IN HEARTS WAKE
DREAM ON DREAMER / BEING AS AN OCEAN / ENDLESS HEIGHTS / SIERRA
The Bald Faced Stag, Sydney 13/06/2014
Two shows from the end of the all but sold out Earthwalker tour (in support of the headliner’s recent third album of the same name), it was no surprise to find the madness of this five-band bill well trodden and established by now.
Mount Gambier’s Sierra made the most of their opening slot, with large thanks to a truly amazing frontman who had dropped the mic before saying a word into it, and proceeded to use the lead more as a leash for the rest of the set as he prowled the floor. The band dished up post-hardcore with enough ringing chords to allow guitarist-pumped fists over the workhorse drumming.
A series of tech screw-ups meant that for all their energy, Endless Heights were only patchily audible for the first few songs of their set. By the time “Mosaic” rolled around the kinks were ironed out and the band took flight – the timing could not have been better, the fruitier dual guitar work of the bridge hitting particularly hard as all pieces of the puzzle finally fell in place. These fruitier and slower moments show them making steps towards deconstructing the genre on show on the night and making it very much their own.
The sole internationals on the tour, California’s Being As An Ocean opened with a polite introduction and rapidly followed with a breakdown. Delivering an empowering brand of hardcore, a manic Joel Quartuccio turned the stage into a soapbox with his talk-singing teetering. While new drummer Connor Dennis shined, another recent recruit, Michael McGough, seems to have a little too much on his plate, unable to sing clean while playing his instrument; every chorus dropped to a single guitar.
Kicking off with “The World In Front Of Me” from last year’s Loveless album, Dream On Dreamer announced their arrival to the stage by, seemingly, turning everything in reach up to 11. While the deafening levels came at the cost of nearly any subtlety, the wash of indiscriminate noise undeniably heaved the crowd into action. It is a nice change for the obligatory clean singing to now be in tune, and Zachary Britt even manages to do so while playing guitar no less. Also sporting a new drummer (a last minute fill in was required as Dream On Dreamer drummer Aaron Fiocca was hospitalised a week out from tour due to cancer, tonight’s rendition of “Hope” particularly rousing as a result), despite the short notice he dominated tonight’s set – a brilliant sounding kit often all that was discernible aside from vocals in a set that drew heavily on Loveless, but also featured a new song premiered on this tour. “Hear Me Out”, with its R’n’B chorus, made the Stag feel more like a club than a gig, but one that was going off, and perhaps best captures the rhythmic control Dream On Dreamer display over their audience.
The night’s headliners In Hearts Wake did an even better job than Dream On Dreamer of combining the two incongruent elements, turning the Stag in turns into a dance club and a hardcore gig. Echoing many of the politics espoused by Quartuccio – the power we possess, the importance of the scene, of making a difference, of positive change – frontman Jake Taylor had an almost seamless performance, the difference being no one had access to his personal wireless microphone – he certainly wasn’t about to offer it up for crowd participation – and things shouldn’t be that “Sacred” at a show without a barrier, should they?
in hearts wake
DREAM ON DREAMER
BEING AS AN OCEAN