Artist: The Amity Affliction / Underoath / Trophy Eyes / Crossfaith / Make Them Suffer /
Void Of Vision / Thornhill / Pagan / Endless Heights / Nerve Damage
Venue: Riverstage, Brisbane
Date: September 14th 2019
Reviewer: Hayley Treadwell
Photographer: Hang Me On Your Wall Photography
It was a gorgeous spring day to be out on the river for one of the highly anticipated events for Brisbane Festival 2019, Heaven and Hell. The grassy hill of Brisbane Riverstage started filling with punters from around 1.30pm and by the time the night ended, you could hardly find a blade of grass to sit on. Amazing to see such support for this festival, that ran flawlessly all day and night.
Local Gold Coast act Nerve Damage opened the festival with a bang. With high energy and hard hitting lyrics the delivered their passionate political and world views through the universal language of music. They had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hand and cheering them on with every song and message they delivered. As they finished up their last song , they welcomed Sydney band Endless Heights to the adjoining stage to begin their set.
I love this 5 piece punk rock band who are captivating in more ways than one. Singer Joel Martorana;s melodic vocals are flawless and he is backed by and band that is so tight you couldn’t squeeze a wrong note out of them. Killer guitar riffs and bass lines that cut through right when they need too, these guys are a band not to be missed. This is the 2nd time I have been lucky enough to see these guys live and I am looking forward to the 3rd.
Up next Pagen draw us all into their ‘Cult’ as singer Nikki Brumen treats us to her breed of scream and shout as she sips on red wine which in a trademark type fashion, makes a bigger and bigger stain on her shirt os he set goes on. It’s great to see a woman out front of such a heavy outfit, giving it her all while being backed by a hard hitting band.
Thornhill up next was one of the bands new to me for the day, and when they took the stage in their very 80’s dad button down shirts I admit I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But alas, they did not disappoint. It’s a mixture of metal and melodies that draws you in and keeps you there. The crowd is building with every set and Thornhill whip up some manic circle pits and heavy moshing. The music is intricate and monstrous and gives the crowd a perfect definition of metal core. The next 2 bands I met at Good Things last year and seeing them again did not disappoint.
Hailing from Melbourne, Void of Vision are powerful and relentless in their delivery. Frontman Jack Bergin kicks off the set against the barrier with fans scrambling to get up close to the action. More circle pits and heavy riffs, massive drum beats and brooding bass lines kept the days vibe highs these guys smashed out a brutal set.
Make them Suffer took to the sage next. With Brooke Nile on keys and backing vocals, these guys have something that bit extra that makes them stand out. They are heavy and raw, but then Brooke’s harmonies cut through and takes you on a different journey within each song. Their sound is big, and the personalities on stage and equally as big high makes for a great gig!
Crossfaith…. Wow. As these guys came on the stage, the anticipation was high. There had been a buzz in the crowd about them all day, and rfom the first song it was obvious why. Described as industrial Metal or Electronicore, this Japanese band are a wake up to the metal world. I would describe their music as techno meets metal, which absolutely roared through the crowd who clambered to get closer to the stage and followed every request given to them by frontman Kenta Koie who incited circle pits and walls of death. I couldn’t take my eyes or ears off them. Passionate vocals, ripping guitar riffs, drums and bass to knock you off your feet all with dubstep thrown in perfectly. Should you ever get the opportunity to see these guys live, do not pass it up!!
The next band Trophy Eyes, were a bit of a surprise set in the mix of the day. A step back from the hard metal we had witnessed all day, these guys were a welcome moment to chill. With a clearly dedicated fan base, they ran through some of their new songs and then into old favourites which were met with united appreciation as the crowd sung along with them. At this point we had our first real intermission of the festival as we awaited the 2 final acts. And as the lights at Riverstage went down, the rumble of music came up the hill, seeming to prepare the audience for the beginning of the end.
Underoath bought it, full stop.
They are my pick of the day. Making the trip from Florida, this Grammy nominated band were not leaving anything behind in Brisbane. The band are hard and heavy with high intensity and energy. There are moments of throat shredding screams and haunting melodies from fron tman Spencer Chamberlin who keeps us entertained with mic swinging and crowd surfing. These guys were flawless and I was left wanting more.
Finally, the moment everyone had been waiting for is almost upon us, I have literally never seen so many band shirts in one place at one time. It’s clear that The Amity Affliction are one of Australia’s most loved exports in recent years. As they take the stage accompanied by some impressive pyrotechnics, the entire crowd at Riverstage is on their feet. Opening the set with “Drag the Lake’, it’s obvious Amity have turned up to play and don’t relent until they have given everything to their adoring fans, who moshed ’til their bodies ached and screamed their lungs out along with the band until the last note of the set rang out. The Heaven and Hell Festival was a great day out and seemed to be enjoyed by all who attended! I sure hope we see Heaven and Hell return as part of Brisbane Festival for many years to come.