Gig Review: Pain + Witchgrinder + Darkcell @ The Zoo, Brisbane

Headliner: Pain (Sweden)

Supports: Witchgrinder + Darkcell

Venue: The Zoo, Brisbane

Date: Sunday May 27th, 2018

Photos: Tam Schilling @TamCamImages

Oh, how long we have waited for this Pain tour to become a reality. In 2017, Pain’s first ever Australian tour was under threat due to the demise of Stag Music Touring, but luckily Overdrive Touring, the latest branch of the Overdrive Music Magazine juggernaut, and Hardline Media, stepped in and saved the day to deliver us this wonderful show. Excitement builds in front of the Zoo in Brisbane and the anticipation is electric. As doors open, it’s clear - there may not be many here, but those of us present are a part of the cult, and we are about to have ourselves a hell of a night. Here are the details.

Darkcell open the night with the blistering Hail to the freaks to a small but enthusiastic local crowd. The band are in fine form and deliver a fun and entertaining show that truly belongs on a larger stage. By the end of their set, the uninitiated attendees had become converts and no one was standing still. The mighty "Preacher" closed a killer set by one of Brisbane’s most wonderfully engaging acts, and I highly recommend you check out it Darkcell are still somehow news to you.

Next up, Melbourne’s Witchgrinder turn up the heavy and their 40 minutes on stage are a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Blending elements of metal and gothic rock, these guys have achieved a unique and interesting sound and their presence is compelling. Performing fan favourites like "They Walk Among Us", the band managed to captivate this sleepy Sunday night crowd and certainly gained a few new followers in the process.

As Pain take the stage, the entire crowd shifts to the front of stage and it is immediately apparent we are In the presence of royalty. It’s almost surreal to see Peter Tagtgren and co on stage after dreaming about it for so long. The band is tight and entertaining, performing an enormous set spanning nearly two decades. "Black Knight Satellite" turns the mood up to 11 and gets us all dancing. The production is stunning and Pain really make the cozy Zoo feel almost like a festival stage - they are larger than life and stunning to watch. Despite this being a Sunday night gig in famously placing Brisbane at the end of a national tour, Pain care not - they deliver, and then some. They’re having the best time, we are singing along, and the room is full of love. Here’s hoping we will see these Swedish masters land back on our shores as soon as possible.


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