Live Review: Anberin, The Academy Is, Werewolves @ The Hi-Fi, Brisbane 27 August 2009

Anberin, The Academy Is, Werewolves @ Hi-Fi Brisbane – 27 August 2009
Review by: Hannah Collins


On arrival at the venue, the long line of youths, streaming well down the road stands out like a sore thumb. Doors open sharply at 8 and upon wandering into the venue through a narrow side street entrance, sounds of the first act Werewolves, bellow down the stairs. On entry into the main viewing area, it’s notable that the crowds are still streaming in, an array of indie pop rock lovers complimentary to the line up of the evening. The atmosphere was positive, with most onlookers standing patiently in a favored spot, making sure they secure a position to get the possible best view of Bands to come.

The venue was perfect. Clean, new and open, with clear viewing of the main stage from both sides, rear bar and upper balcony. Well suited, dim but clear lighting made it easier for all to navigate through the flurry on the main floor.

Werewolves in mid set, are throwing out the simple but effective sounds. Utilizing their keyboard to it’s full extent in many songs, the synth effects elevate their vocal melodies in the choruses. Drumming is light but punchy, bringing with it a subtle punky overture that compliments the lighter guitar and bass contrast. Not a huge crowd response but well received, they head out back and make room for The Academy Is.

Alternative pop rock from Chicago,The Academy Is, front man William Becket, ushers interaction from the audience with his highly energetic presence. Although his vocals were too low to clearly hear over the percussion for the first few songs, the sound production team sorts it out within a few minutes. Throwing the mike stand around like a baton, he entices a sing along during the punchy melodic chorus of “Neighbours” a definite crowd favorite. As the set picks up pace by the third song, Adam Siska (bass) is already on high throttle, throwing away his pick to desperate fans in the front row, reaching for a second, and then a third, tucked into the chord on his mike stand. Andy “The Butcher” Mrotek sits bare chested behind his kit, showing off a rather large eagle tattoo across his chest, while he pumps out short and fast beats that provide the band with solid rhythm and tempo’s. Although all songs are quite short, the further into the set they get, the faster the tempo becomes, with their lyrics openly gravitating around positive life perspectives and experiences, with Becket voicing lyrics like “hold your head high” and “I’ve got my feet back”.

During AB’s check the atmosphere was surprisingly subdued. Anberlin appear from behind the stage curtain and are greeted with a roar from the dedicated fans that have now waited over 2 hours to see them. Opening with a bang, Anberlins’ presence sees the excitement elevate as they rip out their dynamic melodies, catchy rock beats and pop punk undertones. Stephen Christian sounds close to perfect, with his precise vocal range hitting every note right on key, tying together the rest of the band. Anberlins current line up works a charm, Stephen Christian, vox, Nathan Strayer and Joseph Milligan on guitar, Deon Rexroat on bass and Nathan Young on drums, the combination elevates them all to a higher arena, as they successfully tie together all elements of their music, and show us the musicianship they’re renowned for. Bringing together acoustics, synth, punk beats, and the attention commanding vocals of Christian, Anberlin keep it tight right to the end of the set.

Advising of work on a new album, Christian takes time to let the audience know just how much they love Brisbane, announcing that Anberlin have now made more on stage appearances in Brisvegas than they have in their home town. Moving directly into “Adelaide”, a song with one of the catchiest choruses Anberlin have to offer, the response from the audience was deafening. People are now dancing around the floor, the small mosh type accumulation down front starts moving up and down as fans begin jumping in their places. “Hello Alone” sees the excitement elevate even higher, fists thrust into the air throughout the assault of the guitar and drums.

Making it to the end of the set via a flurry of sweaty dancing fans, Anberlin expose themselves as one of the most diverse and catchy acts in their genre. Leaving not one person wanting, they thank the audience for making the night a real experience and in turn, we thank Anberlin for making the night so enjoyable for the 100’s that attended.

Review by: Hannah Collins
Quote: “Anberlin expose themselves as one of the most diverse and catchy acts in their genre…”

Venue: Hi-Fi Brisbane