Headliner: These Four Walls
Supports: Flynn Effect + Devonian + Torizon
Venue: The Backroom, Brisbane
Date: Friday, 10th May 2019
Photos: Brandon Shields
Review: Sam Al-Araji
One of the things I admire the most about the local heavy scenes in Australia is how tight-knit they are and how so many bands find inspired ways to support and promote each other. These scenes are brimming with so many musical gems, and so it’s always a joy for me to attend quality local gigs like tonight where the lineup is proudly homegrown and packed with diverse talent. Tonight, These Four Walls have teamed up with Brisbane born/Melbourne based Flynn Effect for an epic co-headline reunion after meeting as support acts for the mighty Seether in 2018, and with the addition of special guests Torizon and Devonian, it promises to be a kick-ass show indeed.
First up is local heavy rock outfit Torizon, who have been making a lot of noise recently with a succession of quality live appearances. Despite there being only a handful of punters present at the beginning of their set, the four-piece launches into a very slick set that flows well and is incredibly polished, and quickly captures everyone’s attention as the crowd grows steadily during their set. Torizon have a very catchy noughties rock aesthetic, channelling The Killers meets Karnivool vibes with crystal clear Tonight Alive-esque female vocals courtesy of confident and charismatic frontwoman Mish. The band is very comfortable on stage, playing with an effortless ease that belies the fact that they haven’t played that many shows, and they’re very tight rhythmically for such a young band. It’s the perfect opening act for this kind of lineup.
Brisbane-based heavy metallers Devonian are next up, ripping into their set with their popular recent single “The Other Half”, which is quite the banger. I’ve observed the progress of this band since their early gigging days, and they really have grown a great deal. They’re a little reserved performance-wise to begin with, but by the third track, the dynamic five-piece really hit their stride, and the cheers of the crowd reflect that. The groovier and more riff-driven sound they have been pursuing lately is really working for them, as is the addition of some blistering guitar solos, which befits their unpretentious, pure-bloody-metal core sound. The last song of their set is definitely the most polished and engaging, featuring some soaring vocals from energetic frontwoman Diletta. It’s a great send-off for an entertaining set that will serve them well when they open for Eluveitie next week.
The lights go out save for a few pinpricks of neon blue on the stage, and an atmospheric synthy intro rings through the room. Flynn Effect appear on stage and the crowd flocks to them, eager to watch the band they had missed for many months. The four-piece opens with a creepy yet mesmerising cover of Every Step You Take. As always with these guys, the visual effect is very striking with the lit-up guitars (and shoes!) and lighting show timed to perfection, creating an astral, ethereal aesthetic that is reminiscent of the night sky. Flynn Effect are always so professionally presented and theatrical without being overly dramatic, and they all just get so lost in the music while striking frontwoman Tomina holds the crowd’s attention with her compelling presence.
They play an effortlessly tight set, and the mix is nicely balanced by the time they get to their cover of Coldplay’s “Talk”, which is always very positively received live. Among their many hits that the band play, the banger “All For Love” goes off, a hyperdrive highlight that really gets the enthusiastic crowd moving. It’s clear that while Melbourne suits Flynn Effect very well, moving there hasn’t affected this powerhouse’s ability to pull a great crowd in their city of origin. A fantastic and flawless set that shows Brisbane just how ready this band is to take on the world stage.
Finally, it’s time for hard rock veterans These Four Walls to grace the stage. I’ve been really looking forward to their set because they always put on a stellar show bursting at the seams with energy and vitality – and tonight, they certainly do not disappoint. Frontman Steve holds his own on stage in the captivating solo opening he delivers, his dulcet tenor ringing through the room and showing off his excellent technique. Then the rest of the band burst onto the stage, launching into an energetic, powerful set made all the more visually mesmerising through the emotion and passion evident in each member as they get completely lost in the music they love so much. They are remarkably tight, working together like a well-oiled machine, and with their impeccable mix, the resulting live sound is album quality.
The four-piece’s catchy melodies have the excited crowd cheering and singing along, and they’re just so engaging to watch. The perfectly timed lighting show is also very effective at emphasising intensity during the groovier, riff-driven sections, bringing the visual element to add to their rhythmically tight and vocally note-perfect performance. Despite some technical issues with the bass, These Four Walls carry on like champs and charm us all with their humility, showing appreciation for the recent crowdfunding of their new album. On that note, they play a few new tracks, which are absolute bangers that showcase some fresh and creative new songwriting ideas for the rock outfit, and judging by the crowd response, it’s clear they think so too. Overall, it’s a powerful, passionate performance delivered with finesse, and they really give it their all, signing off on what’s been a highly enjoyable and entertaining celebration of quality Australian heavy rock and metal.
View the full photo galley below: