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“Wow, you guys are out of control tonight”.
It only took Chris Cheney three songs to utter what was the definitive statement from Night 4 of The Living End‘s Retrospective Tour mega-run in Melbourne. Quite simply, the crowd went bananas – and the shows on this tour just keep getting better as the week goes along.
But apart from the raucous crowd, it was the build-up to the main act that also played a huge part in making this such a full-on show. Fellow Melburnians Something for Kate – who could easily have packed the Corner Hotel out on their own – were in fine form as the band’s special guests. Donning an Iron Maiden T-shirt, Frontman Paul Dempsey said it was an honour for the band to open up for The Living End and congratulated them on their career – a statement that was reciprocated by Cheney and co. during their set later in the night. Playing plenty of tracks from new album Leave Your Soul to Science, SFK also shone with a supercharged version of Deja-Vu, Cigarettes and Suitcases, and a choice cover of The Clash’s Rock the Cassbah.
Modern Artillery was described as the record that “polarised” Living End fans in tonight’s introduction video. Admittedly, it’s the only album from the band that yours truly doesn’t own – mainly because lead single One Said to the Other put me right off. But clearly, none of those ‘polarised’ fans were in attendance.
The furious nature of opening four songs What Would You Do, Tabloid Magazine, Who’s Gonna Save Us?, and End of the World turned the mosh pit into a war zone. The latter delivered the first fight circles all week – and they broke out intermittently right up until second last track Hold Up, which was as close to a punk riot as you could get.
Other highlights included Cheney donning a luau thrown to him from a punter, appropriately right before they went “all Hawaian and Loungey n’ s**t” on Putting You Down, and a brief cover of U2's Sunday Bloody Sunday.
Topping off the night was eight-minute album closer The Room, which is arguably the band’s most epic song across all of their albums. And the fans knew it too, shouting back all the lyrics and bouncing up and down in all the right places.
Modern Artillery was supposedly The Living End’s least successful album. After walking out of the Corner Hotel, you’d swear it was at the opposite end of the spectrum – at least in the punter’s hearts anyway.