One of the best international emo punk acts, Hawthorne Heights, hit the main stage of The Bald Faced Stag on Saturday with supports from solo acts Spitalfield (Mark Rose) and River Oaks, along with Sydney metalcore band Sienna Skies. It was a Saturday night that people with surely remember.

Opening the show to a nearly packed venue was Mark Rose playing under the stage name Spitalfield. The solo acoustic act got the crowd ready for a night full of banter, inspiration and nostalgia. Singing loudly and with passion, Rose showed the crowd that he had one of the best voices in rock music.

Following up Mark Rose was none other than one of Sydney’s finest metalcore acts, Sienna Skies. Their breakdowns, heavy riffs and occasional screaming may not have been the most appropriate to support Hawthorne Heights, but they put on a good set. Even though the crowd had little to no movement, the energy from the band could be felt by everyone. A good warm up for Hawthorne Heights to play their first album in full.

When Hawthorne Heights hit the stage, the roar from the crowd could be heard from outside, as band got straight into playing the first song of their first album, The Silence In Black and White, in full. Starting off with ‘Life On Standby’, the audience were singing along louder than the speakers. The lighting and stage presence made their set a very special tone, reminding all of us of our childhood and youth. After the full first album had been played in full, a special song from their 2015 album, Hurt was played. This ended their first set which led to River Oaks performing his solo act.

Most people know Shane Told from the famous rock band Silverstein, but Shane’s solo acoustic act, River Oaks, was a set that got a lot of people singing along. Although one man playing guitar and singing didn’t have much stage presence, his emotion and passion could be felt throughout the crowd. His short set was a special set to help keep the crowd happy while waiting for Hawthorne Heights to play their second album to the keen crowd.

When Hawthorne Heights got back onto the stage, the crowd’s excitement could once again be heard from wherever you were. The nostalgic feeling of hearing your favourite emo songs from your childhood was a special one, as hits such as ‘Saying Sorry’ and ‘Dead In the Water’ got the crowd feeling like they were kids again. As the vocalist said; “we just want everyone to feel like they’re young forever, because it’s the best feeling”, which is what they achieved. Hawthorne Heights ended their set with their biggest hit ‘Ohio Is For Lovers’, which had everyone off their feet, either in the tamed emo moshpit or at the front singing along. It was a night nobody in the audience would forget.

  – Robert Tannous