Words by Jimmy Glinster
Pix by Helheim Photography
Before I get started with this one, I thought I’d better mention that I’ve been a fan of (hed) P.E. since their 2000 album Broke, which in my opinion was one of the best Nu-Metal releases of its time and is still one of my favourite albums ever to this day. I’ve seen this band perform all but one time they’ve been in the country, and they are one of, if not my favourite live band of all time. In saying all that, having missed their last tour in Australia I’d been told by a few sources that their last visit was not that great, which I find very hard to believe.
Now, if anyone is gonna hold a band to account for a shit show, you know that’s gonna be me. So, I’ll watch the show and give ya the truth, the whole truth, nuthin but the truth, so help me!
Serial Killer Dinner Party kick off the night with some hard-rocking punk tunes. They very quickly draw the early crowd into position and heads are already starting to nod to the rocking beat. They are full of energy and make the most of bouncing around the small stage. The crowd appreciates their first song with some applause and a few yew’s. I remember these guys being a lot more punk when I previously saw them, but they seem to have much more of a flowing rock groove which is not too dissimilar to (hed)’s self-titled album. They definitely have a lot more bounce than I remember with some well-placed guitar hooks. The applause gets louder after each track. When I first heard this band were the support for the mighty (hed) P.E I wasn’t sure they would be a great fit, but they sure fucking proved me wrong didn’t they. Rocking start to the night! And holy fuck it’s loud in here!
(hed) P.E enter stage to Lowrider and Trauma kicks the show off with a bouncing hip-hop beat while the guitarist chugs along. The bass kicks in and Jahred starts dropping some super tight rhymes. The room is now full and everyone is bouncing along to the grooves. Jahred then gets his melodica out and shows us his skills as the band heavily grooves along behind him. Respect The Republic rocks in next and the fast punk hooks send the crowd into a frenzy. Killing Time rocks in and the crowd loses their shit while rapping to every word! Jared’s Kiss The World Goodbye screams are delivered brutally and pierce through the PA and my ears! Great to hear ‘em crack out an early track early on.
They slow things down a little with Let’s Ride and the crowd are again bouncing around and singing every word. I’ve not seen a crowd bounce this much since Limp Bizkit back at the Riverstage in 2018. Even when Jahred brings the meoldica out again for some reggae vibes, the crowd continues to bounce.
Jahred announces some old shit, they bust into Waiting to Die and the crowd again explodes into a frenzy. Everybody dies, well not really, that’s just the hook, but it is very possible at the moment. Especially for those down the front of the pit.
A short interlude drops us into Swan Dive. And what could be better than a swan dive into the asphalt, this fucking show at the moment, that’s what! A surprise punk rock ending throws a curveball mid-song before the band make their way back to the outro and then pulls up stumps to a massive roar. They may have just Broke the crowd!
Next up is Peer Pressure from their Back to Base X album which very quickly thrashed the fuck out of the crowd. This is quickly followed up by Sophia which settles things momentarily with its smooth reggae vibes until it’s hit its chorus with pure punk rock intensity.
Their improvisation and random jams have always impressed me in their live performances, and they certainly don’t let me down this time around. The melodica comes back out again for one of these very moments while the crowd gets a chance to relax and stretch out their Crazy Legs.
Hed (PE) are here to stay, and it’s still hip hop to me, just without the sex, the drugs and the violence. It’s all true … maybe, I can neither confirm nor deny.
Raise Hell gives the crowd the chance to yell, Shut The Fuck Up! Everyone is screaming it so loud, including the chick next to me who just blew my ear out through my earplugs. The is one muthfuckin hell of a dedicated and engaged fan base!
Jahred gives a quick call out to Serial Killer Dinner Party after asking for their name from the crowd. He calls it good Heavy Aussie Punk Rock, and I’d second that. Let Me Know rocked out next and gained massive applause at every break in the song. The melodics made an appearance again. I actually always wondered what made those weird sounds on the more recent hed (PE) albums, and now I know.
Jahred thanks the crowd, announces some classics and the band jumps into Blackout. The way this crowd is moving, someone might just black out. The band does slow down though for an interlude with a clap-along section and the crowd gets a moment to breathe, a moment.
Let’s see if you recognise this one, Jahred announces before picking up his Melodica again. Well, I recognised it, it’s the final track on Broke, The Meadow which the crowd sings the lyrics too while Jahred plays his melodica to the vocal melody. It steals the show really!
They quickly jump into Bartender, before bouncing back into The Meadow, and then back into Bartender again! I can trust myself tonight, but I can’t trust them with their medleys. Luckily for them though, that’s one of the reasons they are one of my favourite live bands of all time. It’s great to see them in an intimate venue like The Brightside.
Jahred thanks the sound guy before they bounce back into the Bartender outro to close out the song.
A quick cover of I Wanna Be Sedated picks up the pace and again the crowd is singing along with true punk rock fury. Well, that was fucking fun! Nothing like a bit of 70s punk rock to liven up the crowd a little more. Not that they needed it.
Jahred introduces his new guitarist Honu and gets the crowd to sing him happy birthday as a chocolate cake hits the side of stage with some sparklers in it.
“We’ve got time for one more right?”, asks Jahred. I’m not sure it would have mattered if they didn’t, cause I’m pretty sure they were gonna fucking do it anyway the bunch of renegades. I’m still standing, and so is the crowd. Well, most of them! They really extend this one out with a massive guitar and bass interlude which the crowd dances in anticipation of what’s to come.
When the bass joins in you can feel that shits about to get real! If ya push me then I’ll push you right back, and the crowd is definitely pushing each other around. So much energy both onstage and off. So much that Jahred can’t keep his pants up the bloody Renegade!
Yeah, they’ve still got it!