Review by Samantha Davies
Photography by Chontalle Musson
Upon arriving at Anthology Lounge, I could tell the night would be an intimate experience as the band members lingered around speaking to the guests before they were to appear on stage to play a mixture of music; ranging from alternative prog-rock to metalcore.
Outside In started the show with a hypnotic tune and created a mixture of indie-alternative and prog-rock elements to produce a distinct sound which had the audience both swaying and head banging along to the beat. The band moved onto perform their third single, Blue Dragon, from their upcoming album Karmatrain, which was complimented by the blue lighting, a simple but effective touch. It was not long before Mikey Brown (on vocals) began stripping his office-like attire off and replacing it with pyjama pants and a dressing gown, the same outfit worn in the Blue Dragon music video, which didn’t seem to faze a single audience member as they continued jamming out to the alternative rock music. Outside In performed their first single, Pass On The Flag, where the vocals were somewhat drowned out by the heavy drums and guitar; although this didn’t seem to be an issue for the rock-fanatics at the front who head banged even harder. Finishing their set with Let Me Go, the opening song on their upcoming album, had Brown bringing out an acoustic guitar. Although the song was slower than the others, the band didn’t lose their rock sound as the vocals picked up immensely, and Jonnie Barnard played an impressive guitar riff which had the crowd moving.
Second to the stage was rock trio Animalhead who started their set with a strong beat which had the audience head banging from the get-go once again. Fittingly, Danny Rooke on drums wore a large panda mask which, to my surprise, did not seem to affect his drumming skills whatsoever. The trio were all naturals on stages, their passion for the music was clear; adding to the intimacy of the performance. For me, the highlight of the set was the track, The Devil Told Me So, which the band nailed. Each member played their part to create a sound irresistible to the audience as every head in the venue was bobbing. Rooke especially stood out during this song as he not only kept up an impressive beat on the drums, but he also joined in with vocals- certainly not an easy thing to do as it required a whole lot of co-ordination and talent which he clearly has. The Devil Told Me So, was assuredly a crowd favourite as they jammed out and could not resist to join in with the catchy “hey” chant featured in the chorus. Animalhead finished their set with another one of their singles, Rabbit Hole, which again showed the talent of each individual member. Campbell Mickells rough, raw vocals added to the atmosphere in the crowded venue and Josh O’Brien on bass played flawlessly, carrying a heavy rock sound throughout the entire song. Rooke, once again, gave us an energetic performance; his drumming throughout the entire set was seriously impressive.
Crooked Royals was next on stage and they certainly changed the atmosphere as they brought their metalcore sound to the room. As soon as the band set foot onstage, the energy was present, and the jumped straight into a heavy beat which had the audience moving. After their first song, Lee Mackley admitted their music was much heavier than the previous band, getting an approving cheer from crowd members who clearly like a good metal song. This band was made up of natural performers who truly belonged on the stage, bringing great energy and interacting with the crowd telling them to “get on your feet” which had the audience jumping and head banging to the beat. Crooked Royals decided to slow it down a bit with, Aeon III, where they carried an impressive rock beat accompanied by much softer vocals than the previous songs. it was refreshing to see the vocalists Mackley and Christian Carstensen switch from metal to a softer rock sound; a true representation of their talent. It wasn’t long before Crooked Royals went back to performing their metalcore music as they moved on to play, Ashes, which begins with a lingering atmospheric noise before it kicks off into Mackleys screamed vocals. This song impressed me as they successful combined heavy screamed verses with a much softer, clean chorus sung by Carstensen; creating a distinct and catchy song.
After an anticipating wait, prog-rock band Coridian was on stage bringing their powerful, melodic music and distinct sound to the room. With just the Raven brother on stage, they set the tone with a slow, soft tune and gradually built up to a heavier beat made up of drums and guitar. The audience automatically moved forward to the stage, excitement clear on their as vocal powerhouse Dity Maharaj joined the band to begin their first song which showed great energy and talent from each of the band members. Dity is a natural performer as he pulled off great vocals and looked comfortable jumping around the stage and interacting with the crowd by shouting out “you sexy people” to which he gained many approving cheers. Coridian lost some of the effect as the instruments over rode Dity and his vocals became imperceptible during a small section of their set. However, they quickly picked up again to deliver an impressive, hard hitting performance which kept the audience head banging it was only uphill from there as Coridian moved on to play, Reflections, which stood out to me. This song has a slick rock sound with smoother vocals and a catchy beat throughout. It’s clear that this song is a fan favourite as the audience sang each word back to the band creating an intimate atmosphere. After a set as good as the one Coridian delivered, the audience were not done and chanted “encore” to call the band back for more; which of course they could not turn down. To finish the night Coridian performed, Right of Passage, which is set to release in a month. The group finished off strong with the catchy rock tune, which I’m sure will be stuck in my head for days (and I’m not complaining).