Melbourne rockers The Living End rolled through North Queensland right before Tropical Cyclone Debbie, bringing with them “psychedelic reggae ska doom metal punk rock from hell” support The Bennies.
Having never seen The Bennies before, I have to say their act was… AWESOME. Vocalist Anty Horgan‘s smile is infectious – you can tell he’s genuinely having fun up there. After seeing him do some push ups backstage before their set started, it looked like he might take himself way too seriously. Not the case!
The band blew through a fun, punkish rock set that was a perfect warm up to The Living End, featuring hits like Party Machine and Detroit Rock Ciggies. The 650-strong sold-out crowd loved every minute of it, and Horgan appropriately amped the crowd up before the main event. If he ever quits the music biz, I see a future in wrestling for him (bonus: he already likes leggings).
The Living End were, as always, amazing. Never been to a show where they weren’t entirely on point. Vocalist Chris Cheney was clearly struggling with the pre-cyclonic humidity, stripping from a vest to just a white shirt (which went entirely see-through – no females were complaining), eventually changing into a sleeveless t-shirt for the encore.
The crowd might’ve started their own (West End) Riot had the boys not broken out crowd faves like Prisoner of Society, Roll On and All Torn Down. At one point during All Torn Down the guys fell into a quiet musical interlude while security dealt with an issue in the moshpit, during which Cheney asked what was going on and threatened to “come down there myself.”
Overall, though, the crowd was well-behaved, and kudos to the venue and security guards for handing out free bottles of cold water during the show. As Cheney’s shirt showed, it was HOT.