In my eyes, High Tension are one of the best metal acts in Australia at the moment, so, seeing them at The Barwon Club has been a dream of mine for a while now.
Opening with ‘Red White Shame’ and going straight into ‘Ghost to Ghost’ was an absolute pearler of an opener, especially considering it’s the same opening two songs that kick off ‘Purge’ – the bands third album which was released earlier this year.
With Karina being on the floor for 95 per cent of the set and getting right into punters face while screaming her unique vocals, it was hard to not be in awe.
Songs such as ‘Ular’ really highlighted the extent of High Tensions talent, with Lauren Hammel, for lack of a better word, going ape-shit on the drums and busting out as many intricate fills as she could.
It was also really nice to see some older tracks such as ‘Bully’ and ‘Sports’ thrown into the setlist, which really won over the crowd through the droney doom-esque riffs and basslines.
Whilst it was fairly obvious that the primarily older crowd who had flocked to the BC on a quaint Tuesday evening weren’t exactly there to see High Tension, you could really see how the crowd’s response positively altered throughout the bands set. Before long, it was a room of people head-banging who where well and truly amped up for what was to come
By the time The Bronx hit the stage, the BC was packed out, which is not to say that’s surprising because it’s “the mother-fucking Bronx,” but for a Tuesday night and a significantly older crowd, I didn’t really know what to expect.
Were these old blokes just going to stand around and drink beers to one of the most exciting punk acts to see live?
No. Fucking. Chance.
From the second The Bronx hit the stage, opening with ‘The Unholy Hand’ off Bronx IV, people where going haywire. Stage dives, some failed backflip attempts and a crazy mosh later we were well into the headliners 20 song set list.
‘Shitty Future’ and ‘Heart Attack American’ got the crowd moving more than I’d ever seen at the Barwon Club… Okay, maybe not more than I’d ever seen because lets face it, if you saw The Peep Temple at Negative Waves you know that there’s a lot to compete against, but, it was honestly something you had to see to believe.
‘Notice of Eviction’ found Matt Caughthran, who will be regarded as one of the best punk stage men of all time, diving off the amp stack and spending majority of the song in the crowd singing with the punters.
As he kept reaffirming, ‘It’s all good, it’s only rock n roll, don’t worry’, it was hard not too, how could you be worried with The Bronx performing their magic in front of you?
From the sheer amount of iPhones the begun recording as the riff to Knifeman’ kicked in, you know that’s what some people where there to see but that didn’t stop it from being the craziest song of the set.
With the band returning for a three song encore featuring the likes of ‘Stranger Danger’ and ‘History’s Stranglers’, it was honestly hard to tell who was having more fun; the crowd or the band itself, with everyone soaking up the last moments of one of the best regional shows Geelong has hosted in quite some time.
As Caughthran kindly announced, “I don’t know if the Bronx is coming back to Ballarat, but I’ll tell you right now, I, 100 per cent fucking guarantee that The Bronx is coming back to Geelong.”
We can only hope that he is a an of his word, because if this holds true, don’t miss out. Seeing a band of that calibre, with that much energy in a room as small as our humbled Barwon Club’s band room was an unforgettable experience that I would recommend to anyone, regardless of their taste in music.
Where: The Barwon Club, Geelong
When: Tuesday October 30
Reviewed by Alex Callan
Photos sourced from Bronx Socials