The night started off with local boys, Lowgazer, a progressive/hardcore metal band out of Wollongong. I entered the room just as their set began, and despite the band clearly being a little under the weather, their set was face paced and entertaining. Lead vocalist Joel McTaggart did his best to get the small crowd pumped up, showing us true stamina by pulling off a backflip mid song.
After a quick 15 minute changeover, Ghosts Of Pandora jumped straight into their 30 minute set, complete with a small light show and some high energy acrobatics from Aiden Malacaria, turning the night into the battle of the back-flipping vocalist. During the set Aiden moved around the crowd urging everyone and anyone to let out their frustrations into his mic, leaving many patrons blushing. Their melodic deathcore sounds impressed the crowd and the energy in the venue was clearly ramped up once they had finished.
Midway through the night Melbourne based alternative-rock/post hardcore boys Oceans To Athena took us back in time with tunes that had my inner teenager dying to get up and jump about. Despite technical difficulties leaving them without their usual backing tracks, they ended their set with our hearts in their hands. Vocalist Morgan Jones took it upon himself to somersault across the floor, adding his own flavour to the ongoing competition, which earned him a round of applause.
Next on the line up was Mixtape For The Drive – yet another Wollongong grown band – who had no trouble tugging on our heart strings with their Aussie pop-punk tunes. Though it tried, no amount of feedback could ruin their set. Lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Daniel Southern gave us a high energy performance running around the venue and bouncing off the walls. He let the crowd down softly by explaining that we wouldn’t see any backflips from him, but won us back with his fantastic rendition of the “Pete Townshend Jump”. While Jayme Weston on lead guitar and backing vocals played model for the in house photographers, giving everyone something to laugh about.
It was nearing the end of the night, and the headlining act Hollow Heart gathered everyone around before beginning their set, and gave a short, heartfelt speech promoting mental health awareness. Then wasted no time slamming out song after song both old and new. They played a tight set and had the crowd throwing themselves around. If one thing is for sure, it’s that these guys knew how to put on a show.
The night proved to be one full of great music, and plenty of banter between band mates and attendees, despite their only being a small crowd, every band played their set like it was their last, which made the night unforgettable.
– Amity Miller