Live Review | Dead Letter Circus + Closure in Moscow + Wolves @ The Hi-Fi Bar, Melbourne – 24 August 2011

Review – Billy Geary
The meteoric rise of Dead Letter Circus in the past 18 months is no secret. Having quickly moved from the small, intimate feel of the Espy to regularly selling out the substantially bigger HiFi Bar and touring the UK and America, its fair to say that DLC are doing all right. Back in Melbourne for yet another jaunt around Australia, this time for their “No Fracking Way” Tour, Brisbane alternative rock darlings Dead Letter Circus were at the top of their game on Wednesday night.

Opening band Wolves played their unique brand of indie rock, complete with off kilter rhythms and jangly guitars. Vocalist Adam Burford is clearly a great front man, while violinist Rachael Aquilina added an extra dimension to the band’s sound. The obscenely catchy ‘Mina’ and ‘Children’ went down exceedingly well with the slowly filling up room, both featuring overtly infectious choruses. The Perth five pieces most definitely left with a lot of new fans after Wednesday night and they definitely deserve it.

To say Closure in Moscow were polarising on Wednesday night would be an understatement. There were two main and vastly differing opinions after their set, with half of the crowd having loved it, while others expressing their distaste quite vehemently. Much of this stemmed from the on stage antics of eternally hyperactive front man Christopher de Cinque, whose obscene amounts of energy was too much for some. Despite a rather icy reception from parts of the crowd, Closure in Moscow put on a great set, showing they’ve still got it after an extended period of hibernation. Their set consisted mainly of songs taken from their debut album First Temple, with ‘Kissing Cousins,’ ‘Reindeer Age’ and ‘Vanguard’ all getting a run. The only real downer on the set for this reviewer was a rather sloppy rendition of closer ‘Sweet#hart,’ by far and away the band’s best song.

Given Dead Letter Circus had just returned home from doing 29 shows in 30 days in America, it would have been understandable if the quintet were a little off. However, Kim Benzie and crew bounded out on stage as if it was their first show in a year, launching straight into ‘The Mile,’ sending the sold out crowd into an immediate frenzy. This trend continued through much of the set as the band tore through EP and album favourites ‘Reaction,’ ‘This Long Hour’ and ‘Lines.’ An undoubted highlight of the set was the inclusion of old favourite ‘Tremors,’ which particularly delighted the long time fans that were present, not to mention an impromptu drum solo from resident skins man Luke Williams who looked like he loved the chance to show off his ridiculous talent. Benzie was huge behind the mic, pitch perfect all night and encouraging sing-a-long after sing-a-long, with ‘Disconnect and Apply’ seemingly seeing the whole HiFi Bar scream out its trademark ‘see you at work on Monday’ climax. ‘One Step’ and ‘Cage’ drew massive responses from the audience, with the band lapping it up as they threw themselves around the stage. Bassist Stewart Hill and keyboard/guitarist Tom Skerlj were balls of energy, while Rob Maric had his delay soaked guitar in overdrive.

Closing out the set with the fast paced ‘Next In Line’ before an enormous rendition of ‘Here We Divide’ and ‘This Is The Warning’ as the encore, it was safe to admit that Melbourne had, once again, been rocked to the core by Dead Letter Circus. Make no mistake, this bunch of musos from Brisbane have made it. The only question left is how much bigger they’re going to get.

Review – Billy Geary

Artists: Dead Letter Circus –
Closure in Moscow –
Wolves –
Venue: The Hi-Fi, Melbourne –
Date: 24th August 2011

Related: Photo Gallery – Dead Letter Circus, Closure in Moscow @ The Hi-Fi Bar, Melbourne – 24 August 2011

Click here to view gallery.