On a mid-October evening, Melbourne had its finest spring weather on display: pouring rain, below average temperatures and biting wind. Nevertheless, it could not dampen the spirits of those attending the first show of Void of Vision’s national tour, loaded with fresh Aussie hardcore, which kicked off at the Workers Club in Melbourne following the release of the band’s debut album last month.
Melbourne locals White Crows opened the show to a sparse yet high-spirited crowd. It’s always tough being the first band on the bill with the task of enlivening an often wary audience; however, White Crows took full advantage of their time on stage. A short set of 6 songs proved to be plenty of time for the band to let some energy into the chilly venue, with songs Potential Energy and Hooks well-received by the crowd.
Next up was the Gold Coast’s She Cries Wolf, joining the tour right off the back of their album release shows for Doubt. Vocalist Luke Harriss was adamant in encouraging everyone in the room to get up the front and “act like an idiot,” and the crowd obeyed. A personal interlude about mental health drew some emotion out of the energetic audience, preceding crowd favourite Distorted Youth, and the rest of the set saw She Cries Wolf deliver an exhilarating performance.
Justice for the Damned was third to the stage and was without question the heaviest of the night. Their unique style of hardcore sustained the crowd, while the front man implored everybody in the room “from the front to the back, from the left to the right,” to get off their feet and into the crowd. At this point, the room was filling up quickly, and the energy in the pit was quickly growing. The first casualty was claimed: one unlucky man’s beer smashed right out of his hand. The band’s latest single release, Please Don’t Leave Me had an enormous reception, and it was clear that Justice for the Damned knows exactly how to wind up a crowd.
At last, Void of Vision took the stage. The crowd had not tired, the room was packed to the brim, and the band was evidently thrilled. They opened with //, an explosive song that transferred incredibly well from its album Children of Chrome to a live setting. Ctrl Freak showcased the enormous talent behind the band’s clean vocals, and there were mic-grabs galore. The value of camaraderie was evident at this point in the show; each band had acknowledged and expressed their support for the other acts on the bill, and it was clear that the Australian local hardcore scene is as strong as it ever was. Melbourne act Pridelands’ vocalist joined the band on stage for Persist // Perceive, a massive track from Void of Vision’s debut album Broken // Bones. Vocalist Jack Bergin dedicated new, politically charged track In Black and White to Pauline Hanson and the One Nation party, which was an exceptional outpouring of anger and disenchantment by both Bergin and the ecstatic crowd before the impassioned vocalist went on to deliver a tirade against prejudice and an intolerant, restrictive society. An instrumental interlude momentarily slowed the pace in the room, before new track Sunrise captivated the crowd with soaring clean vocals and guitar melodies. The set ended soon after, but the crowd weren’t done yet; calls for an encore started immediately, with Void of Vision more than happy to grant their audience the elusive “one more song.”