It’s been around ten years since Atreyu last did a headline show in Australia. Lucky for Melbourne, while the band are here supporting Bullet For My Valentine, they’ve booked a headliner in one of the days off from the tour.
Of all the times I’ve been to the Corner Hotel I’ve never seen the side-stage be used, but it is tonight. First up are politically motivated hip-hop/hardcore/metal crossovers Dregg. The small but enthusiastic crowd soak up the four-piece as they play through a short but very tight set. They even include a cover of System Of A Down‘s Sugar.
Next up are a band who have been around the Australian metal scene a long time. Almost ten years in fact. Jack The Stripper. Their hardcore/heavy/death metal is a complete change of pace from Dregg and the much bigger crowd absolutely loved it. Tonight is their frontmans, Luke Frizon‘s, last show with the band. He, quite literally, hands vocal duties over to the crowd for bits and pieces and they love it. Frizon sure decides to go out with a bang, too. Almost literally. By the end of their set (which is only 20 minutes) his face is coated in blood after repeatedly hitting his forehead with the mic throughout the set. That’s one way to make sure people remember your last show!
The third and final local band tonight (also on the side-stage) is Belle Haven. I’ll give the band one thing – they’re extremely enthusiastic. As are about ten of their die-hard fans who jump and dance along and sing every word. The rest of the crowd, I included, seem bored. When frontman David Vernon is singing half the time, you can’t hear him and their overall sound seems a bit of a mess.
Finally, we turn our attention to the main stage and the curtains open to reveal New Orleans nu-metallers Cane Hill. A band on their first visit to the country and, like Atreyu, are currently supporting Bullet For My Valentine around Australia. Frontman Elijah Witts‘ vocals remind me a bit of Jonathan Davis of Korn. The band are extremely tight, and the now almost full venue seem to love it. By the end of their set, they’ve certainly made a new fan in me. I’m keen to check out their debut album Smile and so should you.
During the week, Atreyu announced they’d be using this exclusive headline show to play their third album A Death-Grip on Yesterday in full for its tenth anniversary. The curtain’s open and the band kick into Creature, the first track from the album. The first thing I notice is how epic bassist Marc McKnight‘s beard is. Atreyu tear through Shameful and Our Sick Story (So Far) before pausing for a breath and it isn’t long before the eight track album is finished. While not my favourite Atreyu album it works incredibly well live. Frontman Alex Varkatzas and drummer Brandon Saller‘s vocals are spot-on.
The band leave and chants of “one more song” begin. I look at the time. Atreyu has been playing just forty minutes. Surely there was much more to come and, sure enough, there was. Doomsday has everyone singing along before (my personal favourite) Right Side Of The Bed is played. They even include their cover of Bon Jovi’s classic, You Give Love A Bad Name.
Ninety minutes after first walking on the stage Lip Gloss and Black brings it all to an end. The crowd have sung every word, and one thing is for sure: Atreyu may have only reformed two years ago, but they are back and better than ever.
You can catch Atreyu and Cane Hill on the remaining dates of the Bullet For My Valentine tour
25th Oct. 170 Russell, Melbourne (Sold out)
27th Oct. Luna Park, Sydney
28th Oct. Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane