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A last-minute show for Northlane as a warm-up for the UNIFY festival was certainly an exciting prospect — fans dutifully snapped up the limited tickets in absolutely no time. The drawback of such a rushed and hastily organised show, though, meant there was precious little time to assemble a formidable lineup, which might explain the sub-par support acts.
First was Glass Ocean, who less ripped a page out of Dream Theater’s playbook and more took the entire thing, scribbled out their name and wrote their own in its place. Trudging progressions and OTT vocals were a struggle, but compared to Devastator they were the best band you’ve ever seen.
Devastator, for those who don’t know, emerged from a time machine, having travelled from 2001 with nothing but Hybrid Theory, Significant Other and bad tattoos to their name. Theirs was the most anachronistic and laughable of performances in recent memory.
Gallery: Northlane @ Sydney’s Bald Faced Stag, 08/01/15 / Photos by Liam Cameron[Gallery not found]
Tonight marked Northlane’s hometown debut with former Sound of Seasons vocalist, Marcus Bridge. There was, admittedly, uncertainty around his abilities to execute the groundwork laid by former frontman, Adrian Fitipaldes.
There’s room for improvement. There’s an off high-note, ironically, in Dream Awake, the song that got him the job to begin with. There’s also struggles transitioning from clean vocals to screaming that need to be worked out.
When Bridge is on point, however, he feels like a perfect fit. He certifiably nailed opener Quantum Flux, as well as his debut single with the band, Rot. The rest of the band remain as on point and technically proficient as you’d expect — perhaps even more so, given their new lease on life.
Bodies were thrown with reckless abandon both on and off stage during the finale of Dispossession. Northlane 2.0 had justified their existence.
Watch: Northlane – Rot (Live @ The Bald Faced Stag, Sydney)
Image: Marcus Bridge Makes His Australian Debut As Northlane’s New Frontman / Photo: Liam Cameron