Pics – Zach Hogg
Review – Dan Etiel
Get ready to catch feels as Manchester Orchestra have come to Brisbane, with a quiet (yet ferocious) passion.
The Other Guys
Slaughter Beach, Dog croons to an eager early crowd (who by the end of the set have filled the room) with his gentle coastie vocals and delightful ballads. The almost whimsical acoustic set is a perfect primer to what will inevitably be a night full of passionate music.
The Main Squeeze
To say Manchester Orchestra is one of the more enigmatic acts around today is an understatement. Andy Hull and co. take to the stage poised to scream out a belter, but instead instantly command the audiences attention with a tender rendition of The Maze as their opener.
Then, there it is, just as the final notes play the band pretty much physically launch into The Moth – giving it a weightier, more brooding (if that’s even possible) feel.
A flurry of hard-hitting tracks follow, showcasing the highlights of A Black Mile to the Surface – as well as crowd favourites from the band’s back catalogue like I’ve Got Friends, Simple Math & Shake It Out. An incredible light show complements the show throughout and the atmosphere is charged with emotion.
Tonight’s set is definitely on the heavy side, but it’s captivating to watch the band go for from strumming their hearts out to delicately plucking at strings as Hull’s signature vocals (just as perfectly raw as any recording) consistently hypnotise the audience. It’s hard not to get sucked into the vulnerability of his performance.
That’s not to say the rest of the band aren’t just as much a reason the performance is so powerful. Guitarists Robert McDowell and Andy Prince treat the audience to equal parts heavy & delicate rhythm sections, whilst Tim Very’s drums round out the band’s very precise sound. I’d say it’s located directly in the middle of a Venn diagram consisting of grunge, classic rock and folk but that might throw you for a loop.
And that’s exactly what Manchester Orchestra does right through to their final song for the night – The Silence. The show is familiar, yet strange; infused with an energy you won’t hear through your headphones.
“Thank you for not throwing paddle pop boxes at me.” – Slaughter Beach, Dog in reference to an Wollongong gig, days prior.
“Oh this isn’t a conversation type thing.” Andy Hull in response to a crowd member asking how is day was.