There’s always something different about tours that are headlined by bands such as DZ Deathrays who were, not too long ago, seen as more of an opening act than headliners. It could be the fact that you could spot the two band members walking around the venue on multiple occasions, or how easy it was to count the amount of people who showed up to see them. Given DZ Deathrays’ recent track record (which included an email from the night’s venue specifically asking them not to stage dive and their shortened set due to getting kicked off at SXSW for being too loud), no matter how many people there were, it was undeniably going to be a crazy night.
The night started off with indie noise trio Horror My Friend. These kids seemed way too talented for their ‘just out of high school’ age bracket as not only did they seldom miss a note of their Arctic Monkeys/Sonic Youth style fusion, they pulled off an amazing show of stage presence while they were doing it. Their ability to swap instruments and roles mid-set, pick up dropped cymbals during songs and keep perfect vocal pitch and clarity all while thrashing around their instruments showed the crowd that they definitely deserved the local opener spot for the show.
Up next were the touring openers. What has twenty four lanky legs, enough booze powered shouting and power chords to destroy your eardrums and an out of place serene girl playing synth in the corner? Velociraptor, of course! Unfortunately the full twelve members weren’t able to make it, but they still managed to scrounge up around eight original members to showcase their 60’s fast classic rock to the enthusiastic crowd. As soon as they walked on stage, it was fairly evident that the venue was way too generous with their drinks rider. The drummer was nonchalantly chatting to the crowd about the canned tuna in his cymbal bag and how he was “saving it for later” while their lead singer was explaining how drunk they were, all the while the two members from DZ Deathrays were hiding away with their guitars behind their band mates.
The concept of their set was mostly simple – start off with a count in, follow through with loud, layered yells about girls over three or so repeated power chords, then finish the song and proceed to banter about how cool DZ Deathrays is and how everyone should pay attention to the girl playing synth in the corner. Much like the preceding band, the members of Velociraptor also changed their roles throughout their set. The drummer and vocalist seemed to enjoy swapping around, as they did so more than a few times. The real entertainment came from their antics, though, with their lead member giving away their instruments to crowd members and offering everyone around him a piece of his over-flaunted body.
A short fifteen minutes after the overly loud Velociraptor finished gracing the stage the lights dimmed and a roar of cheers were thrown at DZ Deathrays. They opened with “No Sleep”, their single off of their debut album Bloodstreams, complete with a stage full of linear strobes that were activated by lead singer/guitarist Shane Parsons’ pedals. This was when it got really hectic. Nearly the entire crowd instantly created the mosh pit to end all mosh pits which did not stop for one second until their set was over.
For the few who were unobtrusively standing back to watch, Shane did them a favour and threw a handful of paper masks similar in design to the skulls on Bloodstreams’ artwork, complete with clear cellophane covering the eyeholes. Following this, he explained that the lights would look better with them on. He wasn’t joking. As soon as the masks were put on, the lights turned completely omnidirectional and inescapable which took their show to a whole new dimension.
Following their closing song, the crowd had obviously been left unsatisfied with forty five minutes of continuous moshing and called for an encore. Determined to not give up, after five minutes of chanting DZ Deathrays came out and stated that they didn’t have an encore planned and were not going to play any more songs.
Despite the underwhelming ending at fault of the overexcited crowd, the night was undoubtedly one of the wildest Adelaide’s Jive bar would have seen over the last few years, and DZ Deathrays didn’t fail to show that they really know how to throw a thrash party.
By Tom Gaffney