There is one sure way to tell that a gig was successful and it’s when it takes you back to that brief moment in time where you were an angsty 14-year-old, sitting in your bedroom while zealously drowning out the outside realms while dreaming up a foreign world beyond your four walls. Chelsea Grin realized this inside the crowds of Corner Hotel, reigniting that nostalgic time period where fans were all too familiar with. Accompanied by their newest material and a solid line-up of supports, nothing was of disappointment.
First to grace the stage were Drivetime Commute, a Melbourne-based band that heavy music fans need to keep on their radar. Through the fabrication of an electric and intense stage show, Drivetime Commute effortlessly forged a name for themselves as potentially one of the best up-and-coming live acts within Melbourne’s heavy music scene. From their onstage antics and interaction between members to entering the crowd and challenging them to rip the clothes off their back, the band’s live performance and presence is one which demanded audience attention. Their set – almost inviting audiences to watch them as they embark on their journey – was a memorable showcase of the possibilities of where and how they will grow.
Building upon the heightened atmosphere was yet another hometown local band called Sentinel. After releasing their second full-length EP The Primordial Ruin – which saw them showered with positive feedback from heavy music fans – the band ignited audiences with tracks from their entire body of work. While still managing to engage and enchant listeners, Sentinel are able to serve up a fervent live journey, one that is reflective and intrinsically told within their EPs. Through atmospheric riffs, journey-inducing vocals and an ever-present technical drum pulse that paced the entire set, the band unified together into a singular captivating entity from start to end.
Next up, Driven To The Verge ensured they were no exception to the musical expertise the night was showcasing thus far. Upon them taking to the stage and reaching out to the audience as they embraced The Corner Hotel as if it were their home away from home. Their set as a whole was built to a peak and finishing on a high, the conclusion of their set drawing together all elemental aspects of their exhibited body of work and emphasizing their technical prowess.
This welcomed Graves. Graves, emerging from hometown Wollongong, encapsulated a chaotic beauty; shaking through the venue and echoed directly by the audience’s reception of them. Very rarely do artists herd listeners on sound alone and demand such an undivided attention, but the intensity of the chaotic sound that is Graves achieved just that. As song after song of their set streamed out, the audience almost innately gravitated towards the stage. Graves dispensed a set balanced with a cultivated level of maturity as a band, grasping onto and embracing a raw, untapped quality of a collective that has not only evolved into an astronomical level, but into a fuelled, exciting prospect of what is to come.
The final supporting band who were given the task to set the tone and amplify the nostalgic brutality trip of the show as a whole were Melbourne favorites Boris The Blade. This show was the band’s first hometown show of the year, one that proved to be fuelled with the vigor and impeccable maturity, reflective of returning from a lengthy stint playing headliners and supports all over the United States. With one of the largest Australian followings among heavy music, the melt-your-face-off stage presence was sprinkled with the experience of the band and how they have progressively developed, grown and learned seemingly effortlessly how to unify an audience.
With the unification of an audience peaking, the night began to thunderously draw to a close, with the emergence of the American headliner Chelsea Grin. Fuelled with a performance that held a perfect balance of old and new tracks from the band, Chelsea Grin were able to showcase within a singular set an evolution of the band as a whole and how they have grown across the past eight years.
While showcasing their differentiation of stylistic qualities such as vocals and instrumentals, one thing remained a point of clarity throughout the entire set: this band has been together for eight years and their ability to draw together a room full of strangers has not faltered in the slightest. Passion drooled out from fans of both Chelsea’s older and newer material alike; individuals crossed the entire room, fans were induced to awe and the band fortified their accomplishments that have impacted so many people across their career.
The unification and immensity of crowd response to Recreant was something purely to behold. Chelsea Grin showcased their intensity and polished stage show which they have perfected across their time in the industry. With a fostered sense of community among strangers hanging in the air, each band had made an impact in little less than five hours. This reminded each person in attendance the importance of an artist’s growth, while accepting and embracing where it is they have grown from, especially Chelsea Grin.