Hands Like Houses @ The Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW Australia 13/10/2017 written by Brendan Lewis.
Bloody Mary, bloody Mary, bloody Mary. Welcome to the Friday the 13th Hands Like Houses Drift tour concert, at The Metro Theatre in Sydney. Be warned, you may experience thrills, terrors and rushes of adrenaline throughout this show. Please note; going to the bathroom before this intense show commences is highly advised! Being squished between two under-aged girls in a venue chock-full of an all-ages crowd of fired up youngsters ready for a wild, sweaty, full-on show was not on my wish-list for this Friday night, but judging by the blazing hype around me and the lack of personal space already, that’s what we’re in for tonight!
This terror-train rides’ first stop is the anthemic track ‘Colourblind’, with all the kiddies in the crowd singing along and pumping their fists to the ground-shaking beat straight away, responding well to the intense energy coming off the stage as the band all move around and rock out fiercely. The crowd singing grows even louder as lead singer Trenton connects with us in the songs’ bridge with a “Are you ready Sydney? Let me hear your beautiful voices”, beauty really is in the eye of the beholder it seems. The sound is decent enough especially considering Trentons’ insane energy, moving around the stage like a bat out of hell whilst singing which is precise and clear, even with the echo of the audiences voices and the thunderous slightly over-powering bass.
This dark journey slows down not, with the ride tearing straight into the next symbolic realm ‘Division Symbols’, with the insane energy not wavering at the slightest. Us passengers (audience) on this ghost-train ride, thrust our arms like daggers from side to side in the air to the beat, while strobe lights flicker, giving a psychedelic imagery to the bands bat-flight movements, and is blinding… thanks guys, I’m now, and only now, blind.
The train driver of darkness, now welcomes us to the ‘Drift Tour’ before charging on to ‘New Romantics’ followed by a quick chat and thank you before ‘Shapeshifters’. The first stop of this stint, ‘New Romantics’ really starts to draw out the gremlins in the audience, with everyone jumping in-sync as high as possible to the beat and tightening the space around me, as the band fire their energy at us and the strobe lights pulsate away, which is starting to get a little irritating and stressful having the constant flashing. The second stop, ‘Shapeshifters’ continues with the thrilling energy with Joel on bass head banging like a bee-stung lion zombie, wild hair flying around, plus this scary kitty raising his arms to his audience, conducting the raise of energy in the crowd. The raise of energy in the audience is shown with the haunted train coming to a halting stop, as the band notice that one of their followers did not land safely after being crowd surfed over the barrier. The band make sure the guy’s alright, and once said guy responds and gives the thumbs up, away we go again…
After that interruption in the ride, the band slam on the accelerator hard for ‘Shapeshifters’ reloaded, with the band running around the stage a little less like hell-bats, and more like blood-hungry vampires. These vamps (who do not turn sparkly in the sun and read minds and all that lame Twilight sh**), make up for the loss of energy with the sudden stop earlier, as they project mountains of sheer-energy into the crowd and instigate a clap along with the audience to the tempo of the song, which re-awakes in the songs bridge, plus holding the microphone out to us to amplify our voices and prompt a louder sing along. That 0% space I previously had that I told you about, it’s now in the minus numbers, the audience have definitely absorbed the bands projected energy that’s for sure!
Thankfully, the lights now differ from the constant flashing of strobe lighting for ‘Developments’ with it’s slightly contrasting verses, taking this ride through a different landscape. This songs slight contrast is confirmed with the audience going a little less crazy as they have been, yet still respond well with sing alongs. Even with the bass being a little too domineering for my liking, Trentons’ voice still excels and is true to the recording from what I can make out of it. I think the band realise and may have anticipated the slight lowering of energy in the crowd, because they move up close to us at the front and egg us on within the song to help sustain the hype.
After a quick chat and revving up from the band, then with a deafening girly scream erupting from the audience, the blazing fire is re-lit for ‘Glasshouse’. The re-energised gremlins in the audience jump up and down to the beat…. you’re so picturing a crowd of gremlins all jumping up and down in sync, singing along to every word aye? Well that’s exactly what it’s like, the energy is wild like the climatic scene in a action/horror film, especially in the heavy bridge with Trenton showing off some wicked growling vocals! Trentons’ powerful euphoric vocals that really shine through the darkness now, raises the blazing hype dramatically in this power-anthem, and as he sings “let it fall” with the whole crowd in response, over comes an onslaught of crowd surfers reigning down on us from above.
As we near the finish of this dark journey, the band say thanks and get us to do so too, to the support bands before them, before heading into ‘Motion Sickness’ and ‘Tale Of Outer Suburbia’. The first of which brings a refreshing contrast to the set, although yes the crowd are a little less energetic, they’re still a bunch of rowdy gremlins, and still sing along at the top of their lungs…. right in my ear. The second of which continues the pleasant contrast. All the girls scream wildly in excitement at this heart-felt song, with Trentons’ emotional lyrics and tone ringing throughout the venue perfectly! This plus Trenton pausing his singing in one of the songs’ verses to let the crowd take over, held all our attention nicely. Even with the contrast in energy, crowd surfers still fly over likely revved up by the band still moving around the stage energetically and prompting another crowd clap along. And oh! an inflatable boat flies out of the crowd over me. The band later clarify for me that one of the band members was actually originally in that boat whilst it surfed over the top of the crowd, before he and the girl who joined him fell out of it….. see what I did there, time travel really is possible!
The crazy-train trip speeds up as it heads into the final two songs, heavy hitter ‘Perspectives’ which features the use of pyro-technics as fire bursts up from the stage which I really did not see coming! …in any way shape or form. This is followed up by ‘Introduced Species’, with the crowd going ape-sh**, this is really evident by my scribbled short hand being complete gibberish beyond legibility. Even with the crowd singing along loudly like howling ware-wolves, Trentons’ accurate vocals are sharp like knives, and Coops’ guitar playing really stands out during this song.
Now just when you thought the movie was over, your heart beat can now ease and you now have the chance to go change into a clean pair of nickers, BAM! Freddy Kruger jumps out of the closet! The band re-emerge for two more adrenaline surges ‘I Am’ and finally, heavy-weight touring track 'Drift’. Before the band hit us with these last two shots, Trenton explains how some shows you really look forward to, and that the band can’t wait to come back! Unlike that horror movie where all ends well in the end, nope, this ride stays fierce and adrenaline packed right until the last note, with intense explosions of energy from us in the audience and more so from the band!
Wow, what a night! Apart from the crowd being a bit too full on for my liking, the constant flashing of the strobe lights getting irritating at times and the bass being a little over-powering at times, this was a bloody killer of a show, and the band are leaving a strong lasting mark on the music scene proving rock n’ roll will never die!