Calling All Cars, After The Fall @ The Evelyn, Melbourne (05/12/09)

Taking over The Evelyn hotel with a host of fellow pop/punk rockers, Calling All Cars celebrated the end of their Go Hunting Tour with style and went out with what can only be described as a stellar finish. With everything from high energy and a colourful light display to impressive instrumentals and a true rock –  “n’ roll finale; it was truly a night of quality sounding and quality performed music.

To kick it all off, local three-piece The Quarters stepped out onto the stage with charisma and enthusiasm. Utilising a basic, yet catchy beat their performance was alive with movement and vigour. However, this was accompanied by a lyrical simplicity that did not speak well for their song-writing abilities. Their words failed to convey much meaning or emotion to the audience and consequently stirred a varied response. A band that has much potential with a promising sound and demanding stage presence, but currently, due to the somewhat juvenile nature of their lyrics, they may be better aimed at a younger demographic.

Sending the night in more of a classic rock direction, FANGS! followed with an increase in volume and an increase in crowd members. Demanding instant crowd respect with their true rock qualities including the stance, the hairstyles, the grungy vocals and the slightly clichíƒÆ’í‚©d tattoos. Despite some technical problems with a guitar, the entire band produced a highly animated and impassioned performance. With an inviting showmanship, smooth synchronisation and songs with the potential to become rock anthems, FANGS! won over the entire room.

Continuing with the same theme of high entertainment, After The Fall filled the place of main support. Immediately captivating, each band member was as animated and as attention-grabbing as each other, bringing it all together with a flawless unison and a tight, polished finish. Moreover, frontman Ben Windsor’s vocals were far from a disappointment. He presented a strong and perfectly genre-suited voice for the entirety of the set, and captured the audience with his humbling smiles and his use of the stage. A true performer who definitely knows how to actively work a room.

The set list consisted of a range of songs from all three of their albums, including singles and major crowd-pleasers Mirror, Mirror, Concrete Boots, The Fighter and Sunshine Showers. It is hard to fault such an invigorating performance.

After a quick set change and a hugely warm welcome, Calling All Cars eagerly took to the stage and launched straight into their energetic end of tour celebrations. Right from the opening song the Melbourne three-piece reached out to their audience, engaging with them and involving them in every aspect possible. Obviously seasoned performers, they were performing for the audience, rather than for their own benefit, and the rewards were endless for the very full Evelyn crowd.

Although the audience was far from being a raging rock assembly, everyone had their eyes locked on the performers and was enjoying the music in their own way, whether it was mouthing along with the lyrics or simply nodding their head. The room was engrossed, and this was not to be reversed until the set had come to a close.

Drawing on songs that ranged from more in-your-face rock, to pop/punk sounds, and even a slower song or two, they played a wide variety of tracks from their impressive catalogue. Pairing this with powerful instrumentals of an ideal length (in which they displayed immense skill and originality, without letting it drag), they had themselves a greatly dynamic set list. And to complete and compliment their musical effort, that crisp, intimate-setting sound penetrated the room.

Finishing the tour with more than just a bang, After The Fall and FANGS! joined Calling All Cars on the stage for their closer, with a series of props and a creative attitude. Great to see such inter-band closeness, the boys celebrated together in true rock –  “n’ roll style with lots of beer, lots of crazy antics (including a ladder and chairs) and lots of jamming. Soaking up the appreciation of their hard work, the bands and the fans enjoyed every last minute and as they left the stage all that could be seen was a dismantled drum kit and a whole heap of mess. The perfect ending for any rock tour.