Gig Reviews

Dead Letter Circus, Hi Fi Bar – Melbourne 18/05/2012

Walking past the Hi-Fi on my way to grab a meal, I noticed a large line of avid music fans camping out for entry to a gig. This entry was to a band that haven’t really hit their prime yet, but a band that obviously have promise, as a sold-out gig at the Hi-Fi Melbourne isn’t something to lift your nose at. It’s official, Dead Letter Circus are leading the pack in up-and-coming Australian rock.

Twelve Foot Ninja had the unenviable task of opening up a big night of rock at the Hi-Fi. A promising young band, there were obvious tinges of Incubus and Meshuggah in their music, which were well received by the moderately filled venue. Their brand of synthy-metal got the crowds going, even reminding me a little of a more hardcore Kasabian at times.

It’s no mean feat to have an international band support you on a tour, no less a band support you when they have four times the number of records that you do. This only amplified the significance of Dead Letter Circus in the Australian music scene. As Fair to Midland ripped up the stage with their dynamic prog-rock stylings, the tension in the room was rising. People were itching for Dead Letter Circus to take to the stage.

Before I go any further, let me say that Dead Letter Circus is a very young band. They have played Big Day Out and toured internationally, granted, but only on one record, which is an impressive feat.

Opening with big rock song, Here We Divide, the band smashed through most of their debut long-player This is the Warning with an intensity that was only matched by the audience. The mosh pit was angry and emotional, somewhat similar to that of a Limp Bizkit concert, as the band’s music blistered and filled the Hi-Fi with some contemporary Australian rock.

Moving to some more technical aspects, sound quality at the Hi-Fi really let down the headlining act in early tracks as the mix muddied the band’s synergy, an integral element of any act’s sound. Another problem was safety. While moshing and jumping around, I found myself seeing other people landing on bottles and cans, injuring themselves.

In terms of stage-presence, the band owned the stage with aplomb. Frontman, Kim Benzie manned the centre and almost conducted the audience throughout the entirety of the performance. That being said, the way he sauntered across stage made him seem like somewhat of a cult-figure.

The set ended with new track Wake Up, which will appear on their new record to be released later this year. An encore consisting of a drum solo and powerful track Next in Line left me wondering where the band were headed in the future.

It’s needless to say that Dead Letter Circus are a leading band of Australian rock. A genre that needed reviving, the question is: are Dead Letter Circus the band to bring in a new wave of Aussie rock/metal? This is a warning. Get around Dead Letter Circus while they’re still small, because you’ll want to be the one who can say to your friends that you saw them before they became big.

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