Bloodrock – The Bald Faced Stag, Sydney (22-02-2013)

Something amazing happened on Friday night. Musicians, fans, general lovers of music gathered at The Bald Faced Stag to show support to Sal and Mel, who are currently battling leukemia and cystic fibrosis. Hosted by Johnathan Devoy, all proceeds made from the price of admission, the raffle tickets on sale, and merch sold was donated to help these two friends, and close supporters of the music industry.

I walked through the doors as Johnathan Devoy was about to play his solo set, just missing The Vicious Dickens, but it was only 8pm and the room was fairly packed, so I’m going to safely assume they rocked it. In fact every band on the bill did an amazing job. I’m almost a little ashamed to admit it, but this was the first time I actually saw a lot of the bands on the bill, and I can honestly say it won’t be the last.

It was particularly exciting to see Anxiety Whispers play. They are one of those bands that I always hear people talking about, but since I was barely a teenager when they were doing the rounds, I was never exactly familiar with them. After seeing them perform for what has been said to be the last time, I can finally understand why they are talked about so often, and why it will probably be a long time before anyone actually stops.

Tensions Arise was another first for me, and they were super fun to watch. Vocalist Kazzy Kage made his love and support for Sal and Mel endearingly obvious, while the band annihilated our ear drums with groove laden metal; and best of all they all looked to be having the time of their lives on stage – the love and friendship was obvious between the members, which left me “aww-ing” while headbanging. If you’re on the hunt for local metal bands, you need to get yourself to a Tensions Arise gig.

Alternative rock supergroup, Blackbreaks, provided a nice break from the metal onslaught of the evening, complete with political wit. I didn’t quite understand why frontman Chris Dubrow was constantly reminding us how great Kerry on guitar was (perhaps a long running joke I’m not aware of?) but the set was solid, and a band worth checking out next time they play a gig near you.

I was out getting some fresh air, so unfortunately only caught the tail end of Graveyard Rockstars set. I shall make it my mission to see them at a future gig. Of course Our Last Enemy know what they are doing on stage, if memory serves they had the most people up and headbanging for their set. This was their first gig with the new line-up, but having never seen them before, I had nothing to compare it to, and will simply state, they nailed it.

By the time Melody Black hit the stage, the room was slowly emptying – presumably because it was after 1am and people had to leave so they didn’t miss the last trains – as I reluctantly had to. I did get to see Leeno Dee and Phil Bowley perform the ‘surprise’ Candy Harlots song – another exciting moment for me as Candy Harlots was also a band before my time.I didn’t get to see the whole set, but it was the first time I saw AJ on drums, and although admittedly I was a little sad to not see Tubby behind the kit, AJ killed it. From what I saw, Melody Black did what they always do, and that is put on one hell of a show, successfully drawing a close to a downright amazing night.

Full band lineup:

The Vicious Dickens

Johnathan Devoy

Tensions Arise

Anxiety Whispers


Graveyard Rockstars

Our Last Enemy

Melody Black


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