Reviewed on Saturday October 19.
There are bands that need to be seen live to truly capture everything they represent, to tap into the visceral ethos lying at a group’s core that simply can’t be adequately communicated with studio recordings. New York metalcore quintet Every Time I Die are such a band, and what they represent is a kind of beautiful chaos that requires it be witnessed first hand to be understood.
Local hardcore crew Hellionskick off proceedings as punters trickle in. Formed out of the ashes of defunct outfit The Bride, they still appear to be finding their feet, but mesh together well and show promise. Sludgy Canberran riff merchants I Existdo a better job connecting with the growing audience, inciting mass head-banging with their trademark brand of boozy, doom-influenced punk.
Every Time I Die take the stage in typically cavalier manner before launching into ‘Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space’, the lead single from latest album Ex Lives. The crowd response is immediate and wild. Notably, Manning Bar’s oft-reviled crowd control barrier is gone (“We got here and they had a barrier set up! We were like, ‘No fucking way’!”, tells frontman Keith Buckley) and security is refreshingly a little more lax than usual. The end result is a ballistic frenzy of limbs, as Buckley and co. incite all manner of stage-diving, crowd-surfing antics.
With about 15 years’ worth of touring under their belts, Every Time I Die have garnered a hell of a reputation for intense live performances and tonight is no different, as the Buffalo act rips through a generous selection of gems from throughout their back catalogue, including fan favourites like ‘We’rewolf’, ‘The New Black’ and ‘Wanderlust’. Hyperactively tearing through track after track with cathartic gusto, it’s a masterclass in how to deliver a set dripping with energy and charisma.
Closing the night with the manic ‘Kill The Music’, the band urges a full-scale stage invasion – a request to which sweat-soaked patrons happily comply. It’s a symbol of the sheer collective effervescence that’s consumed the room. “We don’t have any fireworks, we don’t even have a fucking banner,” says Buckley. “We’re just a band that play music.” For tonight, the impact of this bare bones performance is infinitely more powerful than any elaborate set-up could be.
BY BLAKE GALLAGHER
*IMAGE: JOSH HULSTEIN