Dead of Winter ’19 (Brisbane, Qld)

13 July 2019 at The Tivoli & The Jubilee

Wow! Where do I even begin with this? I have had the privilege of attending Brisbane’s most successful live music festival for 2 years in a row, but this year I knew I was in for a treat. With 62 awesome bands spread over 6 stages in two venues, this was going to be huge. Dead of Winter now celebrating its 10thyear were determined to provide the goods and thanks to Carolyn Bedford and her amazingly talented team along with The Tivoli and Jubilee Hotel, they did just that, and more. With the line up announced I was set to the task, highlighter in hand, trying to make the most of my amazing 12-hour live music feast. So many choices, with some seriously talented peeps, it made my task difficult to choose, but finally came up with the best plan and I was ready for the festivities.

I arrived at The Tivoli, my heart was pumping with excitement while my ears were greeted with the unmistakable soul cleansing sound of live music. The crowds were already piling in and filling the stages and the party had defiantly begun.

Walking to The Jubilee to catch my first band I was stopped many times by friends. Some old mates and some new, many of these friendships were formed through our mutual love of live music. A friendly head nod, a smile, wave or my favourite, a big squishy hug. It was a perfect day in Brisbane, shared with good mates and I couldn’t have asked for a better day.

First up for me was Hammers, this is a band I have been told a million times to go and see, and I was determined to get myself there today. With the promise of a live recording I was keen to get in there early to get a good spot. It seemed like everyone else had the same idea. They packed the Riffs & Licks stage with some mad fans and I can see why they come with such a great wrap. These guys rock! I mean seriously, I could see by their flood of followers that these guys mean business. Even with some slight tech issues they showed their professionalism and continued through their set and gave us their best. I was treated when they played my favourite Guilty Pleasures, man it sounded awesome live. The band work awesome together and front man, Leigh (Fish) Dowling even took time to wish drummer Ruckus Happy Birthday while tearing the gladwrap of the fairy bread and offering it to the audience. This went down well, with everyone diving in for a piece. What a great band, I look forward to seeing them again soon when they support the sold-out Butterfly Effect, Brisbane tour in August.

Next up was Void Matter opening the Drum Cartel Stage upstairs at the Jubilee. I hadn’t heard them before this week but after some research these guys were a definite must. Man, I wasn’t disappointed. I set myself up at the front to make sure I didn’t miss any of it. Being short sucks sometimes but luckily this stage was small and intimate with the fans more then happy to help me get in closer to enjoy what I was about to hear. Wow! If influences were clowns, this would be a whole tiny car full, they just kept on coming. I got a mixture of Linkin Park, Rage Against the Machine, Parkway Driveand maybe a dash of Limp Bizket just to name a few, Only much heavier and they absolutely killed it. Will keep an eye out for these local Brisbane boys.

Back downstairs to the 4ZZZ Stage to catch what I can only describe as freaking amazeballs. I love going out to catch bands that I know but what I truly, truly enjoy is walking away with a new favourite.


Whisky & Speed, Holy shit! The name says it all. The energy and buzz I got from this band plays homage to its name. They started by handing out glitter party hats to the barrier. I was lucky to be donned with one by front man Dayne Kersnovske and somehow managed to keep it safe the whole night. Don’t ask me how it survived but it did ok lol. Anyway, these guys from Brisbane (I have no idea why I haven’t heard of them yet) put on an awesome show that I’m glad I didn’t miss. From their onstage antics, to jumping into the crowd. It was the perfect party, we had hats, giant party poppers and no party is complete without a giant pink penis pinata spraying glitter over the excited crowds. Through the constant spray of giant party poppers, they played on and kept a constant level of energy and entertainment throughout their set. An absolute MUST-see band. They are added to my watch list as an awesome up and coming band and can’t wait to see them again. An absolute highlight of my night, thanks for a great show guys, loved it.

