno. It only takes a song or two for the cattle crawl to roll in ready for a good old-fashioned thrashing though. It’s hard and it’s fast, and they close out the Garden Room stage with brazen force!

Now, for my biggest decision of the night. Do I watch Australian legends Spiderbait kick off their headlining set, or do I watch local legends Massic kick off theirs? I fucking hate this choice, but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen Spiderbait so I’ll check that out to begin with, jump over to Massic and then jump back for the tail end of Spiderbait.

Now, don’t get me started about headline bands not actually headlining, that’s a whole other conversation that we can have some other time.

Kram gives a nice little speech to kick off proceedings before he starts thumping his toms as an extended intro to Straight From The Sun. As the track kicks in, the crowd lets out a massive cheer. Then when they pull back again, everyone starts clapping along. As the song finally gets its legs, I fuck off next door to catch Massic. But not before those thumping toms come in again and rattle my soul.

As I enter the room, Massic are absolutely smashing it out. It turns out Ryan from Therein is filling in for Chris on guitar who is off on a Golf strip with his old man according to front man Si. The rooms not as full as I’d like to be, but still impressive considering who’s playing just a couple of walls away. It’s always good to see Si in full flight showing his battle scars following a scare we had a year or so ago that could have very well ended in us losing him. But he’s back, stronger the ever and Massic are firing on all cylinders! This set was all killer, no filler!

Big props to Andy Rudder at front of house for the massive sound and making Massic sound bigger and better than I’ve ever heard them before. World fucking class!

I rejoin Spiderbait just in time for Old Man Sam and as expected it goes off like a frog in a sock. After a very extended intro with a massive crowd singalong, that is. They played all their big hits and a few I didn’t know. A little bit of crowd chaos ensues, and the band stops to rescue a couple of punters caught up in the chaos. The bands then nice enough to bring them side of stage for the rest of the set. They finish the set with Calypso and Black Betty which are somewhat of a big deal to an already super hyped audience.

Time to catch up with Captives back at The Faction stage. They have what crowds left captive with their rocking tunes. Hopefully some more punters journey back in now that Spiderbait are finishing up. Big ups to Rick from Hammers for learning the set overnight and joining the band on stage. Not sure what’s going on this weekend, but it seems the filthy Rona has taken a liking to bass players. Someone’s gotta love em right?

After a couple of songs and no increase in the crowd, I’m thinking I might have missed an encore from the bait. I slip back over for a quick peak and find a steady flow of people on their way in. Unfortunately, some are leaving before checking out the “late show” bands. Fuck ‘em though, I’ll be here to let you know how they go.

King Parrot takes the main stage and shit gets wild real quick! The kings of Aussie grind are here to deliver. The stench of hardcore pub trash is overwhelming. The set is brutal and punishing and King Parrot prove exactly why they are one of Australias biggest metal exports. They also take tonight’s award for the craziest pit, buts that’s to be expected! And I’m sure someone ended up with some shit on their liver again after that solid effort.

Before I haemorrhage from the intensity of King Parrot, I head back over to the Faction Stage to find Natasha from Smoking Martha mesmerising the crowd. They rock into their latest single good girls to an again solid crowd which has rebuilt after the headliners. The band is super tight as they are absolutely every time I see them.

Only two to go now, Clowns and Harlott with simultaneous sets on the two remaining stages. I end up checking out Harlott first, because, well, they started first. Not sure why these guys haven’t landed on my radar yet with their straight up old school thrash stylings.

A decent crowd remains for the late shifters as they blast full pace though their set. As I sit down to watch Clowns close out the main stage, my fit bit tells me I’ve walked 11km’s between the three stages today. Not bad for a fourty year old sweaty fat fuck.

Anyway, enough of that. Clowns are killing it with a still fairly impressive crowd. Their rock/punk stylings get the crowd moving and keep them entertained for the remainder of the night. Great band, good times, rocking tunes! They even had a bass player, and she went harder than any bass player I’d seen all day, if not ever!

Well, that’s it folks. What a blast, what a great day. Full props to Joey and the Halloween Hysteria crew for an amazingly well-produced event. There wasn’t a single band on the line- up that didn’t deserve their spot, and the production for most part was on point.

The shitters were struggling with the size of the crowd, but at least we didn’t have to deal with porta shitters. I think the epic feeds that Mansfield were handing out during the day may have had something to do with the frequent blockages, but again, at least we didn’t have to line up at a trailer for a $15 box of half cooked chips, or a cold dagwood dog. Great venue, and great spot for a festival of this size with it 3 stages, and massive outdoor seating area.

It’s great to see live music back again on such a massive scale. Let’s hope there is more of this to come in the not-so-distant future!

Another Halloween Hysteria for Halloween maybe?

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