It was an overcast cold winter afternoon as I headed to the Backbone, an arts venue within the old East Brisbane Bowls Club complete with 80’s era pink toilets and vintage sofas. Originally the gig was to be held at the Flamin Galah but I got to ride the Citycat so that was fun. This show was epic with nine heavy bands crammed into seven hours. My ears were still ringing the next day it was that loud. Headliners were Diskust, with Void Matter, Minds?End, Dirty Brew, Rhino, Tetrament, Torizon, Hollow Doubt, and Seven Enemies.
Four P.M. came and there were a few people milling around in the ominous blue lighting – it was early still. Seven Enemies were first and got the show started with their brand of rock and roll with a heavy edge. Their set was fun, raw, and epic. Despite the small crowd they delivered on the heaviness and got things warmed up for the evening ahead.
Hollow Doubt were next with another heavy set. Braving the cold some of the band were sporting short shorts with the drummer performing topless. They too were fun and raw with their brutal hardcore sound. They debuted a new song which was suitably fast and heavy and made all the more intense with hellish orange stage lights.
Torizon started their set with an electronic intro, setting the tone for their alternative sound. In contrast to the heavier bands that came before, Torizon had a cleaner sound but were still much loved by the increasing crowd and still rocked out. There were some mic problems, but the vocalist Mish Sharma persevered in true rock’n’roll fashion, besides, it only encouraged the punters to come closer.
It was thoroughly dark outside when Tetrament took to the stage. They were heavy, fast, with complex riffs combined with suitably brutal vocals. Tetrament put on a no-nonsense show punctuated by a red rover style mosh pit.
Rhino marked the middle of the marathon heavy evening. After Tetrament the crowd must have gone on break as the room was almost empty when Rhino began their set of old-school rock. But no matter, they still delivered a heavy set replete with slide guitar and a sound like rolling thunder that ended with an epic psychedelic last song.
Dirty Brew may have had to take it from the top as they started but their keg metal was as fun as it was loud and brash. Their set was crunchy and dirty, highlighted by the guitarist changing into a banana onesie to give the show an austere edge.
Third last were Minds?End who like Torizon earlier began their set with an atmospheric intro track. But that is where the comparison ends. Minds?End were a constant rolling aggressive wall of sound with brutal screeching vocals delivered by a frontman who resembled Otis from the Devil’s Rejects.
Next up were Void Matter. They began with just the drummer on stage lit with deep blue light. The band filed out to an ominous intro then delivered a set of epic brutal ballads with soaring distortion and double opposing vocals. Void Matter ended rather aptly with a sing-along for their enthusiastic fans.
It was past ten and the evening was almost over. In near darkness a creepy piano intro began, and the band came out. Performing in masks obviously there are comparisons to that group from Iowa, but Diskust have their own theatricality and sound. It was a near unrelenting assault of raw heaviness from the band backed by screaming from the monochrome Joker frontman. Highlights visually for me were the various iterations of the drummer’s light-up video mask [including a blinking Cheshire cat, blue flames, and mooneyes] and the bassist’s glowing green bass strings. Diskust got another intense red rover mosh going and ended the night with the evening’s only encore.
This show at the Backbone was long, loud, and raw, which is no doubt how we all like our evenings to go. Despite the ongoing shit from Covid-19 everything came together for an awesome event featuring nine of Brisbane’s finest heavy bands, all ably crewed and fantastically [often hellishly] lit. On short notice the fabulous peeps at the Backbone put up with a full day of metalheads and still delivered great service. There is still a faint hum in my ears, but it was definitely worth it.
Reviewed by William Ferguson
Photo by Just Ignore the Camera photography