Next up, a hike back up to The Tivoli to see Opus of a Machine (OoaM). I have seen these guys play many times but tonight was a special night. I wasn’t going to miss the last ever set as a complete original band. Announcing his departure earlier this month, Bass player Dale’s pursuits in Caligula’s Horse left him with no time to dedicate to OoaM and time came for him to fly to higher grounds. With support from his friends and fellow band members they put on an emotional and amazing last show together. Not many bands hold the ability to memorise and capture me, but OoaM hold that title. I was transported through a magical moment shared between band members and fans. I was silenced and frozen as they put on an amazingly powerful set. The emotions shown on stage and in the audience demonstrated the true beauty of this band. A privilege to see them grow over the last few years and I can’t wait to see where they go from here.

After that emotional set I wandered back down to The Jubilee. Being just one person running around trying to catch as many amazing bands as possible I found it challenging. I decided to sit down and recharge with a bite to eat from one of the many delicious food trucks. So many choices and the bar staff were amazing. Great prompt service, I wasn’t disappointed.

Now fed and hydrated, it was now time to enjoy another couple of new bands. Holy crap! While I was busy browsing some of the merch stands and market stalls buying myself some awesome pink skull earrings (I NEEDED THEM lol) when I heard this amazing sound. Turned around and found myself heading towards the Riffs & Licks stage once again for AME NOIRE, I loved this band and although their songs were new to me I enjoyed the whole set and liked the heavy riffs this band produced.

I stayed for the whole set as I was also interested in the next band. I was almost ordered by mates to check these guys out. Depravity, a Perth heavy metal band with over 20 years’ experience and as described as a no gimmicks, Death metal band. The pit opened, and groups of die-hard fans joined in the beautiful craziness of the moshy metal mess. An absolute screamer of a show and I loved the deep growls and screams from front man Jamie. Smiles on everyone’s face I could see we all enjoyed it.

I went and had a peek at a band at the 4ZZZ stage, The Decline. A skater punk rock band from Perth. Great energy and you could see how tight these guys were. Touring with many aussie bands including Frenzal Rhomb and Body Jarand internationally with bands such as Strung Out(USA), Authority Zero(USA), Guttermouth(USA) and many other music festivals. These guys were polished and professional.

I received a text to tell me The Omnific would be playing early so I quickly headed back to The Tivoli to see the Bass Boiz. Arriving just in time for the set to begin I made my way up the front. I saw this talented trio at the beginning of their touring history when they co-headlined with Osaka Punch and have been lucky to catch them every time they have played in Brisbane since. From the once shy guys at the first performance to the now confident experienced performers. It’s amazing how these guys just keep getting better and better every time I see them. With a very successful touring history now under their belts, including a visit to Europe, they are proving themselves to be a band not to be missed. Playing my favourite, The Stoicthese guys had the new and old fans eating out of their hands. Captivated by their smooth melodic bass riffs and heavy proggy beats. A continuous thirst to always improve and challenge themselves I can’t wait to see what these guys bring in the coming years. Keep an eye out for these awesome guys. An absolute pleasure, I could listen to them play for hours.

I then headed inside to The Fireball Stage to catch a breath and rest my now tiring feet. I still had a huge night ahead of me and I decided to go up to the VIP lounge for a bev and chill while I caught the next couple of bands.

Inside was Gravemind, a Melbourne metal extravaganza and Beastwars astoner rock band from Wellington. Two completely different bands, both bringing the crowds to absolute chaos. What a beautiful mess it was in the pits. So much enjoyment under one beautiful roof. I hadn’t heard either bands live before and I’m glad I did. Awesome sound and energy by both bands. Will keep and eye out for these guys touring.

Now rested and somewhat recharged after my massive day I was ready for the last leg of the night. So far it has been an epic day with loads of new and some familiar bands playing.

I spent the rest of the night at the Tivoli swapping between the Fireball and Young Henrys stages. A must for me tonight was to catch Chaos Devine. High on my must-see live lists, this powerful progressive heavy metal band from Perth came at us with crushing heavy riffs and soaring melodies. A band described as having a reputation for delivering powerful and dynamic shows and that they did. This band has supported some of the biggest names in rock and metal including SLAYER, FEAR FACTORY and more. It’s no wonder theses guys have such a huge fan base.

