Gig Review: Aerials + He Danced Ivy + Hella Haunts + Tai Sui @ The Foundry, Brisbane

Headliner: Aerials

Supports: He Danced Ivy + Hella Haunts + Tai Sui

Venue: The Foundry, Brisbane

Date: Saturday, July 20th 2018

Review by: Tomina Vincent

On the 20th of July, we finally got to see Aerials on stage for the launch of their new single 'Drawing Blood'. This show has been in the works for a long time and the anticipation and excitement to see these titans of Brisbane alternative rock was almost tangible in the air. As we step into The Foundry, the real fun begins.

Unfortunately, we missed the openers Tai Sui, but we are greeted by locals Hella Haunts. This is a duo comprising of drums and distorted bass, with a distinctly classic rock vibe. They sound like a mixture between Royal Blood and classic American folk. It’s a fun set and upon learning this was their first ever show, I was utterly impressed.

Next up are He Danced Ivy. This is a band that’s seemingly everywhere nowadays, but oh how deserved that is. From the intricate and edgy progressive vibes, to the pure rock-n-roll antics and once-in-a-generation charisma, they prove themselves to be one of the most exciting acts in Brisbane right now. They launch into the set with vigour and ferocious energy, and the crowd quite literally loses their minds. Let me describe this show in short: Stage diving, non-stop dancing, incredible harmonies, one of the most entertaining drummers to watch, a bass player and guitarist who are tight as a drum skin and just as inseparable in the mix, and a vocalist who is every bit the alternative reincarnation of Jeff Buckley, not to mention a vocal acrobat of the finest quality. Utterly convincing, immeasurably entertaining and as genuine as they come – He Danced Ivy are going to be playing much bigger stages very soon. Triple J, don’t snooze on these guys.

Its time for the main event, and The Foundry is well and truly packed at this point. Aerials walk on stage and the mood is suddenly darker, as the sweet sounds of European alternative rock and new wave fill the room. The band experience some brief technical difficulties, but vocalist Jackson Walkden-Brown takes the reins and treats us to a couple of acoustic renditions, which really pull at the heart strings – his voice is truly magnificent – full and distinct, and invincibly controlled. Once the full band is back in the swing of the show, their set is magical and transfixing. It is difficult to describe Aerials to someone who isn’t familiar with them, especially because what they do is so foreign to Australian stages. But the subtle similarity to bands like Depeche Mode, Joy Division and The Cure, is so incredibly refreshing to hear within the context of the current musical landscape. Aerials take elements of these bands and give them the modern twist they need to make this brand of electronica-infused rock relevant to the times and the new generation of listeners, and they achieve a depth that is almost indescribable. There is a quiet confidence to their performance which is the mark of true professionals, and their show is different – its not a party, its not a mosh – its an intimate experience which belongs on a massive stage, if only to accommodate the lushness and sparseness of their sound. And even so, it truly feels like Aerials are playing just for you – their music is the medium they use to make eye contact with the soul.

I leave the Foundry incredibly inspired and thrilled to have witnessed such a killer show. Brisbane is fast becoming a wonderful cultural hive and its bands are world class, and better than ever.

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