Alexisonfire in 2022 | Credit: Barry Brecheisen/WireImage

Alexisonfire Review – More Than a Nostalgia Trip on Return to Melbourne

Alexisonfire played at Forum Melbourne on Friday, 24th February. Brenton Harris reviews.

Playing in Melbourne for the first time in six years, Alexisonfire got the Forum crowd partying like it was 2004 with the incendiary opening number ‘Accidents’. The Canadians thrashed away with the intensity of men a decade younger while three thousand post-hardcore fans shouted “Whoa whoa whoa” like their lives depended on it.

When the voices of George Pettit, Dallas Green and Wade MacNeil came together during an impassioned one-two of 2006’s ‘Boiled Frogs’ and 2009’s ‘Old Crows’, it sent chills down the spine. Fans around the room could be seen responding to every note with a kind of religious reverence.

Alexisonfire – ‘Sans Soleil’

Alexisonfire released their first album in 13 years in 2022, the high-quality Otherness. They dipped into the record early in the set, inserting ‘Sweet Dreams of Otherness’ and ‘Sans Soileil’ in between classics from the initial phase of their career. The warm reception indicated Otherness has earned a place among the band’s adored early releases.

Songs like ‘Control’, from 2004’s ‘Watch Out’, and ‘Adelleda’, from the group’s 2002 self-titled debut, had the pit spinning, while 2019’s standalone single ‘Familiar Drugs’ demonstrated the musical leaps the band have made since getting back together following a mid-2010s hiatus.

2009’s ‘The Northern’ followed ‘Familiar Drugs’, and nearly every line was delivered in two or three-part harmony. Pettit, Green and MacNeil each took turns to shine, displaying a level of compositional sophistication that surpasses many other acts in the post-hardcore genre.

Alexisonfire – ‘This Could Be Anywhere In The World’

There was beauty to be found in the band’s more explorative moments, but Alexisonfire showed us their ferocious side with 2010’s ‘Dogs Blood’. Next, Jordan Hastings’s iconic drum introduction for 2006’s ‘This Could Be Anywhere In The World’ sent the Forum into a frenzy. It’s one of the finest songs of the ‘00s post-hardcore boom, and it proved an astute way to end the main set. 

Alexisonfire returned to the stage to play ‘Young Cardinals’ and ‘Happiness By The Kilowatt’. Everyone in the Forum let loose during the anthemic chorus of the former before allowing themselves to be overcome by the sentimentality of the latter.

Further Reading

Alexisonfire: “This is the Best Record We’ve Ever Done”

City and Colour: “I Didn’t Know if I Was Going to Write Anything Ever Again”

City and Colour Review – Aural Power and Heartfelt Tenderness at Melbourne’s Forum

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