Gig Reviews

DZ Deathrays, Velociraptor, Damn Terran, Crass Creatures – The Zoo, Brisbane 13/04/2012

With their latest album Bloodstreams out and doing big things, DZ Deathrays have embarked on their national tour, stopping by their hometown of Brisbane to rock The Zoo to its very foundations on Friday night. Working hard on the night, the boys not only stepped out as DZ but also opened for themselves with their other project, Velociraptor. Also joining the guys on the night were other Brissie locals, Crass Creatures; and all the way up from Melbourne, Damn Terran.

Kicking things off at around 8.30pm, the five-piece Crass Creatures ripped into their set with a near empty Zoo. They got off to a great raw start with punk-sounding guitar riffs met with some solid drumming; everything sounded so clear. Playing through their set, the only really noticeable fault was a couple of little messy transitions moving from the slower part of their songs and speeding them up…just sounded a little off. Apart from that, they delivered a good set and introduced us to a new song with a bit of a story behind it.

There was no messing about from these guys; they didn’t move around a lot, in fact not at all. It was just four guys standing in a row delivering a good hard sound. Even the singer Alex Hickson, when not playing keys, just stood there flailing his arms about a bit. Promising the best on their last three songs, the boys started off nice and hard before coming down into a breakdown, which saw four heads simultaneously headbanging, the most amount of movement from them all night, that was until the guitarist, Simon Parsons, started letting loose on the guitar. As the boys (Alex Hickson; Rob McEvoy; Nick Slater; Simon Parsons; and Alex Hipgrave) wrapped up their set, it was a shame that more people didn’t get to witness their sound.

Came 9.15pm and there were a few extra punters throughout The Zoo as Damn Terran took their place on the stage and damn well nearly blew it away. With Leigh Ewbank pounding away on the drums, Ali Edmonds plucking away at the bass and Lachlan Ewbank driving the guitar, your chest was just about ready to explode as their heavy thrash sound took over the Zoo. Coming up from Melbourne, the three-piece kept up the ferocity as they launched into song after song, providing an immense amount of energy that blew the last band away. With Leigh going a little crazy on the drums, you had to think that even someone like Dave Grohl might be proud, especially when Lachlan let out a scream to shred the paint off the walls.

Dedicating a song to DZ, a wall of sound just smashed the crowd while Edmonds took over some vocal duties and Lachlan’s scream continued throughout the song. The last few songs in the setlist were quite short and cut out quite suddenly, which sounded a little messy. However, they finished big with their last song ending on some wailing effects mixed with ferocious drumming.

The Zoo was now swarming with people as Velociraptor entered the stage with the two members of DZ included. Having twelve members in a band, it took a little while for everyone to get set on stage, but once they did, there were just guitars and instruments galore; the stage looked tiny. As they got stuck into their set, all the members were just dancing around and clearly having a blast. A couple of tech difficulties plagued the start of their second song, but once sorted, some crazy dance moves come out, and with the crowd going off, the atmosphere was intense. Sounding like The Beatles on steroids, Velociraptors’ sixties-sounding music brought us to a song that they claim is the pinnacle of success because it made it onto Sesame Street. The stage looked like the mosh pit as all twelve members crammed up the front and just jumped around as much as they could. The crowd were also loving it and the whole place just looked like one big party. But enough about just how crazy they are. Singer Jeremy Neale lead the band through their set with his raspy vocals while the rest of the band took on an assortment of roles from tambourines to god knows what else.

Most of Velociraptors’ songs were just short and fun, ranging from a sixties sound to a punk/grungy feel. Included in the set were also a lot of random noises and some random banter about Coke VS Pepsi. Velociraptor could really be described as just unpredictable mayhem, you never knew where one of their songs would lead. Just as you started to settle into a song and your foot was tapping along just right, it would change completely and just go crazy. This was apparent throughout the crowd as well, as people just lost control through their songs, with one young lady even flashing her breasts out the window to passersby; chaos takes over.

A thirty-minute wait to DZ saw the crowd treated to what seemed to be Motley Crue’s greatest hits over the PA, which kept people dancing. As Home Sweet Home wrapped up, DZ Deathrays took to the stage, which was bathed in a red glow and surrounded by many eager fans clapping and cheering the boys onstage. For a band with only two guys, they provided one hell of a sound and their drumming intro brought in a very cool light show behind them, which continued on throughout their ripper of a set with just as much power as Damn Terran. At one point even the local gig junkie Shamus could be heard with his tambourine in the crowd. DZ Deathrays were just raw power with some fierce drumming met with heavy guitar and distortion that saw the crowd surfers and stage divers come out in force. At times, hints of Wolfmother could be heard with a somewhat psychedelic seventies sound.

The last few songs saw a couple of new tracks that were a cross between dance and rock, a sound that had the crowd dancing from front to back. DZ Deathrays (Shane Parsons and Simon Ridley) wrapped up their set just after 12am with raw power and no encore. We should be proud to call these boys our own as they proved that Brisbane has nothing to worry about when it comes to providing some quality rock and fucking roll!


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