“I AM CHEMICAL MIRACLE”
Trophy Eyes +
The Hard Aches + Trash Boat + Rumours
@ The Metro Theatre
Fresh from US and UK tours, Trophy Eyes brought their sold-out Home Is Australia tour to Sydney on Friday, August 25, hot on the heels of a UK tour with Moose Blood (UK) and a slot on the US Warped Tour, as well as an Australian tour in February to celebrate Chemical Miracle, their second album which was released in October 2016. It was the first time I saw Trophy Eyes, and I’ll be damned if I’ve ever felt a more welcoming atmosphere, ferocious energy and a chill-inducing ambience. As I approached the door to the Metro all I felt was excitement. Trophy Eyes are one of my favourite bands, and I always find it interesting to see who my favourite artists bring on tour with them. Rumours, Trash Boat and The Hard Aches. I hadn’t heard anything by any of the bands, but I was blown-away. All three bands served up something very unique, Rumours with a generally softer and steadier set, while Trash Boat got the crowd pumped, before The Hard Aches closed out the opening acts. Trash Boat in particular got my attention. Vocalist Tobi Duncan showed amazing control and power of his clean and unclean vocals and had a massive energy. The sea of the crowd started to part and the pits opened up, which The Hard Aches made even more intense. Soon, Trophy Eyes arrived onstage, starting their set with Home Is, a song with a soft opening verse before launching into explosive drumming, and fast, heavy guitars that the crowd reveled in.
Trophy Eyes ran through a hit-laden start to the set, with Breathe You In, Counting Sheep and Nosebleed, before reaching into their back-catalogue to their more punk and hardcore roots with songs from their 2014 debut album Mend, Move On and EP release Everything Goes Away, like Bandaid. The mosh at this point was insane, with scores of people crowdsurfing over the barricades to the waiting arms of the security guards.
I can honestly say I have never seen anyone empower an audience like lyricist and vocalist John Floreani. After playing a few of their older songs, John stepped to the front and spoke to the crowd about mental health, to ask your friends how they are and to know there is help. He asked the crowd to get lighters, flashlights and phone lights, raise them and say “I am Chemical Miracle” before the lights dimmed and the band launched into Miracle, a short, heavy, heart-wrenching song, before erupting into Suicide Pact.
The final song of the set was Heaven Sent, my favourite Trophy Eyes song. The song starts a lot slower, but powerful song, building from verse to refrain to chorus in a rousing crescendo. After the last refrain, before the end chorus, the music stopped for a second, the lights cut, then burst on, covering everyone in the Metro while silver streamers and confetti fell from the ceiling. Pure magic.
As the crowd chanted for an encore, Floreani came out alone and picked up an acoustic guitar, starting the slow guitar work for Daydreamer, the final song on Chemical Miracle, before the last song of the night, Chlorine.
I cannot recommend a band more highly than Trophy Eyes. Throughout their second album, 2016 release Chemical Miracle the band showed that they have the quality, maturity and capability to become a force in rock and punk music. It would not surprise me to see Trophy Eyes high up the bill at major music festivals like Splendour in the Grass or Laneway in the next few years. Trophy Eyes playing at the Metro was one of the best shows I have ever experienced, and to anyone who has tickets, missed out on them or plan to see them in the future, one thing is certain; they will draw you in with one of the most enchanting and intense sets you’ll see. For me, to see them at the best venue in Sydney for my very first live review will always stay with me, and I can’t recommend checking them out highly enough. Flawless clean and unclean vocals, infectious energy, amazing instrumentation and a breathtaking atmosphere make for an amazing set from one of Australia’s best bands.
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