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Live Reviews : Bullet For My Valentine, Atreyu & Cane Hill @ Big Top, Sydney 27/10/2016

By on October 28, 2016

Words: Martin Michea

Photos: Harry Vincent

(Click here to view the full gallery)

Bullet For My Valentine are back in Australia for the first time in three years. The teenager in me had been looking forward to this moment since I last saw the band six years ago in Copenhagen. I actually wasn’t too impressed back then as it was a pretty sloppy gig, so needless to say, I was hoping for something better tonight.

It is a chilly and rainy evening in Sydney and as I enter the iconic Big Top at Luna Park a little while after 7pm I’m surprised to see that the venue is already fairly packed. A fact that is quite impressive when you take circumstances such as Thursday, end of the month and the weather into consideration.

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Cane Hill

Cane Hill is a band that I actually have never heard of before. I’ve seen their name on the tour poster and that’s about all I knew before tonight. Turns out they’re a damn rowdy bunch who knows how to kickstart an audience. I’ve very rarely seen a Sydney crowd moshing, jumping and headbanging from the get-go, but this is just one of those nights where everything seems right. The Americans from New Orleans are quickly warming up the crowd with their energy packed set, and while the music is quite one dimensional to the untrained ear, there are Korn-esque glimpses to their sound which sparked my interest and I will be checking out the band further. The lighting during the opening act is quite frankly terrible (and it would remain that way for large chunks of the night, unfortunately), but the sound is brilliant from start to finish.

I’ve been meaning to check out Atreyu about a million times in the past. I’ve heard their name so often that it feels like I know their music, but I don’t, really. I’ve heard a song here and there, but I can’t say that I’ve been a fan – until now, that is. The venue is now quickly filling up and judging by how many people that are singing their hearts and lungs out, Atreyu’s got a large following over here. I thought that the crowd was pretty decent during Cane Hill’s set, but when frontman Alex Varkatzas jumps down to the barrier and interacts with first few rows the party’s officially started. I find myself admiring Alex, he’s ruling the crowd with an iron fist and it’s like he had an ancient scroll containing a “summon circle pit” spell. The highlight for me personally – as someone who’s not really well acquainted with the band – is when they rip into one of Bon Jovi’s hits, “You Give Love A Bad Name”. Once again the sound is stellar, a characteristic for the evening as a whole, and I am mightily impressed at the end of Atreyu’s set. Their energetic metal works great in a live setting and I just wish that I had learned more of their material sooner. Being a fantastic live band, I can’t wait for them to come back to our shores once more.

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Atreyu

After a fairly brief intermission the lights go out for the last time tonight, and at 9.27 PM “Ace of Spades” by Motörhead (R.I.P. Lemmy) is making parts of the crowd go absolutely nuts. The crowd (though it feels like the entire floor) is then chanting “Bullet! Bullet! Bullet!”, and as the last tones of the Venom opener, “V”, fades away, the long awaited return of the Welsh metal legends is finally here.

The tempo is absolutely ferocious and I actually can’t remember the last time my mind was completely and utterly blown like this. After opening with the hit single from Venom, “No Way Out”, Bullet For My Valentine are blasting me right back into my teenage years with three complete knockout blows that are “Your Betrayal”, “Waking the Demon” and “4 Words To Choke Upon”. I couldn’t possibly have asked for a better start personally and judging by the amounts of singing and moshing going on at the Big Top, the crowd feels exactly the same way. I mentioned earlier how I was hoping for a better sounding Bullet tonight and truth to be told, they were absolutely flawless. Six years is a long time for a band and it’s easy to see that they’ve developed into a touring machine. New bassist Jamie Mathias is one massive reason for this. His harsh vocals work extremely well with Matt Tuck’s cleans, and the energy he displays on stage is definitely contagious.

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Bullet For My Valentine

With a mix of old classics/absolute hits that have shaped so many of the of today’s metalcore elite, and songs from the latest record (which, in all fairness, is pretty bloody awesome), Bullet For My Valentine show the Sydney crowd how much they have missed being here, and that they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. If I had any doubts whatsoever before the set, they were quickly annihilated by what turned out to be an absolute masterclass in how to play heavy metal live. It is a night that I doubt any fan of the band will forget anytime soon. All we can hope for now is that it won’t take another three years before they come back to Australia again. I for one definitely can’t wait that long.

Bullet For My Valentine wrap up their 2016 Australia tour tonight at Eatons Hill, Brisbane.

Tickets from Destroy All Lines!

About

Martin is an aspiring music photographer/videographer. He is originally from the southern parts of Sweden and now he's living in Sydney, Australia. Thanks to his older sister, he got into Rammstein at the age of 9, and since then he's been into all types of metal/rock. He loves to combine photography and music, but also filming concerts and produce live material. Follow him on Twitter and check out his website.