It’s hard to think of something to say about The Living End live that hasn’t already been said a million times.
Explosive. Powerful. Electrifying. Tight. Manic.
You’d think after twenty three years of bashing out their particular brand of driving rock these guys would be showing a bit of wear around the edges. But gig after gig, festival after festival, they just keep pumping out the high quality, high octane tunes that shake the floor. Frontman Chris Cheney dashes from one side of the stage to the other like a monkey in a banana factory. Scott Owens’ poor double bass gets climbed on, swung in the air, and has the crap bashed out of it. If Andy Strachan’s drum kit didn’t need a couple of skins replaced every month or so I’d be bloody surprised.
The love between the crowd and the band is palpable. Chris wants to make love to every one of us, and gives us (no doubt) some poor sucker’s hotel room number to come back to afterwards. Either it really was their hotel room and a clever ploy to reward the brave, or they’ve made an enemy since they arrived on the Gold Coast. In return, the crowd jumped, screamed, surfed, moshed, sang and sweated for the entire set.
The nearly-sold-out NightQuarter heaved, with the sound mixing and acoustics absolutely on point. The set was a happy mix of old and new, with more than a handful of tracks from 2016’s Shift getting a look in. Death was the highlight of that album for me, with Keep on Running a close second. Of course it wouldn’t have been a The Living End set without stack of hits. White Noise, Prisoner of Society, Wake Up, Who’s Gonna Save Us, All Torn Down, Second Solution and Roll On all made an appearance, and were were delivered with the passion and gusto of first time performances.
Ultimately, the night was gigantic party, for the fans and also for the band. The trio’s ability to have as much fun as the crowd is almost certainly the main factor in their well-deserved reputation as one of the best live bands in Australia, and in my opinion, the world.
IMAGES (c) Sam Gilmore Photography