The long weekend came packed with so much live music, it was a hard choosing just what to attend. On a cold, stormy Saturday night, the homely and cosy Rosemount Hotel warmed with the energy of prog metal stars Dead Letter Circus on the Perth leg of their The Armour You Own tour, and was certainly not a bad pick.
Canadian act The Glorious Sons, veritable newcomers to Australia but already making waves on an international level, were first to perform. They are a great bunch of musically talented misfits and it was rare to see so much energy onstage. They have combined generations of rock to their sound making it hard to pin down to any particular influence. By the time they belted out Josie and Everything is Alright the crowd was resonating to the infectious melodies of lead singer Brett Emmons. He was unassuming and certainly had his own swagger about him, and you couldn’t help but be mesmerised by his vocal ability and onstage persona. The rest of the band also contributed to the amazing stage performance with Adam Paquette on the drums, Jay Emmons and Chris Koster on guitar and vocals and Chris Huot on bass. It was so engrossing, it was hard to even get up for a drink.
Brisbane lads Dead Letter Circus are a well-oiled machine and the way they work so well together on stage was immediately apparent, even compared to the previous act. This band is super tight and made up of all world class musicians. It’s hard to decide who to watch as every piece of the musical puzzle is as captivating as the other. It was hard to spot any slip up in the set, and even an early mic hiccup went mostly unnoticed.
The latest single The Armour You Own held it’s own live, if not sounding better than the heavily produced recorded version. Aesthesis single While You Wait had the crowd starting to move, though some of them were of course already moving the entire time. The gradual build up in their song dynamics lured you into a slow head nod at the beginning and had you jumping by the end of the track. One Step and the The Mile were crowd favourites, and if you ever need a good release these are definitely fine ones for the player.
Guitarist Clint “Vinnie” Vincent is enthralling to watch, and in this type of heavy genre it is rare to see a guitarist spend most of his time above the 12th fret with almost every section of the song a lead line in itself. His handmade custom natural wood Telecaster is a instrument of beauty.
Drummer Luke Williams was flawless, putting in 110% of energy into every pattern and roll, while still lending his voice to the majority of the backing vocals. Bassist Stewart Hill’s sound is massive and he moves like a bird in flight, completely inside the rhythm and relishing in every moment.
Vocalist Kim Benzies holds his own as one of the great prog vocalists in the country. His register is right up there and his onstage persona is commanding, though vulnerable. His humility and appreciation for the audience was always shining through, emitting a sense of spirituality and earthiness, visibly present from him performing in bare feet and his display of new age tattoos. Keyboardist/guitarist Luke Palmer was the glue binding it all together, showcasing his technical prowess by switching between guitar, keys and backing vocals with confidence.
On Saturday night both bands delivered an exceptional performance and the audience were left mesmerised by their passion, delivery and musical skills. It was a memorable experience and the kind of show you simply wished there were more of.
Photos by Karen Lowe
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