A Day To Remember @ The Astor Theatre, Perth (08/05/11)

An all ages audience poured into the Astor Theatre with their tickets to one seriously sold out show to see two huge international acts that would blow an average Sunday night out of the water.

Straight off the plane from their Australian Tour, Perth’s metal act Make Them Suffer played a show full of brutality and intense riffs. Stage presence was top form from the first song to the last and bassist Christopher Arias-Real’s milling abilities were incomparable to others in Perth. For their genre, they are unbelievable, but they just didn’t suit as support for the headlining acts; and throwing their plastic CD cases containing their EP into the blackened audience is never a good idea.

UnderOath hit the stage opening with In Regards to Myself conveying a fierce energy and vigorous guitar work that had the fans in the audience ignite at the sound. It’s their first Australian tour without drummer/singer Aaron Gillespie and his absence was noticeable when it came to the clean vocals in some of their older tracks as the lack of volume in the mics highlighted the inevitable. This left no displeasure however as It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door implemented a mosh-driven, singing frenzy from fans.

Spencer Chamberlin is a well-deserving front man, moving across the stage in a snake-like sexual way captivating the audience. Ex-Norma Jean drummer Daniel Davidson complimented the band with his insane skills and Chamberlin’s remarkably broadend vocals were proven as they played new tracks In Division, Illuminator and Paper Lung, engulfing the stage with their metalcore performance.

The band surprised the crowd playing an old favourite that no fan could deny they liked at one point, A Boy Brushed Red Living in Black and White. The mosh exploded into screaming lyrics and jumping about and finishing the night with Writing on the Walls brought on one more hit of power, passion and endurance.

The moment A Day to Remember were due on stage it became clear this wouldn’t be a normal gig, but a theatrically infused performance that would not disappoint. One unlike any show Perth had seen where confetti, beach balls, balloons and toilet paper are just a start. Two curtains dropped and the blackness turned into an aesthetically stimulating stage as confetti exploded into the audience and the band got straight into Sticks and Bricks.

Alex Shelnutt’s double kick, together with Josh Woodwards’s heavy bass riffs, thundered through the Astor, where vibrations ran through your body as frontman Jeremy McKinnon bellowed out I Heard it’s the Softest Thing Ever. Known for infusing pop-punk with heavy breakdowns and screams, A Day to Remember transported this straight with Better Off This Way and a surging wave of energy and passion straight from the stage to the audience was evident in My Life for Hire.

Even as they got into their newer song All I Want, there was no lack of support from the crowd as they erupted in a massive sing-along and crowd surfers start popping up in the jumping mosh.

Obvious crowd favourite, I’m Made of Wax Larry, What Are You Made Of? had the band move around the stage in a pop-punk energised performance. Toilet rolls appeared out of nowhere and the entire audience flew them around while singing loudly. Mr. Highway’s Thinking About The End brought out the heavier side with profound breakdowns and ending with a melody of true ADTR style.

When a circle pit was encouraged and grew rapidly, the audience began standing on chairs, proving that the venue is not exactly ideal for this type of show. Monument delivered more excitement from the stage not just from the band but the giant gorilla shooting t-shirts to the crowd from a t-shirt cannon. Leading straight on from this Homesick was without a doubt the show highlight, not just because it was an audience favourite but also for the fact McKinnon climbed into a life-sized inflatable hamster ball and crowd surfed/rolled over the audience in an unbelievable stunt.

As they reluctantly left the stage there was no doubt an encore would follow and surprisingly, McKinnon and guitarist Kevin Skaff came back on stage armed with acoustic guitars and captured the audience with the ever popular If It Means A Lot To You. Beach balls came at the crowd from all directions and the band rejoined to finish with Downfall of us All.

Perfecting and balancing the catchy and heavy elements they are famous for, A Day to Remember captured the audience with this performance, but it leaves the lingering question of when exactly did bands turn from shredding a stage with their talent and passion in their music rather than making it an extravaganza full of gimics and showing off?