Headliner: Alien Weaponry
Venue: The Zoo, Brisbane
Presented By: Troubadour Touring
About a year and a half ago, I stumbled across a music video entitled 'Ru Ana Te Whenua' by Alien Weaponry. Within sixty seconds, I'd heard big vocal chants in what should technically be my native tongue (sorry Dad, I was born Australian and I'll die Australian), drums that shake the Earth like warriors marching into battle, thick guitar tones that round out the aggressive three piece and a voice in the back of my head screaming 'Who the hell are Alien Weaponry and when do I get to see this live?!' Fast forward to March 6th, 2019 at Brisbane venue, The Zoo, where myself and my aforementioned father met for a night of drinks and heavy metal that will not be forgotten any time soon. Unsurprisingly, patrons were in for a putrid, warm, muggy evening; a typical Brisbane night outside of winter's timeframe. These less than ideal conditions had us sweating bullets before the opening band, Take My Soul, had even taken to the stage. At least my shining brow and patchy clothes felt more justified when they did.
New Zealand thrash metal band, Alien Weaponry (Who we interviewed earlier), have jumped across the pond to do a slew of shows across the nation in support of their appearance at this year’s Download Festivals. With them, they’ve brought Melbourne’s Copia and Take My Soul from Newcastle.
I hadn't heard of this heavy outfit from Newcastle, NSW prior to checking out the evenings Facebook event page, which honestly made me upset. These boys slap so hard they could cook a raw rotisserie chicken quicker than you could say 'big breakdowns and ruthless riffs.' Unfortunately, with not being too well versed in their music, I can't nitpick certain songs nor did I go into this with any sort of expectations. What I can tell you, however, is that the sound at The Zoo really lends to Take My Soul's epic sound. The singles that they've released since their inception beg to be played in a high-quality live setting, and thankfully, nothing was lost tonight. A few push pits and spilled drinks later, they were closing out their set with 'Paralyse' without guest vocalist, Dan Greig of Lyrcanthrope. These lads are definitely worth a scope on YouTube or your preferred streaming platform, and they set the stage for Melbourne four piece, Copia, quite nicely.
Now Copia and our Newcastle curtain jerkers had a fair bit in common: they have a huge sound on record, they sound great live, the vocalists like to (skillfully) flex their screams and clean vocals and I had no idea who they were prior to this gig. Vocalist, Andrew Bishop, has an incredibly commanding voice and presence as he hits every note, grits every scream and demands your full undivided attention as he owns the stage. This isn't to say that the rest of the band are background players though, as I caught myself gazing at Bobby Oblak on the bass more than a couple of times. If you're chasing new tunes and desire a strong blend of heavy hitting music complimented by tamer sections and great hooks, Copia have you covered.
I recommend their 2017 album "Epoch" if you lean more towards the heavy side, I felt it hits a bit harder and clicked with me a lot more than their older stuff. Regardless, these boys play any of their songs, old and new, to absolute perfection and are definitely worth checking out next time they roll through your town. Now, in the famous words of Bruce Buffer, "Ladies and Gentlemen, ITS TIME FOR THE MAIN EVENT!" My desire to see Alien Weaponry for the past 18 months was finally about to come to fruition, and I can say with confidence that I wasn't the only one eagerly anticipating their arrival.
Attendance had picked up, the crowd reformatted the once open floor of The Zoo to converge into a shoulder-to-shoulder mass of bodies that bellowed with cheers as the stage lights started to beam as a soothing, yet powerful, chant blared through the PA. The cheers erupted into roars as Alien Weaponry hit the stage with their drummer Henry De Jong hyping up the crowd with a dance reminiscent of an All Black's Haka before a World Cup final game. Although I’m sure intimidating his opponents was not on his mind, it was utterly awe-inspiring to say the least. Before you know it, metal horns were thrown up, feet left the floor and NZ’s heavy hitters held the crowd in the palm of their hand, which is astonishing in itself. I don’t know their exact ages, but these dudes are young as hell, with none of them being over the age of 20. It was bassist, Ethan Trembath’s birthday on this fantastic occasion which subsequently led to the crowd singing him a very out of time rendition of Happy Birthday to celebrate.
While continuing on with the topic of their youth, these guys have been together for 9 freaking years and their talent is an absolute testament to the hard work they put in. The aforementioned Ethan and guitarist/vocalist Lewis De Jong have no issues seamlessly trading vocal duties and relentlessly providing riffs for the whole set while Henry’s drumming is tighter than my Koro’s hangis; ‘tu meke’ my boys. Their most recognizable track for me, ‘Holding my Breath’, was a feature track for WWE’s special event, NXT Takeover: Phoenix which further adds to this youthful outfit’s credibility. Yes, that WWE, I’m a big wrestling fan and this was such an awesome thing to see for them. The live show was flawless and for me, emphasized that Alien Weaponry are ready to take over the world.
For a gig that was comprised of bands that I don’t ever actively listen to, this was one of my most enjoyable gigs in a really long time. The support acts vary across the country, but I definitely think whoever is booking these shows knows exactly what they’re doing if Brisbane’s supports were anything to go by. I absolutely recommend seeing this show whenever it stops in your city because you will not regret it, 10/10 would attend again.