Artist: Various – Full Tilt Festival
Date: April 23rd 2022
Venue: Eatons Hill Hotel – Brisbane
Reviewer: Belinda Mann
Photographer: Andrew Treadwell Photography
With multiple rescheduled dates in response to the ever changing government restrictions surrounding live music because of COVID-19 it was such a buzz walking through the gates at Eaton’s Hill Hotel to finally be at Full Tilt Brisbane.
Black was the colour choice of the day with the crowd wearing the standard heavy metal fashion of skinny black jeans and black t-shirts. Shirts worn proudly by metal fans who would briefly remark to one another or give a thumbs-up gesture to express their approval of a t-shirt featuring a group they admire.
My first impression of the venue was better than expected, the layout was excellent. The bars, merchandise, food vendors and toilets plentiful and easily accessible with the main stage able to be clearly viewed from across the entire venue. Stage 2, located in ‘The Ballroom’ at Eaton’s Hill Hotel, was unfortunately not always accessible to all festival goers due to it having a maximum capacity. Fans were left unable to see artists once capacity was reached, left to line up in hope of making it in between sets to see their favourite bands thrash it out on stage. The weather was pretty much festival perfect with the temperature and humidity lower than normal, a few light showers spattered throughout the day, however, nobody seemed to let it dampen their spirits, if anything it was welcomed to cool things down after spending time in the pit.
Reliqa are absolutely forging their place in the modern progressive metal space. Vocalist Monique Pym is nothing less than talented which is very much shown in her energetic stage presence and dynamic theatrical vocals that’ll leave you gasping for air. Blending everything from hard rock, industrial metal and nu-metal, haunting synth-infested piano notes lead to a heavy explosion of riffs, fast drumming and mind blowing musical progression. Their 2021 hit ‘Bearer of Bad News’ was hard hitting and a crowd favourite. Reminiscent of Evanescence, Reliqa are an impressive four piece that I can’t wait to hear more from.
Described as Brisbane’s most high-octane punk/hardcore outfit, Stepson hit the stage with massive energy, bouncy riffs and catchy hooks, leaving the crown reeling for more. Jayden, replacing Brock on vocals for the day, called to the crowd for a circle pit before playing their heaviest song ‘The Entire History of You’. As fans pushed forward to see their hometown heroes the crowd ran and jumped in a circle, pushing and bumping each other, head banging and pumping fists. It’s clear to see why Stepson have established themselves as one of our nation’s most heavy acts.
“Fuck COVID and fuck yeh to this!” Tyler, vocalist and bassist of Luca Brasi shouts to the crowd. COVID has, as we all know, disrupted the live music scene for the last two and a bit years. It’s clear from the crowds roaring response that they agree with Tyler and are loving seeing them play live again. Luca Brasi are deservedly one of Australia’s best live bands. With a setlist consisting of their many punk rock hits, the four piece energised the crowd getting them jumping and singing along. The energy continued with a cover of Oasis’ “Champagne Supernova” before injecting a little humility into the mix when Tyler forgot the lyrics to their last song and had to ask the crowd to help him out. All in all, a highlight of the day in my eyes, Luca Brasi are a must see live, its no wonder their shows are always a sell out.
Justice for the Damned
Sydney’s hard core quartet were loud and heavy with a bass that felt like it ran through your entire body. With chaotic drums and scratchy guitars, the band had a lively stage presence. They played tight with the crowd’s energy taking a notable upswing when arriving on stage, surging with eager punters and a massive circle pit. Bobak’s vocals were fierce and precise from the second they started to the moment they finished. JFTD are showing no signs of slowing down, it was great to see them live and in my eyes they are still one of Australia’s best heavy metal bands.
Being a huge fan, I was so keen to see these guys live and made it my mission to be at the front for their set. Opening with their energetic single “Blueprint” the crowd screamed with excitement, they lapped it up, singing along to every word. I appreciate how Slowly Slowly move from punk rock and then to a more heavier sound, breaking barriers of genre. Front man Ben, dedicated their most well known hit “Jellyfish” to Laura and it’s a fucking groove! So much fun, a great set with Slowly Slowly a definite on my list to see live again.
Void Of Vision
The Brisbane based powerhouse tore through the indoor ballroom at a ferocious pace. Vocalist Jack Bergin took the stage in his Matrix meets Metal Steampunk attire and had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hands within minutes. His band mates deliver tight riffs and chest thumping drums. One to watch for sure.
