Words by Ash Wallace
Newcastle alternative rockers, Eat Your Heart Out are currently on their ‘Fluorescence’ tour, bringing with them Waxflower, Reside and The Comfort. Last night was Brisbane’s turn to witness the greatness of this pop punk/alt rock dream line-up at Black Bear Lodge in the valley. To me walking up the stairs and into the front bar Black Bear Lodge feels like walking into a sultry underbelly jazz club. The allure of the swinging 30s, drinking whiskey in dim lit cocktail bars, inspired by old films saturated in sepia tones. But as you step into the band room, the mood changes into something more like your dad’s man cave or basement where him and his pub rock band used to rehearse in the 90’s. The stage is set close and low, making the setting more intimate and therefore allows for us to feel more connected to the artists, and feel like we are a part of something much bigger than us.
Local pop punk band from Brisbane, Waxflower were first to take the stage. I will admit the first band is always the one to cop fewer people in the crowd and an absence of partying and jumping around but a few songs into their set, the energy picked up. Playing recent tunes like Cut Your Teeth and Back to Back, Waxflower took me way back into my early teens, rocking out to You Me at Six, which I couldn’t help but notice the intro to Back To Back and You Me At Six’s Lived A Lie are super similar. A perfect sad boy pop punk quartet whose music you should definitely chuck on in the car and scream along to late at night, pizza slice in one hand and the other on the wheel, like a true 2013 pop punk fan. With vocals residing with fellow pop punkers Set It Off circa 2016, super catchy hooks and the resurgence of early naughties emo, Waxflower do not disappoint. So, if you’re fans of You Me At Six, Set It Off and Kisschassy, I wouldn’t put it past you to give Waxflower your deserving ears, get your hands on their music and catch them at a show, your inner emo alter ego will thank you.
Coining themselves ‘Melbourne sad boys’, Reside was up next, with lead singer, Liam Guiane, decked out in a super stylish plaid get up to turn up the notch a little bit. Coming from, in my opinion, the best city in Australia for live music and culture, the boys in Reside were there playing their first ever Brisbane Gig. We, at Black bear Lodge were honoured to have them. Some songs from the set included Gloom, with a super funky bass heavy intro moving into a fast-paced alternative rock anthem, a new song, Feelin’ Sick, with strong bass and bloody catchy lyrics and Replace me, prodigious instrumental composition amidst resonating lyrics. As a music lover, you would distinctly be able to pick up on the beautiful contrast of clean and unclean vocals meshing together to perfectly create the emotion and passion that the band emulates. Making the most out of the stage space and interacting with the crowd, getting up close and personal, and handing the mic out to punters to help belt out the words. The rockin’ atmosphere in the venue was rising as more and more people were letting loose. They know how to work the crowd and put on an incredible set. I won’t lie, I had never heard of Reside before last night, but since being at the show, I now would, without a doubt, consider myself a fan, and will be hounding all my mates to go stream their tunes.
Moving onto the second to last band to take the stage tonight, The Comfort. An alternative rock band, hailing from our exciting city of Brisbane. Wanting to meld simple ideas and themes of creativity, compassion and love to create a musical project aiming to bring sweet symphony to our little ears.
Pain, as soon as they began to play this song I thought to myself; ‘Is this an Angels And Airwaves song I haven’t heart yet?’ Especially the work on the guitars. But it was the most recently released single from the boys. If anyone digs Angels And Airwaves, this is a must listen to song for you.
Also on the set list was brand spanking new song Choke, with angry, dark tones low bass lines, soft vocals moving into more powerful ones, Die Alone, a song “not about ex-girlfriends for a change”, and I would think a fan favourite Love And Other Drugs. No, not the hit movie starring Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal, but a beautiful track from the EP ‘Love’ released in 2016. I’m sure others would agree that this EP was one of the most personal releases of the year within the genre. It’s bound to make you want more. Vocalist Liam Holmes’s voice flows through the set with passion and dexterity. The distinction between live and studio versions are almost incomparable, I was absolutely lost in the moment throughout the duration of the set, and before I knew it, it was over. I think this is due to the bands ability to connect and transfer emotion through their lyrics and melodies, creating pieces so raw and relatable you feel as if you’re going through the same life experiences all over again. Holmes made it clear in between songs that they make a point to talk about the side of mental illness some others seem to neglect or talk about in their music. You can tell they understand the human experience and how they take that knowledge and weave it into their discography.
Coming off the bat of their most recent release, Fluorescence back in May, the five rockers were here in Brisbane to bring the house down and close the show with a bang. Signed with Fearless Records home to the likes of Ice Nine Kills, Wage War and Movements just to name a few. As a female fronted band, the pop punk five piece are breaking the mould, justifying the fact they are a force to be reckoned with, not to be compared to, and taking a unique perspective on punk, emo grunge and pop.
As for their set at Black Bear Lodge, you could feel the energy and electricity pacing through the room, bouncing from one person to the next. Vocalist, Caitlin Henry, right from the get go, showcased her impressive and strong and vocals as well as her alluring and fiery personality. The essence of the heart and soul of pop punk. The whole band worked together, working the stage and created a balance of crowd interaction and stage composition. Playing a few tracks from ‘Fluorescence’, Carousel and Closer To The Sun, and an older track Patience, in which Liam from Reside jumped and did guest vocals. Some say he’s Australia’s answer to Patrick Miranda from Movements, and I don’t disagree. The whole set was full of heart, passion and fun-most Importantly, and closed with an acoustic song Pear Tree to soften the mood and end the night.
The whole night was a beautiful mess of punk, emo and rock, a wonderful line-up and an iconic Brisbane Venue. Catch Eat Your Heart Out on their next tour dates here: