As promised, a music related blog post, one that I have been trying to bring to you for over a year. In early 2021 or late 2020, I purchased tickets to go see some live music — however, as we’re very aware here in Australia, it’s only been the last maybe four to six months where live shows have been back in action and that gig was postponed not once, but twice. Now, there’s no ill will here or anything, I feel for the impacts the pandemic and lockdowns had on the music scene, but if anything it made the arrival of the set date more exciting.
Usually I wait a couple of months or just under a year for the dates of shows to roll around. That’s for the bigger ones, not the local joints I like to hit up when I can. Maybe I should write something about those types of trips? But this time it was basically a year and half, which if I’m honest, built up enthusiasm for it and, in turn, the crowd was rowdy and insane. Put a bunch of Aussie metalheads in an 18+ alcohol filled gig for Aussie bands after that long of a wait and it makes sense the chaos that erupted. I loved every second of it, even the weird or negative parts, because now I get to tell this story to you.
The main act, infamous The Amity Affliction, who are known for being very aquatic in tone. (No really, I can’t look at the ocean and not go “ah, like the amity songs”). They’re also known for being intense crowd wise, I’ve never heard of them not having at least one wall of death much like the multiple we had at second Sydney show, located at The Roundhouse.
Although I initially brought tickets for the main act, I was just as excited for the openers Nerve Damage and Waax. Nerve Damage started it all off with an Acknowledgement to Country, which if you’re not Australian, is the acknowledgment for the indigenous peoples who’s land we’re on. I’m sad to say that it is the first time ever that’s ever happened at a concert, and I’ve been a frequent attendee since I was 13 years old. Their set was like the best taster for the night, loud, in your face, and overall politically charged. I am proud to say that I was centre barricade for this show, partly because I travelled out to the venue and always account for traffic issues and such, which left friends and myself there a tad early. However, it meant I had a fantastic view, and was blown away by each act. Especially by Nerve Damage.
Now, I love Waax. I’m not like a super/long term fan or anything (yet anyway) but I knew them, I liked them, and I was excited for them. My expectations? More than met, especially when the ever-so dashing vocalist grabbed my hand. Listen, I nearly shed a tear. The stage presence was lovely, and I am so happy to see women on stage. In fact I even managed to be handed – yes handed not snatched – a setlist. I’ve never managed a set list before. Guitar pics, drum sticks (I think? My memory sucks) even, yes, but never before a setlist.
Okay, onto what you’re all here for, The Amity set. My loves, I don’t know how to tell you this, I think I just had one of the best show experiences of my life. There was fire! FUCKING FIRE! Honestly, I’m glad there was it turned up the temperature and being winter it was so cold that night. The energy was wild, like I said, all the built up time and restlessness made us all crazy. I lost my voice like three songs in, that’s how hard I was screaming. I think I nearly threw up from emotions, it was all so raw. Also there were mirrors? Fun house mirrors maybe? They lit up? I can’t recall exactly but it was cool. The setlist was top tier. Like you always have those conversations with people about songs you want an artist to play, what you hope or think would be cool to be heard, and that set was exactly that. I was a little sad when it was over. Part of me was exhausted and sore (more on that later), and the other part of me didn’t want it to end. I would pay for Amity to preform in my bedroom but they’d probably burn it down.
I’ve told you how much I loved the acts, how good they were, but now for the fun part: the details!
I mentioned centre barricade, which is a brilliant but cursed spot to have. It’s such a “stick it out as long as you can survive” position as you get an entire crowds worth of body weight pressing you into metal. Depending on the type of show of course, some aren’t that aggressive. There’s no shame in lasting one song or the whole act, but I’m excited to say I survived the whole thing without jumping out. Not without escaping some injuries. I am incredibly bruised and aching. One of my calves is black near the knee.
I had some brain cells to bandage up some body piercings before attending, and I’m so thankful for that sober-smart Taylorlani who did that because otherwise there would have been a hospital visit. I did lose an earring as it was jacked out and, to be fair, I don’t remember it happening which goes to show how much was happening at any given moment. It’s okay, I put a safety-pin in it for the time until I got home. God, the adrenaline.
I did nearly have my medusa piercing torn out by a crowd surfers knee, but that’s okay because I did accidentally punch him in the groin trying to lift him up. I’m 5’2 guys, I’m the height of a 12 year old. I genuinely haven’t grown since that age. If you’re that guy, I’m so sorry, really I was trying to not get crushed. Speaking of crowd surfers though, one guy smelled like a metalhead stereotype, and another kicked me in the head. It’s okay, I’m okay, I’m sure they had the time of their lives. Especially the lad who stood on the crowd – yeah like on his legs – and then jumped directly on me. Iconic of them, I’m so weirdly happy I got that on camera too, otherwise I don’t know how to describe it.
I was slammed into the barricade more times than I can count and believe me I know numbers, I can count to ten. Applaud me. It was so hype, it was so rewarding to be back at a live gig like that. But alas, there is always something that leans more negative on the night.
A wonderful gal and lad were elbowing my side, my arm, my body all night really hard and more forceful than the crowd. At first I was like, c’mon you know? But during a quick break between songs they leaned over to apologise and say how they’re trying to stop this one large guy from groping me as he’d been trying all night. Now, I hate to say that this is something I’m used to but I am, and I knew someone had during Nerve Damage, but pushed it aside. I appreciate this couple so much. There’s this stereotype of how metalheads are terrible, big, and scary who will beat you up. But it’s a person thing, not a metalhead thing. Assholes aren’t dictated by genre. Yet, this is the type of attitude I do encounter a fair bit these days. This, like, protective community. Really, I’m so thankful for them, and I’m incredibly grateful that they even went out of their way to do so.
Metal is full of this hand in hand, help each other out, mentality if you look deeper for it, and I’m proud to say I also live by it. I’m short, but there are plenty of girls who are shorter and smaller than me who attend. It’s not hard to help out when crowd surfers head directly for them. Not to say they’re weak, they’re at a crazy metal gig of course they’re not, but having a body thrown at you can be hell, and I do try my best to cover people when I can or it’s safe for me too.
On a more higher note, there was insane pit action, there always is at Amity shows. There was multiple walls of death which even I at the barricade got the privilege to be crushed in. My friend got a guitar pic. We spent money on merch. I took a cup from the ground that was cool and sticky. I saw some limes floating in the air, on the floor. I got sprayed with beer and water, as well as spat on. I’m sorry to cleaners.
It was the most fun I’ve had in ages. I don’t regret a single second of it. I chase the gig adrenaline more than anything in my whole life. It is pure erotica. I’ve been addicted since I was 13 and still wearing a scene mullet with fried bleached hair. I live for music, for live music, for the everything. I love writing about it, the whole thing. It’s more me than if I handed you a bone from a ribs.
Wait for the Good Things 2022 blog post, since I am happy to announce I will be attending. God, I’m so (happily) broke.