Ceremony, Nuclear Summer, Shackles, Fvck Mountain @ Crowbar, Brisbane (06/07/12)

Now going under a new alias Crowbar, (formerly Basement 243) The newly named dwelling plays host to one of the most anticipated nights on the hardcore(ish) calendar. All the way from the U.S. of A. Ceremony have won over countless fans in the storm created by their latest release Zoo and tonight Australian fans get to have a taste of the hype.

Kicking off the affairs somewhat early, Brisbane’s Fvck Mountain instantly command control over the venue already quite full of eager punters. The band are tight with the interplay between the rhythm section and the harsh grizzly vocals. As the label says – they’re aggressive, and tonight’s set definitely got the energy going.

A heavier addition to tonight’s line up are Northern NSW’s Shackles have a feeling and stage presence that is definitely more towards the metal side of things, with their music recalling the sounds of Napalm Death and Lamb of God. The band perform well and there is nothing wrong with their music, however it just begs the question that when looking at tonight’s headline act, whether they are an appropriate choice in the billing. Still, it’s a heavy affair and if that’s what you’re into, then they were a welcome treat for you tonight.

The venue is now well and truly sold out, with Descendants and Totally Unicorn T-Shirt’d fans filling up the room as Nuclear Summer take to the stage. The band deliver their melodic hardcore to the masses, going from loud to spaced out within each of their tracks, to a mixed reaction from the audience. This is also perhaps an inappropriate choice in tonight’s billing, with the band definitely having a market, just perhaps not to this audience. The set has a nostalgic feel to it that recalls bands of the early-mid 00’s in their sound and delivery. In a different, more appropriate setting, this set would have no doubt gone down well amongst the audience.

Legions have swarmed to the front of the stage making it hard to do just about anything, but naturally, as Ceremony kick things off with the instantly catchy Hysteria, the crowd are lapping it up with circle pits forming, people jumping up/off the stage and hanging from the venue’s ceiling all seemingly with no consequence, with the obvious lack of security present within the venue.

The whole band are great to watch, with bassist Justin Davis looking like he has just stepped out of the shower, but is instead bathed in sweat and saliva (of which he is happy to share with the audience). and the charge led by vocalist Ross Farrar who breaks equipment, lovingly taunts the audience and has the stamina of a wild ox. The set is a mix between the old and more spaced out new material, with both getting equal attention from the audience.

Further highlights include the frenetic Citizen and the rhythmic Community Service, both tracks off the latest album. At one point a scrawled-up fan celebrating his birthday is on stage and is sung a rather discordant version of Happy Birthday, before Frarr grabs his head and hurls the young man back into the middle of the crowd. It is not too long before the set is over and whether it was the ‘leave them wanting more’ approach or not, it definitely feels like an encore is warranted but unfortunately was to no avail. Still, the band’s set as a whole clearly warrants why they are one of the more heavy bands to watch and why they were picked up by mega label Matador.

While the Crowbar has changed very little since its former Basement 243 branding, it is hard to ignore the quality of tonight’s show. Even though tonight’s supports may have felt a little out of place in comparison to headliners Ceremony, it was the band themselves that showed why tonight was probably one of the biggest nights of the year for that venue and within the circle that they keep.