Parkway Drive - Capitol, 15/09/13
Parkway Drive are the defining Australian Metal act of our generation. However, as with all good bands, their newer material progressed and swallowed in hordes of new fans around the world. So inevitably we, the older fans, get a little sad when our old favs go MIA from live sets. That’s why, in their 10th year, Parkway Drive wanted to do an anniversary tour of Australia, pulling from their oldest EP with 'I Watched' (one of this guy’s favourite Parkway Drive songs) as well as cuts form Atlas, their latest full length.
This gig followed their sold out U18 set the previous day (CJ from Thy Art Is Murder telling me that the young ones at Freo were fucking mental), and is the first of two nights at Capitol in Perth. Support on the night came from Perth deathcore upstarts Make Them Suffer, and a now world conquering Thy Art Is Murder.
Make Them Suffer made great use of the quickly swelling crowd, many of whom must have come early to catch their set, and got the crowd warmed up. They were very tight, and we were really digging the melodic lines from the pianist, a great point of difference they have over other, more generic, deathcore bands. The progression from their EP to their album was noticeable, with the newer tracks 'Neverbloom' and 'Maelstrom' being, shall I say, more palatable for the Parkway Drive crowd than the older more extreme songs like 'Summoning Storms', though it is obvious to see they have an established following here. I really liked hearing Make Them Suffer on the Capitol PA system, and the mix was great, a good sign of things to come.
And then Thy Art Is Murder hit the stage, CJ coming out in a huge hoodie jacket, staring menacingly at the crowd. This is when shit got pretty hectic in the pit. Their mosh friendly jams sending the crowd into a frenzy, especially over the material cut from Hate, Thy Art Is Murder’s newest LP which saw them tour the world. They appeared to be really enjoying playing to such a receptive audience and there was a lot of interaction with the crowd, something which usually is a little neglected by bands in the genre. I felt that although their newer pieces were receiving a lot of love, it was their older, more technical stuff which really impressed me. Being a Thy Art Is Murder virgin, I was happy with the experience, and they finished really strong with a couple of great songs with 'Whore To A Chainsaw' going off!
The crowd swelled, like the seas Parkway Drive dream about so oft, the sudden influx of attendance filling the place, before Jeff gave Winston A D and the floor opened up. McCall promised a huge set spanning their whole 10 year catalogue and that’s exactly what we heard. Opening with 'I Watched', they wasted no time in getting the crowd’s collective juices flowing. This song is easily the most emotive and hate filled jam, and the pit went nuts. Parkway Drive went through their discography in chronological order, ditching some of the ‘overplayed’ songs in favour of more neglected tracks and we all got to hear some songs we hadn't heard them play live in years.
As with the two openers, the mix was great, the sound carrying fully throughout the venue whether you were at the front, the circle pit or upstairs with a relaxed vibe. Relaxed was not the order of the night though, and with the ‘back to their roots’ style of the tour, the barrier between the stage and the crowd was non-existent. This resulted in a constant barrage of stage-diving, crowd-surfing and crazy banana clad antics. I’m not kidding, for the last few tracks I’m unsure as to whether anyone in the pit was actually standing.
They must have rehearsed hard for these shows, because they hit the old songs hard, and for an hour and a half put on of the most memorable sets I’ve ever seen. Other highlights included breakthrough single from Horizons, 'Boneyards', there’s blood in the water alright, and a little vomit in the pit, don’t know where that came from. 'Swing' was another highlight from their latest, Atlas, which commenced after Winston declared they’ve got time for “one more fucking fast one”.
The Byron Bay lads dug deep through their crates and played tracks from Don’t Close Your Eyes, Killing With A Smile, Horizons, Deep Blue and Atlas. This show was mental, and for the encore, 'Carrion' was played as the stage filled up with concert goers hanging out with the band, it was literally full, guitars kinda floating above and the drums kinda, well I don’t know how Ben Gordon was playing the seemingly moving, living drumset. Luke, Jia and Jeff somehow finished the song and ended a great gig. The best thing about any Parkway Drive show is the band member’s love for the audience, which is evident for the constant ear to ear smiles on their collective face. It’s refreshing to see a band as big as Parkway Drive, who have played at as many open air festivals in Europe and America as they, be so proud and thrilled to play to a small crowd in Perth, more points when they play 'I Watched' and 'Don’t Close Your Eyes'. Back to back.