Quickly popping inside mid set to catch Kyuss Dies an idea Christian Tryhorn from Beats Cartel and Nick Oliveri had on tour. Different Aussie musicians to be a backing band and play songs from different bands Nick had played in from the past. It was brilliant. As stated in a recent interview they were just trying to do a special show with songs people wanted to hear and hopefully give back to Kyuss fans (the best fans in the world). Joined by members of Dead Letter Circus, The Butterfly Effect, The Black Armada and The Royal Artillery. What an awesome set.

Rushing back outside to catch Voyager, I wanted to see this band again. I’m a huge fan and was able to catch them playing the Valley Drive In a couple of months ago. Although another outside gig, I was relieved DoWwas much drier. After a water-logged show last time when they supported Twelve Foot Ninja, It was much more comfortable this time. To be honest I’m glad I got to see them again as last time really wasn’t very pleasant. Voyager rocked and with confidence they graced the stage with their well know professionalism. Some slight sound issues didn’t stump them, as they continued to play on and the crowd loved it. We were even treated with their new song Colours. Great song loved it, can’t wait for more new stuff.

Now the fun begins, I’ll be honest, I came here for Mammal.I’ve seen this energetic lovable band a couple of times now and each time I love them more and more. Front man Zeke is known for his on stage, off stage antics and tonight he didn’t disappoint. Jumping into the audience every chance he got to get down and dance with his fans. He is a passionate man and he loves his fans. At one stage he requested a longer microphone cord, so he could reach the fans up the back of the packed Fireball stage. While Zeke exploded with passionate musical perfection in the audience fellow band members Zane, Nick and Pete kept fort just as entertaining on stage. This band is solid, and an absolute favourite of mine. The last 3 times I’ve seen them I’m made my way to the front barrier and for a shortie, managed to hold up and survive the brutal madness of the Mammal Pit. I love seeing these guys live and tonight I think was the best I’ve seen them. Great show guys and can’t wait for the next time.

Wow, after such a huge day I was onto my last band for the night. We all packed tightly inside the Tivoli. Now it’s a huge venue and we managed to fill both levels tight. It was obvious COG were the main event. After their sell out show in Brisbane earlier this year leaving many fans without tickets, this was the next opportunity for us to catch them again after their long break. I was lucky to see them at their Sold out, Drawn Together Tour in Feb and was keen to see them again tonight. It was obvious that everyone else in Brisbane had the same idea. Playing all the favourites with everyone singing along almost perfectly like they had their own choir. You could tell this band is still loved and in high demand. So much potential for them and I’m sure we will see them soon with new material. 

Finally, my night came to an end, what an epic day. Such a hard task to cover so many bands, and I missed some that I’m sure I would have loved. Cheers to every single one of you involved behind the scenes. Without the bands, crew, staff, media, volunteers, and a special thanks to the amazing residents allowing us to enjoy this outdoor event. Over 3000 people came to enjoy live music and boy what a beautiful day Brisbane put on for us this year. Thanks to an amazing planning team and Brisbane’s respect for the live music scene we can continue to enjoy events like this without a hiccup. Perfectly organised and structured this event now in it’s 10 year is a show not to be missed. I’m hooked. Thank you for an amazing day and already looking forward to next years event. Some amazing memories and some awesome new bands to add to my Spotify. To my awesome new and old music loving friends, See you all next year x


Line-up: Hammers, Serial Killer Dinner Party, Void Matter, The Wrath, Something Something Explosion, Fight Ibis, Opus Of A Machine, Potion, Whiskey & Speed, Tai Sui, Ame Noire, Bakers Eddy, Earth Caller, Depravity, Bare Bones, Pistonfist, Truth Be Known, The Decline, The Omnific, Gravemind, Hits, Beastwars, Chaos Divine, Voyager, Kyuss Dies, Mammal, Cog

Reviewer: Cherie Smith
Photocredits: Just Ignore The Camera