TRACES (CAN’T STOP ME AUST TOUR) w/ The Motion Below, Furious George & Elements @ The Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar, January 2020

I’ve been supporting this Heavy Melodic Alternative band from Tamworth in New South Wales since the release of their 2017 EP Change. They have a passion and a maturity beyond their years that I could really appreciate and resonate with. I was absolutely blown away when I first listened to their single Broken, being able to fuse several styles of music together and tie it together with Jack’s mesmerizing vocal delivery and inspiring lyrical content. And to top all of this off, they also record, mix, master and produce of their own music as well as film their own music videos and design their cover artwork. That is something to be truly proud of! https://tracesaustralia.bandcamp.com/album/change

More recently, I’ve been connecting with the boys online through social media platforms as well as several live-stream videos in which they hosted some Q&A sessions, a guitar play-through and revealing what they’ve been working on musically in their home-based studio. It’s very rare that you see musicians who are both extremely talented and extremely humble at the same time but this is the very thing I love about them. They take the time to connect with their fans and they also appreciate every opportunity they receive. https://www.facebook.com/tracesaustralia/videos/

To say that I was really excited to meet these boys in person and to see them perform live is an understatement. Today there was a forecast temperature of 37 degrees in Melbourne! I know what my limits are when it comes to extreme heat as I am very susceptible to its effects (light headedness, physical and mental exhaustion, dehydration, increased heart rate). But I wasn’t going to let this stop me from attending! I just have to be prepared for it by drinking plenty of water, wearing sun protection and pacing myself (resting when needed). https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/how-to-cope-and-stay-safe-in-extreme-heat

There is also the lingering threat of the Novel Coronavirus! I’ve honestly been in two minds about how seriously I should take this information with many conflicting news reports in the media and warnings from the Australian Government! Should we all be wearing face masks when we’re outside or around members of the general public? I don’t know! Are the media and the government covering up the truth? Possibly! It doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence when nobody knows for sure how deadly this virus really is.

But again, I wasn’t going to let this stop me from going out to the show! If I end up getting infected (I mean, I really hope that I don’t), so be it. That’s life! https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/novel-coronavirus.aspx

When it comes to preparing for and attending local gigs, my brain often runs through a huge mental checklist to make sure that I don’t forget anything (Tickets? Check! Water bottle? Check! Hat? Check!). Plus allowing myself enough time to get there is equally as important. When I got to Jordanville station, everything seemed to be running smoothly…until I heard the announcement from the loudspeaker (Flinders Street train will be delayed by 20 minutes). Just what you need on an extremely hot Melbourne day!

So of course I had to endure the now 41 degree heat while waiting for my train to arrive. I was a little worried that I wouldn’t make it to the show on time thanks to the delays but I found out that Elements wouldn’t be starting until around 8pm which gave me a buffer to work with. Getting off at Melbourne Central station, I swiftly walked up Elizabeth Street towards the venue (I was also busting for the toilet at this point)!

I noticed several people wearing surgical marks or respiratory masks but I tried not to let this deter me. I had a quick pit stop at the nearby McDonald’s and bumped into Tom and Tori while I was finding a seat. Typically, my coffee was boiling hot and refusing to cool down plus I was running out of time! So I decided to finish it on the way. When I got inside the band room at The Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar, I could feel myself buzzing from the caffeine I just consumed! I was on a positive high, putting myself out there socially before the show officially started.

Of course my anxiety was trying hard to counteract this with unrealistic social expectations (Why isn’t that person talking to me? Hmm maybe they don’t recognize me with the hat on!) but I did the best I could to ignore it! Overall, I had a really good time and ticked off a lot of boxes which I hadn’t done previously.

ELEMENTS…To be honest, I really didn’t know what to expect from this Melbourne-based metalcore band! I knew that they were originally a duo consisting of Joshua Flint on vocals and Adam Haley-Perko on guitar. Plus they dropped a three-track release in October last year! Tonight they played their first live show as a five piece band! It sounded a little rough around the edges at times and they did have a few stuff ups but musically they absolutely smashed it with lots of heavy breakdowns and futuristic electronic samples. I think that this band has the potential to go a long way!                                                                Set List: Lucidity, Six Foot Hole, cover of the Architect’s track Doomsday and PREY! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVqgeJNMP1KCIKJVYyU9_9w

FURIOUS GEORGE…Every time I see this band play, they always manage to put a smile on my face! Vocalist Jake Mandaliti was rocking out as usual with his wild mop of hair and colourful, psychedelic-looking shirt (which was actually a collage of different Pokemon)! The band were previously seen at this exact venue last year and they managed to deliver any equally incredible performance here with dark menacing screams and epic guitar riffs. It’s always a good time! Set List: Hell, Egodeath, Repose and Devoid! https://furiousgeorgeau.bandcamp.com/

THE MOTION BELOW…The last time I saw these boys perform was at their EP Launch Show last year and now they’re back here for round two! Vocalist Thomas Katgert was very entertaining, making some light hearted jokes which didn’t go entirely to plan and giving a highly passionate performance! Backing vocalists Ryan Matheson and Stephen Latocha were equally as good with their clean vocals. A very tight and impressive set! Set List: Figureheads, Wasted Years and State of Decay! https://music.apple.com/au/album/cronus-complex-ep/1469929282

TRACES…Despite facing some technical issues at the last minute, it was absolutely worth the wait seeing this band perform! It was a near surreal experience for me as I’ve been supporting and following these guys for a long time and now I’m seeing them in the flesh! I could tell that the crowd around me were just as giddy and elated as I was, belting out the lyrics and even jumping around at the end of their set!

Guitarist Ryan Sanchez Crane could be seen wearing his black bandit mask (reminding me of a ninja warrior) and pulling out some wicked guitar spins on stage! It was also really amusing to see drummer Isaiah Olig-grennan rocking a very stylish cowboy hat during the show, which looked like something Russell Coight or Indiana Jones might wear! As for vocalist Jack Pallett, he was truly amazing and inspirational as he spoke on the importance of music and bringing people together as a community!

While it was a shame that their set got cut short due to time constraints and the venue’s curfew, it didn’t seem to bother me that much at all. I think I just appreciated the fact that I was finally able to catch these boys performing live on stage. I left feeling more than satisfied! Set List: Can’t Stop Me, (New Song), The Light, Rain and Broken. https://music.apple.com/nz/album/cant-stop-me-single/1481772386

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