The Evelyn Hotel’s rocking vibes were already at awesome levels as gig night rolled around, and something special was certainly in store.
Acolyte concluded their incredibly successful Space and Time Australian tour with an enormous bang to an enthusiastic and overjoyed crowd, supported by an absolute quality Melbourne line-up. With extra lights and dazzling colour, no-one left disappointed.
Sure, the room was a sweatbox, and cold drinks were needed – but this added to the atmosphere as Terrestrials took the stage. These guys were tight – six songs of balls to the wall heavy rock and grooves that got the entire room moving. From the first notes of “The Motivator” from their debut self-titled EP, the wicked back-end kick of “Bones” through to the gut-busting smack that “n Sand Between” delivered, Terrestrials were tight and full of energy. The command of the stage from vocalist Scott Alexander was something to be admired, along with soaring guitar solos and riffs from Adrian Duke.
Terrestrials delivered a sound that is entrenched in rock and roll but brings through some brilliant hits of progressive and hard rock for something a little bit different.
Did someone say Mushrooms? Those of the human kind in Mushroom Giant absolutely floored the entire space with their booming tones. Instrumental only, yes, but boy, they made it great to watch. With stunning visual graphics creating some wonderful background effects for the photographers, the band launched into a cascade of awesome tunes that left plenty walking away mesmerised. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better instrumental band in the country.
By this time the “sweatbox” had pushed into the “phwoar it’s hot” stage – but then Orsome Welles delivered an epic that made everyone soon forget about warm shirts. These guys know how to put on a show, and came through in absolute spades. Playing songs from their 2017 EP Rise, the set started with “Home”, and it was just a taster. Running straight into “Elara” and the soaring “Maestro” tracks from the EP, Orsome Welles pushed to front and centre on the stage and encouraged everyone to join them on the floor.
Orsome Welles are heavy hitters and sound like a team that’s been together for years. “Build a World” is a wicked personal favourite from start to finish with a big build at the end. Vocalist Michael Stowers belts it out perfectly and continued the awesome night.
It was with an almighty entrance the Acolyte took to the Evelyn stage to deliver a show for the ages. This was really big and completely unforgettable. From the spine-chilling intro into the opening track – the monster that is “Monolith” – there was no turning away; Acolyte had full control over the audience for the rest of the night. There is no doubting the presence of vocalist Morgan Leigh-Brown – her voice dominated and soared high above the guitars and bass.
Then came the fun as the extensive lighting rig burst into action. This was an Acolyte hungry for a good show, and they got it alright. As “The Message” – one of the heaviest songs of the night – from Acolyte’s Space and Time EP roared into fifth gear, guitarist Brandon Valentine showcased his prowess to the crowd on his stunning Gibson.
Acolyte also threw some new songs into the mix as they prepare to go into the studio to write their second release, including the brilliant “Rush Effect” and “Oasis”. The roof was blown off by this point as they hit the peak of the night, before finishing with a gigantic crescendo of “Perceptions” to round out the set.
It’s always a pleasure watching Acolyte on stage – and the Evelyn was no different. Bassist Jason Grondman had a marvellous chemistry with Brown and his fellow band mates – although drummer Chris Cameron got a little hot under the collar with the burner light. His drumming was a few notches hotter, though.
The style and flavour of the night were rich in fabulous Australian music, captured beautifully by all four bands to grace the stage. Brown’s performance with the microphone in hand is absolutely entrancing. Eight songs from Acolyte simply wasn’t enough on a wonderful night.