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[LIVE REVIEW + PHOTOS] SUPERHEIST, Friday 18th November

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Review by Neil Vance

I love going to gigs with the anticipation of being excited but not knowing what to expect, so over the years I have taught myself to not expect anything from a show and let myself be unexpectedly surprised or totally disappointed in a band’s performance.

I, unfortunately, missed openers Geelong’s Down to Size who are an old school staple in late ‘90’s early D tuned metal. They have a new single ‘The Return’, it’s good and returns to form for sure.

Next up were team Woolongong – Segression. Another one of those bands that have been enduring and delivering for years. Long haired, middle aged battle jacket wearing blokes were happy with their appearance in Melbs, heads back and forth, lip syncing with horns in the air proud to be a part of something intense and unforgettable tonight. Segression screamed, played and delivered tonight like every other stage they’ve graced since they began their journey twenty years ago as if their lives depended on it and the punters were pleased.

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Next, Earth Caller, a young, awesome metal band so full of passion, hate and love. When frontman Josh starts to pace the stage you know shit is about to get real, and something heavy is about to impact your life in a positive and real way. Great band that again, always delivers like their lives depend on it whether it’s to 40 kids in a warehouse or the massive crowd that had gathered last night.

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Let’s talk about last night. The reason a sold out Max Watts was alive with nostalgia and so much awesome and why there was a lot of happy smiling twenty-something wannabe’s in the crowd. Let’s not kid ourselves! Who we were when we first saw and fell in love with the ‘heist we were pretty much wife/husband-less, without kids and our only care was fronting work with a hangover.

Most of us who listened to and followed early Tripple J discovered Superheist because they were on consistent rotation as they were innovative and a breath of fresh air in the bleak mid-’90’s musical landscape. Call them what you will, but there is no denying they were Australia’s answer to Nu-Metal. A badge the band never denied or shied from and it most definitely didn’t hurt their reputation or ability to get a gig in this country.

I have forever been a fan and flag waver for Superheist, and they are not my normal dietary listening requirement. But founding member DW’s production abilities, knowledge of a how to create a great hook and form a song has always been awesome! ‘Chrome Matrix’ and ‘Subhuman’ case in point and they still hold up against anything released now. With a back catalogue that cannot be ignored and still endures ‘8 Miles High’, ‘Slide’, ‘The Prize Recruit’, ‘IRCR’ are packed full of anthemic, angst releasing songs that gave our GenX selves a reason to forget about life, 10 songs and 45 minutes at a time.

And that’s what (let’s call it HiFi for nostalgia’s sake!) we wanted last night. I’m not gonna lie; I had been looking forward to this gig for months. The teasing of a reunion including a new album had been dangled before us since January this year. We got the opportunity to celebrate some awesome honest and straight up Australian heavy that I hadn’t devoured for ages.

Three gigs behind them so far, it was the hometown crowd that needed to be pleased because we all know that a Melbourne metal crowd can be a cruel and unforgiving beast and especially with new members to critique! Andy on keys / samples, Benny on Drums, Keir on guitar and not to mention Drew on bass. All of which have harnessed the ‘heist and made it their own but it is sans Berger that had us thinking what was to become of Superheist of old on many levels.

No denying most of us had Berger at the front of our minds when it came to openers ‘The Fight Back’ and ‘Bullet’ and how old ‘heist could be reinvigorated by their new singer, Ox [Ezekiel Ox]? Holy FUCK did Zeke own it? Giving us also new singles, the awesome ‘Fearing Nothing’ & ‘Wolves in your Headspace’ we sighed relief thanks to OX (Sorry… Berger who?) who took that old girl, grabbed her by the throat and defibrillated that fuck out of DW’s dream.

Superheist, without question, has been born anew! We have all seen an incarnation of Ox in other bands, but I for one can say without fear of ridicule that this is Zeke’s best performance by far. Banding together with DW, writing and recording Superheist’s first album in 13 years then pummelling us last night with eight of these new tunes alongside old mates including ‘Step Back’, ‘Check Your Head Up’ and closing with easily the crowd fave ‘Pulse’, the new and flawlessly sounding Superheist promised nothing but a reignition of a smouldering candle and burnt down the fucking house.

For over an hour and a half, we forgot our partners, kids and life getting in the way and were witness to Superheist’s homecoming and it was awesome!

This was not the ‘Don’t Call it a Comeback’ tour it was the ‘Welcome Back’ tour.

Photography by Vanessa Jarvis
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Carl Neumann

Carl is the owner and the director of HEAVY Magazine. Carl is a music journalist and photographer for HEAVY, Rolling Stone, scenestr, Planet Rock and Kerrang!
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