voices within the shadows!
The Getaway Plan & Dream On Dreamer @ Manning Bar, Sydney NSW Australia 08/02/2019 written by Brendan Lewis.
It has been a prophecy for eons, that there will come a time one February, when worlds will collide near where the city meets the sea, voices will emerge from the shadows and dark horses will ride with flying colours through a rhapsody on a windy night, bringing with them, the reckoning. Filled with malice and love, these dark horses of alt-rock divinity with souls on fire, will spread delirium throughout the landscapes in which they conquer. Yes indeed, The Getaway Plan and Dream On Dreamer, both legends of their genre, have long talked about conquering the landscapes of Australia together, and finally, that time, is now!
Will you runaway from the prolific reign of these deities of rock? Or will you stay, let it in, and witness greatness in the making?...
Dream On Dreamer are first to take the reigns tonight!
The band charges into their set with a mid-tempo thrashing beat, with a brutal equilibrium of bass and guitar, that together with the sound mixers deliverance of the sound, sends a bone-shattering wrath straight to my chest! You’d think that with the guitar and bass’ mix being so brutal, it’d over-power the vocals? Not quite, sure the vocals aren’t at a perfect level to deliver maximum attack, but even as the vocalist and his fellow bandmates stampede around the stage wildly, I can still easily make out his vocals, which are like a double-edged sword, clean, shiny yet sharp melodies on one side, serrated on the other, giving a perfect roughness to the vocal strikes. This song and the next, set a pretty accurate precedence for the rest of their performance, fierce razor-sharp guitar riffs paralleled with thunderous bass drives, double-edged vocal strikes, and wicked drum beats that stampede, gallop and trample our minds with their shockwaves. And other times like in the second song, more serene heavy-hearted vocal strides, eerie, subtle yet effective backing layers of different sounds, likely originating from a synthesiser, and gradually rising, racing and pulsating beats. The band harness the flow of contrasting energy sublimely, and feed off the loop of energy exerted from both the band, rocking out (head-banging like they’re trying to shake off a predator) and their audience, getting reared up like war-horses being commanded by their masters.. This will pose quite a challenge for The Getaway Plan to match the extraordinary heights of this set from Dream On Dreamer!
You may recall the alarming disrespect, bullying, lack of common decency and safety in my review of the Hands Like Houses show tomorrow night? (time travel is real!). Well despite Dream On Dreamer and The Getaway Plan both being of similar musical style as Hands Like Houses thus attracting a similar audience, or at least in theory, fans here tonight are respectful of one another, and the general vibe I get is that there’s a mutual understanding that we’re all here to enjoy the music and have a good time. What’s the difference then? Perhaps the fact that tonight is an 18+ event? Or maybe because Dream On Dreamer have been setting a good example, you know, not jumping in the crowd on a surfboard, that kind of thing. The raving feel-good vibes of the loyal minions in the audience is even clearer as my friend informs me later, that there was a proposal in the audience! That’s what I call a memorable and special proposal! Although I informed my friend that as special and memorable as it is, I think she needs to buy me dinner first at least before I say yes.
Now for The Getaway Plan to harness and ride the beast of energy that Dream On Dreamer created and left them!
An eerie intro builds the suspense for the still red-hot charged crowd, then our suspense and excitement is met with an anthemic, vocal-hook driven track, with the start-off being rather stripped-back? This song (Heartstones), is a fan favourite yes, and the soaring vocal hooks in the chorus are perfect to get the crowd engaged, however, the sprinting energy pace that Dream On Dreamer left, versus this mid-tempo stride of soul-filled energy, is the thematic equivalent of a war-horse being tripped-over as they’re charging towards the battle, for all you Game Of Thrones fans, that moment when Jon Snow’s charging as fast as he can towards Ramsey Bolton, then his horse gets shot with an arrow resulting in Jon taking flight, in the ‘Battle Of The Bastards’ episode in season 5! As a result, the crowd are singing along and enjoying it yes, but they’re calm….. Too calm.
The next song, ‘Streetlight’ is more what I would’ve expected for an opening song and gets the crowd re-energised nicely! The band all move around (except the drummer of course, although that would be impressive, I highly doubt he could move around while playing) and lead singer Matt and lead guitarist Clint take the lead energetically. However, sound-wise, Matt and Clint may be going head to head in the mix (and almost literally whilst head-banging I’m fairly sure), however, sadly, Matt’s dynamic vocal range of sensual heart-melting quivering melodies and attitude-filled vocal bites, get left in the dust of Clint’s leading-edge ferocity.
The sound mix leaving Matt’s vocals lapping at the coattails of guitar shreds is disappointing and frustrating, but luckily, there’s a reason why I keep coming back to see…. ish, these guys time and time again, that is because their performance is like a well-trained A-Class veteran race horse! So you see, the sound levels may be, well, horse-s***, the bands on-stage energetic charisma, perfect execution of all songs and the nice flow of energy from more lighter, heart-felt tracks like ‘New Medicine’ to blazing balls of might that get the crowd jumping and fist pumping like ‘Shadows’ and the all-mighty primal-scream of ‘Red Flag’ make up for the disappointing sound mix. Another Game Of Thrones reference alert! Just like the absolutely PERFECT way for Ramsey Bolton to meet his end at the end of the ‘Battle Of The Bastards’ episode which I’m sure like me, made all you GoT fans cheer, ‘Where The City Meets The Sea’ is the perfect way to finish the set and really brings the energy to a head!
I was thoroughly impressed with Dream On Dreamer, and as much as I adore The Getaway Plan, I feel they needed a stronger opening song, perhaps ‘Flying Colours’ or ‘Streetlight’ and need to make sure the sound mixer doesn’t overload the sound in Clint’s guitar, as awesome as it is Clint!