Big Ass Tour: Amity Affliction, A Day To Remember, Motionless in White, Hands Like Houses

A tour like this comes with a commitment to be one of the biggest and best shows of the year, and it delivered. It’s a risk seeing hardcore bands such as Amity in big stadiums, there’s always that possibility that you could lose the intimacy that you get from little, sweaty club shows, but at some point, bands get too big for that. Lucky, Amity gaining the success they have, gave way for one of best shows to hit the WA shores in a long time.

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Hands like Houses came to the stage and dominated the space. For a band that stepped in at late, their stage presence was fantastic, and they fitted on the bill like a glove. Extremely reminiscent of past emo days, they’re inclusion on the line-up was perfect and pulled the match of A Day To Remember and The Amity Affliction together.

The Canberra troupe were so committed to the show, and Trenton Woodley’s voice pulled every member of the crowd in, hitting every high note and maintain every long, passionate scream. Such diversity is not something many vocalists can achieve, and it’s also not common to see. For example, Joel and Aren from Amity have a great split of the two styles (Joel sings the harsher screams, while Aren singing melodies and adds a little bit of roughness to their songs at points), but Woodley took it all on himself and really proved why they had been chosen for the bill.

On top of his top-notch singing, the overall performance was captivating. It was like every emo girls dream; he threw his microphone around like Adam Lazaro, the guitars and drums were fast and added to the melodic tones of the lyrics and all of those things combined made it a moshers dream. The whole band got completely involved in the performance. None of them stayed in one spot they jumped around the stage, loving the performance as much as the crowd.

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Motionless in White’s performance was good, but they felt slightly out of place on the bill. On top of that, you lost a lot of engagement in the performance because the sound was off, meaning you lost much of Cerulli’s vocals. A hell of a lot more of the crowd knew them than HLH, but that being said, the pit didn’t get much crazier until much later in their set.

The fans responded well, singing their hearts out, and for the last third of the set the circle pits were starting to emerge, but the actual movements of the band on stage seemed a little orchestrated. Hats off the guitarists and drummer though, who played at an incredible speed and the singers voice held out which is mind blowing with what he put it through.

Their last two songs bought their set together. When he sang, his melodic tones bought the performance together and made it much better-rounded and suited to the BAT line up. His singing gave him this dominance that he hadn’t shown before and he captivated every person there.

One thing that should be noted, especially at a gig will a long line up like this, is that the music in between bands is appropriate. Jack U, Nelly and Iggy Azalea were not suited for the between set soundtrack, and while it was hilarious to see people in the most pit bopping around singing “I’m So Fancy”, it definitely didn’t add to the atmosphere or pump the crowd up for what was to come next.

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That being said, maybe A Day To Remember didn’t need the crowd to be any more amped than they were. They came on stage with an entrance fit for kings and within seconds, the audience were jumping, crowd surfing, and screaming at the band, dancing and screaming at the band.

Jeremy McKinnon is an incredible front man, he knows how to work up his fans, and he wanted so much from them. He wanted craziness, he wanted circle pits and moshing and crowd surfing and the few thousand deep pit delivered, 110%.

Absolutely losing it is what this music is about. Throwing yourself around, screaming at the top of your lungs, getting sweaty, and having the best time of your life. Opening with ‘The Downfall of Us All’, everyone went wild; it was hands down the best atmosphere of the night so far. Before ‘2nd Sucks’ had even started there were two massive circle pits going.

Not only where these guys killing it, their stage show was incredible. Smoke, confetti and lights dominated our view. The band was having the best time, but nowhere near as much fun as the kids in that pit. It seems Perth has a massive contingency of old school, emo, hardcore kids.

Right Back At It Again’ had people of shoulders and the whole stadium singing along. The song from 2013 set the crowd beyond wild. Circle pits erupted everywhere, much to the happiness of McKinnon who egged everyone on.

Weirdly, the stage seemed a little big for them after MIW but they made it work, jumping around, making every screaming girl at the front feel like they were being played straight to. On top of that, every note they played was on point, on time and in tune. They’ve been playing for almost 13 years now, and McKinnon’s voice continues to be beautifully powerful. Without a doubt, this performance was every mid-2000’s emo kids dream.

Again, there were points where the vocals struggled to be heard, but that was a trend being carried throughout the whole show. Their on-stage band banter made the show almost perfect, they mucked around with each other and then talking straight to the crowd. He let us know that “no word of a lie, this is their favourite place in the world to play” (I bet he says that to all the stadiums!) but they genuinely looked like they were having the time of their lives.

To round off what was already a dreamlike performance, Kevin Skaff on lead guitar and backing vocals, comes out with an acoustic guitar and serenades everyone will Oasis’ ‘Champagne Supernova’ and had the entire place transfixed. It was such a beautiful moment; it went from being poetic and meaningful, with him singing directly into the heart of everyone there, to this powerful moment where the whole band joined on stage.

The diversity of the show proves why they’ve been around for so long and why they pulled so many punters, especially when they’re so different to TAA and MIW.

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The Amity Affliction hit this stage and played the best performance of their life. Aren‘s singing stole the show, and Joel‘s hard hitting unclean vocals pulled the performance together like magic. It is hard to find words to explain how outstanding their performance was. Their set list ticked every box any fan could have asked for; opening with ‘Open Letter’ followed by ‘Lost and Fading’ and killing it with ‘Never Alone’, ‘Young Bloods’, ‘I Hate Heartly’ to name but a few.

Aren‘s skill is great but often benefits from a small stage, his performance being boosted by the intimacy. The way crew seemed to combat this was to make the show bigger and better than ever. Aren had room to jump around stage, swinging his guitar to his heart’s content, Ryan was lifted into the air on a raised podium, allowing everyone to see his lightning fast drumming and surrounding were the pyrotechnics. Perfectly timed steeples of fire pushed their way into the air, making their performance more and more intense.

There was little crowd interaction, but that didn’t matter. They played every song better than it has been heard before, worked harder, sang better and performed their hearts out. Smashing through ‘Shine On’ before returning to the stage for a two-song encore of ‘Pittsburgh’ and ‘Don’t Lean On Me’, they rounded off the end of the Perth leg of the Big Ass Tour, with one big ass show!

Photo credit: Chris Kerr

 

This piece was published by Colosoul Music. You can read it here

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