The genre of metalcore gets a lot of hate from fans of other styles of metal, but seeing bands like Counterparts and Stray From The Path live, you can feel the difference in the energy and the atmosphere in the crowd and the bands, relative to other styles of metal. This stacked bill with Diamond Construct and Stepson as the openers had everything you could want from a metalcore gig, minus the confetti cannons.
Kicking off the night was Sydney locals Diamond Construct, coming in with the heavy riffs, powerful drumming and technical difficulties. Although having to play through several hiccups with the sound, the band bore through their set to play to the crowd entering the theatre. Even though the guy next to me thought their set was “so not tight”, the five-piece were a good opener for the bands to follow.

Stepson were up next to take the stage. The melodic band all the way from Brisbane tore up the stage with their punk influenced hardcore. The first bit of crowd movement began on the dancefloor and crowd interactivity on the barrier shot up. The band’s first set in Sydney since the release of their newest single ended on the band saying they’re playing a song that they’ve never played in Sydney before. The hype from their fans was raised until they played their latest song ‘Come With Me’, slightly disappointing the fans expecting even newer music.

The first international band of the night, Stray From The Path, took the stage with angst and excitement. Their first time in Australia in a few years is on the back of their latest album ‘Only Death Is Real’. Playing songs from their latest album such as ‘Goodnight Alt-Right’ and ‘The Opening Move’, the New York metalcore band showcased new music and tracks from earlier records in a style that only they could do. Getting the crowd jumping, screaming and moshing, Stray From the Path set the bar for how a metalcore show should be like. The set ended with the band’s most popular track ‘First World Problem Child’, getting rows of people up towards the front singing along with Drew York on the barrier. Each member of the band added their touch of originality and emotion to the set, interacting with the audience in  different ways, adding to the positive experience of the show. Stray From the Path played an overall good set, showing them that they’re the perfect band to play with the final band of the night, Counterparts.

The last time I saw Counterparts was at Metro Theatre supporting Every Time I Die and Letlive. in 2016. The energy and atmosphere of the show at Factory Theatre was a whole new level. The almost capacity crowd at the Factory even surprised the band, with the singer Brendan Murphy making a joke about “this not being the Bald Faced Stag”. The set kicked off with a bang with the popular track ‘Bouquet’ and then ‘Stranger’ right after it. The band’s expressions and actions were all positive, taking some of the audience members minds off the fights and the missing GUCCI hat incident of the night. The band also performed a variety of music from their albums, with about a third being from their newest release, ‘You’re Not You Anymore’. The crowd constantly had energy and enthusiasm, showing off their voices and dance moves to the band coming all the way from Canada. The band ended their exuberant set with hard hitting tracks Choke and then Disconnect, showcasing music from their career in a short 11 track set showing fans that they’re only getting better as they age.

Review – Robbie Tannous.