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Manning Bar, Sydney
Review by Greg Smith
Photos by

Is there a better feeling than knocking off work on a Friday afternoon knowing you’re heading to a Metal gig that night? And, this wasn’t just any old gig….with Texan titans Drowning Pool playing in Sydney for the first time in fourteen years, I’m sure I wasn’t the only metal head in town who was just a little excited.

Opening up was Sydney four piece Tensions Arise. These guys have landed some pretty big support slots lately, including Sevendust and Fear Factory, and it was great to see them on the bill tonight.
I love seeing these guys live. They always give their all, while at the same time, not taking themselves too seriously, and enjoying every minute of what they do. Their set consisted of songs from new album A Breath of Aggression, including Wannabe Superstar, E.K.C, and Darkness Binds. Condemned was a real highlight, and the longer their set went on, the more the crowd got into it. Kazzy and the boys did a great job of getting the punters primed for what was to come.

Next up, Sydney horror punk outfit, Horrorwood Mannequins. This was my first time seeing them, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. Their live performance was devilishly flawless, and their tight musicianship and catchy, powerful songs are complimented by their ghoulish looks, sinister stage presence, and bloodcurdling lyrics.

Their set drew heavily on 2015 slab The Hard Way, including Drugs Bitches Booze, Sick of Being Sick, and Screaming Through My Dreaming, which the crowd really got into. They also threw in a pretty cool cover of Nirvana’s Negative Creep, and a new track, Love Me When You’re Dead. They closed the set with Burn It To The Ground, which also drew a lively response from the crowd. Audri and the guys were farewelled with a hearty cheer from the Manning Bar crowd, and now the punters were well oiled, and ready for the main act.

A large black curtain enclosed the stage during the set change, and I had a sneaking suspicion that when it re-opened, all hell would break loose. Drowning Pool are touring on the back of new album Hellelujah, but before they gave the new tracks a spin, they decided to kick us in the forehead with some old stuff, to remind us why we fell in love with the band in the first place. The curtain dropped, and Sinner, Think and Step Up had the Manning Bar floor moving like we were caught in an Earthquake. Band members C.J. Pierce, Stevie Benton and Mike Luce were firing on all cylinders, and front man Jasen Moreno was extremely powerful. His clean vocals were beautiful, and his heavy vocals, beautifully brutal. New tracks We Are The Devil, By The Blood and Push sounded amazing in the live setting, and were well received by the punters, who were screaming along with Moreno at the top of their lungs. They slowed things down a little with Tear Away, which had some enthusiastic crowd participation. They cranked it up again with Regret and Enemy, and if ever a song was written to close a metal show, it’s Drowning Pool’s calling card, Bodies. But, rather than introduce the song, Moreno invited a group of about fifty punters up onto the stage with the band. This was a nice touch, as it took the focus off the band, and put it onto song. The whole crowd got into it, screaming along with the band, with plenty of head banging and fist-pumping. Not only was it a fitting finale, but also a great way to celebrate the track which launched Drowning Pool into our lives, and to acknowledge the man who originally sang it without any sentimental BS. It was a fantastic moment, and I’m so glad I was there to see it, and be part of it. Suffice to say…it f*ucking went off!

As I filed out of the Manning Bar with my sweaty, black-clad brethren, my neck sore and my throat hoarse, I only had one recurring thought…..please Drowning Pool, don’t wait another fourteen years to come back![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_media_grid item=”masonryMedia_BorderedScale” grid_id=”vc_gid:1470190944086-f1f1d898-42b5-5″ include=”30390,30389,30388,30387,30386,30385,30384,30383,30382,30381,30380,30379,30378,30377,30376″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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