Saturday 17th September 2016
Considering the extremely significant AFL match being played by the headliners hometown team versus the city where the band was playing that night should have increased some form of tension or contempt; this was not to be. Whilst a 25th birthday is generally not considered a milestone in general, this celebration was certainly prominent enough to incur two of the greatest words any musical act can achieve when performing a show, they are: “Sold Out”. It would be a fair assumption to say that punk rock can unite us all; regardless of where home is located.
Locals Thrashboard were handpicked by Frenzal Rhomb’s bassist Tom Crease and were a rather excellent selection to be frank. Channelling New Jersey’s Bigwig in pace and then Massachusetts’ A Wilhelm Scream in technicality, TB were pulling all the right punches into the growing Adelaide audience, which inspired a selected few to attempt neck dislocation in rampant head-banging salute. Journey, Big Heads On Fire, DIY and Doom Sausage were the highlights, especially the closing track which unsurprisingly but astonishingly had a doom metal introduction and ending (a curveball considering the band’s adoration for Thrash punk). Special mention must go to vocalist Justin ‘JC’ Highfold who was infectiously elated in his delivery and possesses an outstanding punk gruff vocal. In short, this was an upstanding warm-up soundtrack amongst the litres of beer being devoured at a near alarming rate.
Crisis Alert’s name could not have been more suiting as vocalist Matt “Footy” Horvath definitely had an added enraged spring in his step about the Adelaide Crows departure from the finals race. Although this “all hope is lost” mind-frame was discouraging considering this show was in fact a celebration, the quartet’s energy was immense and contagious. Disconnected, Pressure and Waste Of Time were borderline terrifying but excellently intense, the Minor Threat inspiration without doubt stirred the near capacity audience. The whole performance may have been more dreary than cheery, but CA had South Australia’s attention and their brief blasts of hardcore were not to be forgotten on this night.
The anticipation at this point in The Gov was profound, the crowd churned like an ocean being battered by a hurricane and this was amplified by Frenzal Rhomb’s introduction song The Eagles’ Heartache Tonight. After 25 years of practice, these four punk gentlemen know how to please their fans and this birthday party was their tribute to them. Adelaide picked the set-list via an online vote, so only the favourites were going to be played, ironically enough 25 tracks in total. This included: When My Baby Smiles At Me I Go To Rehab, Racist, Genius, the party anthem We’re Going Out Tonight, 5000 Cigarettes, Do You Want To Fight Me, I Went Out With A Hippy And Now I Love Everyone Except Her, Bird Attack, I Miss My Lung, Who’d Be A Cop, Mummy Doesn’t Know You’re A Nazi, Kaan Kaant, Ship Of Beers, You Are Not My Friend, Russel Crowe’s Band, You Can’t Move Into My House, Mum Changed The Locks, Never Had So much Fun, Punch In The Face and obviously numerous more.
The antics were at an all-time high from both the band and crowd where vocalist Jason Whalley spent most of the time gleefully. One punter utilised a table as a springboard to crowd surf, another used some stage time to propose to his now fiancée and Frenzal were on top of their game with hilarious between songs banter. Honestly, this was exactly what you would expect from a ‘Rhomb show, but unlike their band age, it never gets old and with new music being written at this time, it seems slowing down isn’t an option either. Happy birthday Frenzal!
By Will Oakeshott