Courtesy of Axl Entertainment, this year’s Detour lineup delivered an assortment of alternative and progressive flavours that rocked the Estonian Hall on the weekend. Whether it was because of the music or the all-you-can-drink for four hours deal that was being offered, this event drew a crowd from alt-rockers to metalheads alike. With a promising audience and a promising lineup, all the elements were set for a rocking North Adelaide gig.
First to hit the stage were Adelaide alt-rockers Mortal Wombat, boasting a repertoire of songs of varied taste. From an upbeat heavy rock Zeppelin influence, to the swaying 6/8 time, heavy sludginess of modern hard rock, to the clean and brooding melody of melancholic song-writing. Tightly executed and emotively portrayed, Mortal Wombat’s performance was both flawless and victorious. They even performed a nice cover of Radiohead’s ‘Creep.’
Kings Within appeared second and gave an energetic and confident performance in true heavy alt-rock fashion. Consistent in style and performance, they powered through their set of melancholic heavy rock songs with passion and vigour. Frontman Benn Cox worked the stage with marvellous confidence and sang his heart out, with great use of both falsetto and guttural vocals in this style.
Third on the bill was three-piece group The Unset; a band sporting an array of modern flavours, many of which were portrayed in a jammy progressive format. The melodies were reminiscent of A Perfect Circle, and arrangements drawn out into dynamic and dreamy rock ‘n’ roll epics. Even the band’s single ‘Solipsism’ is performed in 7/8 time—an unusual and refreshing drift from the norm, which actually works beautifully. The guys included heavy use of delay and feedback to create ambient noise throughout their set, which worked well as a closing.
Up fourth was Melbourne based alt-rock trio Khan, offering among the most jammy and psychedelic tunes of the night. The first thing to hit you in the face when listening to Khan is the massive bass sound—down tuned, distorted and massively loud, pumping with riffs resonating a stoner rock vibe. Lengthy blues rock guitar solos and melodies with heavy use of ‘wah’ and delay in that ’70s feel, were coupled with cinematic hit samples played by drummer Beau Heffernan to create the occasional theatrical component in their songs. It was a rocking set with flavours old and new.
Headlining Detour was Walking With Thieves, a hard rock powerhouse from Adelaide. This is promised to be the final show for the band ever (until the next reunion, perhaps?) Emotive and heavy, this five-piece is a dual-guitar wielding outfit giving a great sonic balance from both sides of the room—not to mention the volume lift. Cameron Johnson’s powerful vocals filled the room with raw angst-driven energy as he worked the stage like a pro. Audience members were screaming, singing lyrics and some were even crowd-surfing (a rare sight in Adelaide these days).
Each act for Detour 2018 gave an A+ effort and was well received. Punters appeared to be lapping up the booze deal and participating in the audience—a positively contagious time for all.
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