Hard rock outfit DZ Deathrays have garnered a reputation for predictably high energy, raucous live sets which at its most basic, motivate crowds to move. As always they delivered with their high energy fan base going into overdrive.
She’s the Band and Pemberton were chosen as supports for this gig, although an act like Horror My Friend could have arguably been more suited to this crowd. Nevertheless, the variety these two acts brought made the line up all the more interesting. The former occupy a space between hardcore, punk and a sorta 90s riot girl vibe. They’re certainly impactful live with strong riffs, rolling bass lines and big vocals, verging on screamo. They were a solid opener for DZ Deathrays and an inspired choice to build up to the main act’s more intense minimalist set. Lyrically they’re a very political band with strong leftist opinions that will resonate with a lot of young music fans.
Pemberton were reasonably tight live, with a set list that in fairness is reasonably more emotive and melodic than the opener with no real heavy or hardcore elements. The lyrics are bitingly honest and heartfelt with a sort of bitter youthful angst that cuts through, especially when the singer discusses the context. There’s a true-emo element to the band, an earnestness which will potentially spread their appeal.
DZ Deathrays have established themselves as kings of modern Australian riff rock and amongst the top echelon of live Australian acts, not unlike Tame Impala and Violent Soho and Lost Dinosaurs, who have a signature sound all their own. With their classing buzzing distorted riffs and piercing vocals over minimalist brash drums, the act which has expanded to a trio in recent times, demonstrated to a captivated young crowd at Fat Controller why they are so highly rated by fans and industry alike, in Australia.
As they say in cliche music reviewing, the hits just kept coming. “Reflective Skull” was simply glorious with the space between the riffs again revealing the fantastic guitar arrangements of the band. “Dollar Chills” early in the set helped demonstrate the live appeal of the band and the intelligence behind the song construction with the almost perfectly synchronised mosh, while one of the songs that helped break them, “No Sleep” brought the chaos. Speaking of which, the circle pits, one at the behest of the crowd and the crowd surfing reflected the non-stop energy of the live show. Finishing with “Gina plays at hearts” , featuring one one of the catchiest choruses in recent Australian rock, set the crowd off another couple of notches.
Fat Controller is enjoying another great year and this current generation of youth are bound to have a host of great memories, especially if the live sound keeps improving, as engineers learn how to mix to the challenging room. This was another fantastic night with a pumped up crowd really getting the most out of it.