GIG REVIEW: Bullet For My Valentine, Atreyu & Cane Hill Live at Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane
On a night which seemed like it had every venue in Brisbane buzzing with live music (including Slipknot and Lamb of God performing a stones throw away), there was a wide variety of shows that fans could take their pick of. However, the powerhouse trio of Bullet for My Valentine, Atreyu, and Cane Hill were performing the final night of their Australian tour, and with a lineup touting
Cane Hill kicked off the night and oh boy did they start it off with a bang! Having never heard of the band before the promo material for this tour had started I wasn’t exactly sure what the band was going to deliver. Luckily enough the crowd was treated to a performance that was not only charismatic, but also had the credence and credibility to be performing for these larger audiences. But where do I start? Their vocalist provided the most energy and let everyone know that he was the one driving the ship, but it was perhaps his knowledge of where to stop that boosted their performance tenfold for me, and actually made the band more lovable. Musically I could instantly hear myself liking to their style, which sort of sounded like an industrial/metalcore fusion that just worked so well with their visual performance. This is definitely a band to keep your eyes on in the future, because they will go places, and go places very quickly.
Atreyu were up next and I must confess that I am a bit of a diehard Atreyu fan at heart as they were one of the bands that originally got me into heavier music. With that being said it doesn’t look like their hiatus, or time have slowed, or even faltered the band who were performing as strongly as I could only imagine that they played when they first burst onto the scene at the turn of the century. It was nearly impossible to point out just who had the most energy of the band with each outdoing the other in their own ways. Vocalist Alex Varkatzas spent a fair bit of time down on the barrier singing with the fans, and even took the time out to high-five some; bassist Marc McKnight spent most of the set chopping and changing sides of stage making sure that everyone in the front row was singing along, and even threw out some water bottles to those that were feeling the heat; dual guitarists Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel were able to run and jump around stage whenever they wanted, but also knew when to put their guitar playing front and center; and Brandon Saller behind the drumkit never ceases to amaze me with his ability to not only perform his parts perfectly, but sing like an angel while doing it.
The set was practically flawless (with any errors that minute that they are not even worth mentioning here) and covered material off most of the bands back catalog; however I was a tad bit disappointed hat they only managed to perform one song off their latest release ‘Long Live’. But in lieu of that Brisbane basically got a ‘Best of Atreyu’ set, and the fans went absolutely ballistic for them, particularly long time crowd favourites like Right Side of the Bed, Doomsday, and Lip Gloss and Black.
Before Welsh quartet Bullet for My Valentine had even appeared on stage there were large shout outs for the band from those in the crowd, and as sure enough as one would expect the minute they stepped out on stage the energy of the crowd just exploded. Accompanied by one of the most impressive inside light shows that I have seen in recent memory, the band filled every sense of the word headliner that they were for that night.
Bullet for My Valentine’s stage set-up was massively stripped back when compared to the overcrowded stage of the preceding bands, and it worked to great effect for them, with it giving bassist Jamie Matthias and guitarist Michael Padget the ability to move freely and mingle with the crowd at either end of the stage. Touring drummer Jason Bowld is definitely a perfect fit for the band who not only managed to perform the set (and the drum solo) flawlessly, but also did it with one of the biggest smiles that I have ever seen a drummer put on. His energy was amazing and was definitely a highlight of the set. Finally, Matt Tuck is still perhaps one of the most inimitable front men of modern metal. Stoic, unfaltering and just simply flawless with his stage movements all combining together to make him just an all around package.
Opting to play a good mix of tracks from the past and the latest album, and keeping fans of their faster and slower tempo tracks happy by splitting their setlist evenly, there really was something for all from this show. This helped not only the band, but the crowd feed an energy to each other which just amplified the evening from great into spectacular. The band even took some time to pause certain songs like Tears Don’t Fall, and Venom just to hear how loud the crowd was singing along to the words which drew some smiles from the band.
Signing off with Tears Don’t Fall always draws a massive amount of emotion from the crowd, and even after the house lights had come up there were still cheers for the band to continue to play. Giving the final show of such a massive tour the send off it deserved was always going to be hard task for the Brisbane crowd with competing gigs falling on the same night. Luckily enough there was a great turnout that made this one of the most memorable gigs of the year. All the bands were on fire, and hopefully it isn’t too long before Australia gets to receive a package like this one again.