Thy Art is Murder
Thy Art is Murder are death metal at its best with their sound dark, blackened and down right evil sounding, its freaking insane! When CJ on vocals called to the crowd for the wall of death, the response was immediate with the jumping mass parting down the middle, and when the music kicked in, the way the crowd rushed to one another was nothing I’ve ever experienced before, it was unbelievable to watch! With their fans lapping it up, Thy Art is Murder are most definitely experts in what they do and are unquestionably masters of their art as one of Australia’s top death core acts.
This Emo punk band from Sydney was set to kick off the day today before a last minute change to the line up, but in their they went from having a 25 minute set to a 45 minute set time and they made the most of the extra time. The crowd inside to see them were dedicated fans singing along with vocalist Lucy May, I think the crowd lifted the band as much as they lifted the crowd.
Punk rock at its best, tight, fast, melodic and loud. The crowd were amped and it was great to see the punters appreciate the older hits including tracks “Punch in the Face” and “Never Had So Much Fun”. Regardless of how great their set was, it was the continuous banter between front man Jay and guitarist Lindsay (The Doctor) that seemed to really steal the show with a lot of laugh out loud moments. Their entire set was energetic, and overall a lot of fun for the audience with crowd surfing going off!
The Ballroom was quickly packed for Alpha Wolf, and if you were like me and in the Frenzel moshpit and wanted to catch Alpha Wolf after, you were shit out of luck. The line into the ballroom was halfway through the festival, but I don’t think anyone lucky enough to make it inside was coming out. Our photographer made it in to grab some shots he was thrilled to share that Alpha Wolf took the stage immediately with the intent to outdo the outside wall of death incited by Thy Art is Murder, and the inside wall of death was insane! We have seen Alpha Wolf a few times and they are always flawless and I have no doubt would have been the same today. Clearly they should earned their spot been on the bigger outdoor stage next time.
In Hearts Wake
Each member entered the stage wearing breathing apparatuses as a statement towards our planet’s deteriorating ecosystem. Opening with one of their heavier tracks “Worldwide Suicide”, with Jake Taylor sounding menacing on vocals, the crowd reaction was phenomenal and a delight for mosh enthusiasts and sing-a-longers equally. I’ll be honest, these guys impressed me. The vocal interplay between frontman Jake’s brutish growl and bassist Kyle’s soaring melodies was infectious. As leading figures in Australia’s heavy music scene, the band from Byron Bay are a great live band and put on a great show to match.
Between You & Me
Closing out the night in the Ballroom, Melbourne lads Between You & Me bought immediate energy to the stage with their pop-punk beats. The crowd kept the energy levels up and the bad made sure to not only match it but out do it with their intensity. Would like to see them on a bigger stage next time as they sure deserve the slot
When it was time for the festivals headliners to take the stage, the crowd was thick and pumping, and Northlane did not disappoint. From the moment frontman Marcus stalked on stage, to the closing song, the energy was palpable. Opening with “Clockwork” sent the audience into a moshing sing-a-long frenzy. Marcus, exuding his own unique energy, holding the crowd in the palm of his hand, I could not take my eyes off him.
With a focus on their new material from their recently released album “Obsidian” they also played older tracks including “Quantum Flux” to the content of those who continued to scream for them to play it from the pit. What I love the most about Northlane is the way they incorporate synths and the use of music pads to create that progressive metal sound, which is heavily featured in songs like “4D” and “Freefall”.
I think Marcus is hands down one of the most incredible vocalists in this genre and even beyond that and he only continues to improve. Vocals are not easy when your whole body is required as the instrument. Marcus has amazing technique that aids in his ability to be so dynamic, consistent, powerful and real. His ability to channel dark vocals and traverse to good clean pitch and tone is astounding.
Featuring pyrotechnics, sparks and lights the entire show was impressive, I didn’t want it to end. Closing with “Bloodline” one of their biggest hits from Alien, the energy from the audience was intense and powerful. Screaming, crowd surfing, jumping in unison with hands punching the air, the passion for live music was real.
As the lights faded and the stage turned to black the crowd screamed for more, blaring and yelling for it not to be over, and they got their wish with the band appearing on stage for their encore. As “Talking Heads” began, the confetti cannons went off surrounding everyone in a truly magical and surreal live music experience.
After their performance as we made our way to the venue exit gate, I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face, man I’ve missed live music and music festivals! It was great to finally experience a music festival in all its glory and have it be a triumphant success after all the crap COVID has brought us. My live music cup is full and I intend to keep it that way.