Reviewed on Friday March 17 (photo by Ashley Mar)
In 2012, Endless Heights first played the Enmore supporting Refused. Back then, the youthful hardcore outfit were visibly terrified of playing such a room – a far cry from the PCYCs and halls they were used to. Smash cut to this evening and it’s as if they’re a completely different band. Now as forthright and confident as they’ve ever been as a live band, the Sydney quintet take to the opening slot with bite and vitriol. Endless Heights are now a post-hardcore band in the most literal sense, effortlessly showcasing how far they have come and give great hope for what’s next.
They’re followed by Seattle’s Acceptance, here performing for the very first time on Australian soil. For a handful of devotees scattered across the audience, it’s been a long time coming. Their excitement is both palpable and infectious – as you observe the faithful singing back to frontman Jason Vena, it’s easy to place yourself in a time and place where this music would have meant the absolute world. Besides everything else, Acceptance genuinely just seem like the kind of people you’d want to be friends with – they’re endearing, positive and capable of writing some great songs.
Taking Back Sunday have served as the soundtrack to countless salad days and restless years – either being relived in real time tonight or continued on in that very moment. There’s something entirely fascinating about seeing a band a fair few would consider a nostalgia act still living, breathing and having the exact same impact on people twice as young.
It’s part and parcel of nearly 20 years together and seven LPs, but in the live environment it’s a different beast. Classics from the arsenal like ‘A Decade Under The Influence’ and ‘Timberwolves At New Jersey’ weave in between songs from last year’s Tidal Wave like the biting title track and the bright ‘Call Come Running’. They’re all performed with the same degree of precision and excitement by the band, which definitely makes a difference considering how many other acts will only perform new material out of some sense of obligation. Adam Lazzara swings his mic hard, while the guitars swing harder. ‘Cute Without The ‘E’ (Cut From The Team)’ is recited word for word like it was top of the charts right now and not 15 (!) years old.
Boys like you might be a dime a dozen, but bands like Taking Back Sunday aren’t.