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Live: The Amity Affliction, Sydney 2014

The Amity Affliction

The Amity Affliction / Architects / Stray From The Path / Issues / Deez Nuts
Hordern Pavilion, Sydney 04/09/2014
Review: Daniel Furnari | Photos: Lexi Markovic

Wouldn’t it be just our luck that the Sydney stop of the undisputed biggest metalcore tour of the year would coincide with another stadium event a block away (something to do with blokes in shorts kicking a ball around), thus causing the traffic jam of the decade – such that this reviewer wasn’t there in time to catch the hybrid party-hardcore stylings of Deez Nuts. We can safely assume it contained lots of mentions of booze, blunts and booty.

When Stray From The Path kicked things off, an enormous, biting guitar tone and clever use of looping pedals belied the fact that there was only one guitarist on stage, as Tom Williams delivered dirty riff after dirty riff of bouncy punk-hardcore. The Rage Against The Machine-influenced grooves and rap-like verses of tracks from Anonymous translated well in the stadium-scale setting, with frontman Drew York relishing the enthusiastic crowd.

Delivering the next round of tonight’s hardcore fight-night was Issues, whose R’n’B infused post-hardcore was energised and surprisingly convincing. The band’s own DJ went to town on the decks while Tyler Carter bounced around the stage hitting notes Justin Timberlake would be proud of, and commanding an impressive full-crowd sing-along in the band’s final number.

Architects

Architects took to the stage seemingly with a mission to steal the show. Drawing their set list almost entirely from their hugely successful new record Lost Forever // Lost Together, they played to their strengths. Through tracks like “Gravedigger”, “C.A.N.C.E.R” and “Naysayer” they churned out complex rhythmic lines and technical runs with precision and made use of all the stage space available to them, while generating a consistently chaotic pit.

Making their entrance to deafening, screaming applause, The Amity Affliction made light work of proving they’ve got this stadium hardcore thing down pat. The opening chords of “Pittsburgh” announced that it was game on, but by the time the song was over things had gotten so out of hand that the band was forced to stop the show while a collapsing crowd barrier was safely repaired. 10 very awkward minutes (during which someone misguidedly thought it would be a good idea to give Real Bad of Deez Nuts a microphone) later, and after momentarily forgetting what song was next, finally things were back on track.

So began a set of mosh en-masse where every song was a hit and the night’s gaffs were soon forgotten. The increasingly smooth, poppy choruses featured on Let The Ocean Take Me haven’t made Amity any less of a live force – if anything, they allowed the band to fill the room sonically greater than ever before. “Lost And Fading” and “Death’s Hand” proved to be favourites from the new record, while choice cuts from past days like “Anchors” and “I Hate Hartley” definitely haven’t lost their impact. Ahren Stringer’s pipes, which seem to have evolved specifically to tug on the heartstrings of young girls, were in good form, although less of his raspy backup screams would have been a good decision. “Open Letter” served as the faux-closer preceding the inevitable two-song encore – the infectious “Don’t Lean On Me” and the raucous “Give It All”, before 5,500 weary kids shuffled out from the Hordern, sweaty and satisfied. It’s safe to say the unstoppable Amity Affliction are bigger than ever.

The Amity Affliction

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