25 years later and 8 albums deep into their discography, The Living End are forever showing no signs of slowing down. Celebrating the release of ‘Wunderbar’ the Melbourne three piece kicked off a massive national headlining tour in Brisbane to a sea of longterm fans that packed out The Tivoli in eager anticipation.
There are always expected hiccups to occur on any opening night of a tour and with a delayed flight that saw support band West Thebarton landing as their set time was meant to start, the night was off to a shaky start. But as the band floored it from the airport and onto the stage only 20 minutes late they powered through their set professionally and energetically. Fans didn’t seem to mind the slight delay with a very interactive merch range that saw them queuing up for ages to get ahold of the limited edition items. Signed exclusive vinyls were one of the cool items up for sale as well as a ‘Wunderbar’ chocolate bar range that saw one lucky buyer winning a golden ticket to meet the band after the show. It was a very unique and interactive idea that encouraged fans to come early to the show, buy merchandise and watch the support act. And it successfully worked with the bars selling out within 20 minutes of doors opening!
With the stage aesthetically set with old TV’s, the lights dimmed and an array of strobe lights welcomed the buzzing of the amps as the guys walked out onto the stage to the opening notes of ‘Wake Up The Vampires’. Not leaving any second to spare, they went straight into it with ‘Don’t lose It’, ’Til The End’ and ‘Bloody Mary’ which offered some early singalongs. Quickly catching a rare breath, lead singer Chris Cheney excitingly exclaimed to the crowd “Let’s fucking do it!” before telling the crowd something that would make them VERY happy. “Hey friends, there are gonna be deep cuts and some choice cuts tonight. And this next one is a choice cut” which perfectly introduced early favourite, ‘Roll On’.
As each song would start, some of the crowd would passionately sing along to the guitar riff and half the time it felt like they knew what was coming before the band even did which was impressive. Continuing a good mix of old and new they powered through ‘Death Of The American Dream’, ‘Loaded Gun’, ‘All Torn Down’, ‘End Of The World’ and ‘Wake Up’. The in-between banter and pure honesty from Cheney made the gig feel even more intimate and special. He thanked the crowd for coming along to the opening night on an awkward Thursday night and joked about how their stage outfits were sponsored by Sportsgirl and Murray from The Wiggles. Speaking about ‘Up The Junction’ he jokingly admitted, “I don’t know what is more exhausting; playing that song or the experience that inspired it”. But it wasn’t all jokes and fun banter as he proudly admitted “I kicked the medication, it wasn’t good for a while and that’s what this song is about” before playing the new track ‘Proton Pill’.
At times the short and punchy rock tracks rolled into one with their same level of energy, hand claps and singalong hooks but their fans were loving every moment. The production was impressive with an epic light show that complimented the distorted backdrop which dropped during ‘Second Solution’ to reveal another one. As the show came close to the end, their unstoppable hits ‘White Noise’ and ‘Prisoner Of Society’ gave the crowd those epic live show moments that you were just waiting for. As they left the stage they came back for a little encore that saw them delivering the punchy ‘Amsterdam’ and ‘Uncle Harry’ before curfew restricted them from playing after 11. But with over 90 minutes of nostalgic and bold punk-rock, the crowd was pretty pleased with yet another energetic and fun show from The Living End.
Check out the full gallery captured by Tam Cam Images HERE;
Photos by Tam Schilling