The first show of the eagerly awaited headline tour from Closure in Moscow took place at the Mona Vale Hotel. Upstairs in the cosy surrounds, a bunch of young folk gathered early to watch the support bands. Unfortunately I missed openers Evelyn and Sienna Skies. A quick interview with the punters in attendance revealed “they were pretty good… reminded me of Underoath” and were “better than most of the other generic hardcore bands out there” but had “pretty lame lyrics”. Sorry guys, I’ll be there next time.
Adelaide’s Secrets in Scale attracted some interest. Hand-picked by Closure to support on all shows of the tour, I knew precious little of them prior to the show. But after just two songs it was clear the band had the goods. They began with a bizarre combination of vocal harmonising, a short drum solo by the singer/guitarist and then random squawking by the bass player (Matt Wright from the Getaway Plan/Young Heretics) whilst the drummer loped around the stage like a monkey.
Following that delightful intro, the band took their rightful positions behind their instruments and proceeded to enthral the crowd with Jeff Buckley-esque vocals and a multitude of sparse, yet oddly timed songs. Making good use of the vocal delay, the singer possessed a throat not too different from Closure in Moscow main man Chris de Cinque. Indeed, he even looked like he might be the kid brother combination of Manny or Chris. But the music was good enough on its own, a band worth checking out for their commitment to experimentation and ability to churn out a tidy riff or hook when needed. Their album sampler is fantastic and the band offer a free EP download on their website – check it out.
After a short changeover and a quick tune of Beau McKee’s enviously gorgeous Schleisman drums, Closure took to the stage with an extended drum driven intro to ‘Deluge’. It was quickly apparent that the band had put in the effort to make these shows special – tweaked song arrangements, rare album tracks and even LASERS made this a gig hard core fans would appreciate.
Looking well rehearsed and in fine form, the band ripped through tracks including ‘A Night at the Spleen’, ‘Vanguard’, ‘We Want Guarantees Not Hunger Pangs’ and ‘Afterbirth’ with power and precision, even throwing a quick reference to Baker Street for fun. By the time they got to ‘Kissing Cousins’, Chris’ vocal pitch faltered temporarily – cause for concern? The next smoking high pitched chorus was life-affirming. Seriously good stuff and you wondered how you could ever doubt it. The band put on an energetic performance, each member demanding attention whilst doing service to their complex and utterly charismatic song writing. The audience lapped it up and whilst the show was by no means a sell out, the audience was left baying for more by the time ‘Sweet#hart’ brought the set to a crushing conclusion.
Night two in Sydney saw the band showcasing their talents at the newly renovated Gaelic Theatre. Whilst we were still getting used to the new shape of the room, it was undeniable that the sound quality was excellent. With a crowded dance floor, Closure delivered an even more epic and impressive performance than the night before. Where last night was great, tonight was spectacular. The highlight was the vocals; Chris did not miss a note, harmonies from Manny augmented perfectly and the entire band absolutely ripped into it. It was exciting to see such a young band delivering a performance worthy of musicians much older and one can see how much the experience of overseas touring has changed them.
Case in point, the odd behaviour of front man Chris de Cinque – one was not sure whether it was an act or all show, but the formerly bounding, engaging singer appeared listless and intent on touching himself and simulating masturbation – all the while pumping out flawless vocals replete with the charisma heard on record. It was a perplexing juxtaposition and drew more than a few quizzical looks.
This time, we did get an encore and it came in the form of ‘Breathing Underwater’ from the band’s debut EP. Joined mid-song by Matt Wright for a vocal duet to the finish, it made for an absolutely killer outro. It is a shame that the band don’t have much more material… most of the punters in the room would have dearly loved a two-hour plus set from these boys. With songs that good and their next Australian tour like to be a long way off, you could almost hear the disappointment when it came time to leave.
Overall, a pretty impressive couple of shows. Make sure you see them on this tour before it’s too late!
Tynan Curry was shooting for us at the Gaelic Theatre gig. Click here for the gallery.