You are here
Home > Live Review >

Live Review: The World Is A Crazy Place….The World Is A Vampire. The Smashing Pumpkins And Friends Pile Drive Through Brisbane In A Rock N Roll Battle Royal


The World Is a crazy place, and when we got news of The World Is A Vampire Festival touring Australia, my world got a little brighter. 

The Smashing Pumpkins alone was a pretty big deal, but the festival Billy Corgan put together with the line up of bands and his Wrestling association is just something else! 

The wrestling! Well, I’m going to rave! We have been to many different music festivals, the majority of which are single stage shows and I always feel the lull between bands. But the wrestling did not leave me feeling a lull at all! It left me happy and entertained.  It was a fantastic show to watch, between the show! The wrestlers were outstanding! They fought hard, were funny, entertaining and if you had the opportunity to meet them, extremely humble for the opportunity to be here showcasing their craft! I say put wrestling at every festival and give these amazing wrestlers their stage again and again and again!! I absolutely loved it!! 

Ok, on with the show…..

When we arrived at Eaton’s Hill there was already a bunch of fans lined up at the gate! 

When the first band, Brisbane’s own PistonFist took the stage, there was a decent crowd! But for those who weren’t there yet, you missed out!! These guys rocked! They were heavy and fun and full of all the right energy! You could feel their excitement from the stage and they delivered every song with intense and immense passion!  They have a punk rock sensibility with arena rock presence, and most importantly the songs, without the songs, there is nothing. I see these guys going places and I hope this platform shoots them to the stars! 

Next up was another Aussie band, Battlesnake. I didn’t really know much of Battlesnake before, but I will certainly never forget them! Taking to the stage adorned in cream and gold coloured cloaks, the singer with some horn type headdress, I could not take my eyes off them! Absolutely captivating! And not just due to the eccentric costumes, but the performance that went into each song just made me excited for the next one. It’s obvious why this band was selected to open for Kiss on their recent End Of The Road Tour, No part of the stage was left alone, not one member of the crowd was engaged by them. Long Live Battlesnake

Once Battlesnake left the stage our attention was drawn to the Wresting ring! Let’s do this!!! From the wresting association of Australia, Aussie wrestler YEET climbed into the ring first ready to show his American opponent how we do things down under. His opponent Mecurio clearly a favourite in his home country, disheartened by the crowds love for the Aussie, as YEET had us chanting his name. It was a fierce battle with the Aussie coming out on top!! 

As music started back over on the stage, my attention was quickly snapped up my what looked like an escaped mental patient running wild on the stage, in a straight jacket, being chased by nurses…… but it turned out to just be Emmy from Redhook taking the stage. These guys were wild. Emmy had a way of hooking you in with her performance and the bands flawless delivery of each song just keeps you there. Maybe that’s where the name Redhook comes from! Visuals of a Broadway show, the ball tearing sounds remind me of Halestorm and The Pretty Reckless, and the shock rock of Alice Cooper made a great mix

Back to the Wresting ring and this time it was a 3 way battle of the ladies! These chick’s were awesome! So tough! So good! For all the people that think Wrestling is completely fake, while it may have some scripting and embellishments, you cannot fake physicality, and you cannot sell the story unless you believe the story. Nothing wrong with a little bit of imagination, and the crowd picked their side and were along for the ride

80’s Aussie punk rock royalty, Amyl and The Sniffers took the stage with force and a to a roaring, ever growing crowd! As a woman who loves to support other women, I absolutely loved seeing 2 female fronted Australian bands on this line up! You know that a band has made an impact when the man himself Billy Corgan comes down to side of stage to check them out, and also sends the message to out to the world about his love for the band. Amyl And The Sniffers will never be everyone’s cup of tea, but they cannot be accused of selling out. They are street, they are real and they have an army of supporters than appreciate them more than you could imagine

One last round of Wrestling as the sun was setting and by now the crowd was quite large and the passion among the punters for the wrestling was evident! The ooohhs and aaahhhs with every body slam and choke hold and the eruption of excitement when the 3 count was finally reached! I don’t even think we cared who won, we were all just so caught up in the moment! 

I spoke to a lady through the day who was so excited to see Jane’s Addiction she was almost crying just telling me! I wish I could have seen her face as Perry and crew swaggered onto the stage and then proceeded to rip it up! They were tight and on fire! And I enjoyed the visual element of the dancers on stage! Playing hit songs and fan favourites, ‘Whores’, ‘Ocean Size’, ‘Jane Says’ and, ‘Stop!’ and ‘Three Days’. Perry slinked the stage like a serpent, while delivering his message like an old school preacher delivering a sermon. Ex RHCP guitar slinger Josh Klinghoffer was the perfect stand in for the ill Dave Navarro, and the superstar rhythm section of Eric Avery and Stephen Perkins are like a freight train at full speed on a track with no end

Festival Headliners and the band I spent my youth with, Smashing Pumpkins opened with ‘Empires’ and I was instantly elevated to another level of happy! Dancing with one of my best mates, to a band we grew up listening to together, that was a real moment! And then ‘Bullet with Butterfly Wings’ kicked in and we were bouncing! 

The crowd singing along to ‘Today’ was soul warming and if we could have been louder we would have, but regardless, the crowd volume just enhanced how unbelievably flawless The Smashing Pumpkins are live! 

I was enthralled by Billy’s dancing, and the fun the whole band was having on stage. It was Infectious! 

One of my favorite moments, an acoustic interlude with Billy Corgan and James Iha, where we were treated to James Iha doing a cover of Aussie band The Church’s ‘Under the Milky Way’, followed by a stunning acoustic version of ‘Tonight, Tonight’ by the duo. Outstanding. 

Jimmy Chamberlain is one of the worlds most revered drummers and the Brisbane crowd got treated to a drumming masterclass of how you play for the song, and when the time comes, you let the fuck loose and let the world see your chops. Just amazing.

The members of The Pumpkins touring band are all given their time to shine Jeff Schroeder weaves in and out between Billy and James’ guitars in a great supporting role. Australia’s own Katie Cole provided backing vocals and harmonies and really helped shape the songs on stage, and lets not for get the low end of Jack Bates. Delivering the bass grooves of the classic songs, as well as throwing his own style in for good measure.

We left Eaton’s Hill Hotel with our music loving cups full! And a new found passion for wrestling! 

My understanding is that this festival is the brain child of Billy Corgan, and I cannot tell you how humbling it was, and how grateful it made me feel, that Billy was out watching and supporting the wrestling, watching the other bands and being involved in the day! It is not something you always see and I was truly humbled by your presence at the festival, not just on stage. 

I think ‘The World Is A Vampire’ festival was a fantastic day out, exceptionally entertaining and a hell of alot of fun! If you have a chance to get along to one of the shows as it tours Australia, you won’t be disappointed. 

To The Smashing Pumpkins, One World Entertainment, all the bands and the aging wrestlers, thank you so much for having us along to your first Australian Show! 

Until the next gig


Hear2Zen Magazine
Hear2Zen is a "Non Genre Specific" publication that celebrates all things sensory.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: