At the Evelyn Hotel on Friday the 13th, there were no ladders to be walked under, no black cats hanging around and no broken mirrors to be seen. There was, however, a massive line-up featuring five of Australia’s most exciting pop-punk bands, who hit the stage for the Melbourne leg of Heroes For Hire’s ‘Just Shoe It’ tour.

On their biggest headlining tour yet, just days after their latest single “No Apologies” was released, Sydney boys Heroes For Hire played and partied in true style; although only to a surprisingly half empty room. But those who did decide to spend the night of superstitions and bad luck rocking to pop-punk instead, certainly got their fill of up close and personal energetic tunes and in your face entertainment.

Local Melbourne bands Tigers and Apart From This kicked off the night, setting the standard of party vibes that were to be kept up for the rest of the show.

Next up were Carry Me Home, a new band but with members who are definitely not new to the scene, with a lineup drawn from Confession, The Red Shore and Jack The Stripper, these boys definitely know how to play an awesome set and get the crowd – although limited in numbers – enthused and dancing along. Their debut album is in the works and it’s no doubt this Blink-182 influenced five piece from Melbourne are going to make a decent name for themselves. Making the switch from their hardcore roots to the old-school pop-punk everyone loves, they stole the show and wowed the audience, and they’ll continue to do so without a doubt.

The boys from Luca Brasi kept up the rocking vibes that filled the Evelyn, smashing out their heavier tunes, and igniting crazy energy from the crowd and even a mosh or two. Forming in 2009, they’re well on their way to making a name for Tasmanian bands in the scene, and are doing a hell of a job.

Finally, after four killer supports (aka. a hell of a build-up), Heroes For Hire hit the stage. With their fast paced, dancy, poppy tunes, the crowd of adoring fans were loving it. If you’d forgotten what fan girls looked like, you’d have to look no further than the entire front row of this gig. Looking up with admiration and singing along to every word, these girls were there to stay.

As drinks flowed and moshing commenced, the Heroes For Hire set was filled with energy and party vibes as always promised. Frontman Brad Smith jumped into the crowd for a bit of a boogie and hung from the ceiling for a while at one point, a dude from the audience was invited on stage to drink beer from a shoe, and two members from The Bride joined them on stage for “Set In Stone”.

They finished their set with the popular “Secrets, Lies and Sins”, and as the crowd danced and sang along, the beauty of small gigs like this became evident. Being able to see some sweet bands so close and in such a personal environment, that’s what it’s all about and why local gigs exist.

Heroes For Hire are set to release their latest album in September and will be sharing the stage with Yellowcard not long after. They’ve come a long way, and it’s nice to know they’re still doing small shows like the one at the Evelyn, as well as the big ones.  Their fans love them, they love their fans, and they have a kick ass time doing it.

– Mairead Bilton-Gough

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