It is a wonder as to why the Virgin Metro Theatre isn’t packed to capacity tonight. Reading dance-punks, Does It Offend You, Yeah? are minutes away from taking the stage at their Sydney sideshow and if their past visits are anything to go by, one could only expect a mind-blowing frenzy of dirty, energetic tunes to be thrust upon us in the best way possible.
It takes all of three seconds for this to be proven true. Another five seconds pass and the entire dance-floor is up in arms, moshing along to Wrestler, taken from the band’s sophomore release, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You. There is an incredible amount of energy from both the band and the crowd, you’d think no one had work or class on tomorrow.
Despite the vocal levels being far too low to hear anything frontman James Rushent attempts to sing, his ability to control and hype up the crowd is nothing short of amazing. It isn’t long before a circle pit takes up the majority of the Metro Theatre. Fans were still moshing and crowd surfing between songs while the band continued to knock back bottles of Coopers Pale Ale. Things start to get a bit disappointing for those who have seen them before when the majority of what we are getting has been seen before all too many times. That isn’t to say it wasn’t done well, but so much was done the same.
Then things took a surprising turn to the mellow side of the band, something I doubt many crowds had been fortunate enough to see before. Guitarist, Matty Derham, begins to solo and “have his Slash moment” as he sits down at the front of the stage. It isn’t until Rushent adds his vocals that it becomes clear we are getting an acoustic rendition of Dawn of the Dead. The beautiful melody and powerful vocals take over and turn the crowd into zombies as they sing-a-long to an old favourite.
“We’re going to get a bit gnarly again now,” exclaims Rushent, as the song suddenly yet seamlessly transitions into the fury that is, We Are Rockstars. Moments like that are why Does It Offend You, Yeah? are where they are today. Being able to combine the heartfelt with head-banging as if they were one, and hypnotize the crowd into turning a Thursday night into what would seem like the last rave on earth is something that only the select few have been able to accomplish, at least in my experience.
After 55 minutes, the band leaves the stage with an obvious encore to follow. While this has become an annoying habit of pretty much every band out there, this one brought forth something new for Sydney. Epic Last Song has never been played in Australia before this tour. The softer, more serious “ballad” that closed the band’s debut album began to reverberate through the speakers for the first time in Sydney. As the band proclaim to “hate that song” and prefer to “get gnarly,” we are given one more song to hype us up before we get booted onto the streets. “THE FUCKING MONKEYS ARE COMING” are the only words it takes to create a riotous uproar of excitement from everyone in the Metro.
Even though it was a mere 75 minute set at best, it went off, though, and out with an epic bang. Regardless of whether or not you like or know their music, I defy you to keep your feet planted during a set from this band. Their energy and love for a good time is infectious and never ceases to impress. If you have yet to catch them live, be sure to get yourself tickets to the next show because this band are sure to ignite the flame every time they take the stage.