DZ Deathrays @ The Brightside, 15th March
Deep in the heart of Fortitude Valley, crazed fans are piling into The Brightside, eagerly awaiting local boys, DZ Deathrays, who will be playing their final show of their Australian tour. After their ARIA-award winning album Black Rat, DZ Deathrays haven’t slowed down, and for a Sunday night the streets are suspiciously lively.
With the smell of stale beer lingering in the air and enough punk rock memorabilia on the walls to make the meanest of hardcore fans gawk, The Brightside seems suitable enough for tonight’s line-up. Starting off are local fellas, The Ron Swansons. Though only the lead singer has enough facial hair to compete with the man himself, the band certainly pack a mean punch. Running off an improvised set list, the band have a raw punk rock sound that throws back to glory days of Misfits and Circle Jerks. The Ron Swansons set the abrasive tone for the evening.
Up next, all the way from the States, is Bass Drum of Death. Playing to a relatively full room, they start loud and proud with crashing symbols and heavy rock riffs. Bass Drum of Death alternate between old and new songs, tracks Crawling After You and Shattered Me resonating with the fans. The lo-fi rock of Bass Drum of Death has the crowd sweaty before DZ Deathrays even make the stage.
I make my way to the front of the crowd to get a few shots of the band before things get hectic. As DZ Deathrays take the stage, a ferocious applause rips through The Brightside and immediately the band start with Gina Works At Hearts. Assuming I’d be safe for a few songs I’m knocked into the mosh, camera in hand. Three people are already towering above me, crowd surfing to the fast riffs blasting out from the stage. As I make my way to safer ground the crowd show no signs of slowing as a large circle pit forms in the centre of the room. Arms fly in the pit as legs soar in the air. Within the first two songs the air has become thick with sweat, fogging up my camera lens. The band drip as they move between their hit songs Dollar Chills, Black Rat, Less Out Of Sync and Northern Lights. DZ Deathrays are known to put on a killer set, but this night seems to defy all preconceptions. The band have outdone themselves, it’s just a shame that everyone has to go to work the next day.