We know how Parkway Drive built their career from the ground with blood, sweat and tears; how they toured relentlessly until their name was known. So, it’s no surprise that last night’s Adelaide show was huge.
Thy Art is Murder kicked things off, and while the room didn’t fill out, they had a bunch of dedicated fans constantly screaming lyrics back to them. Chris McMahon worked the stage making his screams seem as easy as breathing. There wasn’t as much showmanship as you might expect from Thy Art, however, they still connected with the crowd easily.
Killswitch Engage haven’t been in Australia for four years, and from the crowd reaction to every one of their songs, it was clear they’d been missed. What a band—the lead vocals of Jesse Leach and backing vocals of guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz sound incredible live. Adam actually ran back and forth across the stage to get to his microphone when he needed to sing—and if you’ve ever seen someone run while playing guitar, it’s a sight. They closed on crowd favourites ‘Hate By Design’ and ‘In Due Time’ which wound the crowd up even more.
Then came Parkway Drive. Opening with ‘Wishing Wells,’ it was immediately an explosive performance. I mean literally explosive—there were fiery blasts as the band erupted on stage, then the only way from there was up. Following instantly with ‘Prey,’ Parkway Drive demonstrated how powerful their new record Reverence is live, packed with strong vocals and anthemic lyrics.
Winston McCall is a very captivating frontman. Flowing and punching with the music, you can see his passion reflected in his stance and the way he reacts to the crowd. When the crowd yelled the lyrics of ‘Vice Grip’ back to him, he was visibly stoked. At one point the band were joined by a string quartet for a dramatic and beautiful rendition of ‘Writing’s on the Wall,’ where, somehow, he remained the sole focus, almost conducting the musicians with the way he moved.
Let’s not forget the pyrotechnics: thrilling and timed for maximum effect. ‘The Void,’ ‘Karma’ and ‘Cemetery Bloom’ all packed some extra heat, but the most impressive songs were left for the encore.
Not leaving the crowd waiting for long, Parkway Drive strode back to measured chaos: fire running the length of the stage and climbing up the metal frame surrounding the drum kit. ‘Crushed’ hit hard—and if you weren’t running for the mosh earlier, you certainly were for this one. Amid the fire streaming into the air, the frame that held the drums started rotating, turning drummer Ben Gordon upside down as he continued to drum surrounded by flames. And it didn’t end there—finishing up with monster track ‘Bottom Feeder,’ the band just let everything rip. Lasers, fireworks, jets of fire—the mass of people screamed, crowd surfers revelled overhead and all too soon it was over.
Parkway Drive have been tearing up stages for 15 years, somehow remaining humble despite their fame. It’s pretty special to see a band of Parkway’s calibre on stage, reacting so sentimentally as the crowd screams their lyrics back to them. Undoubtedly, we’ll be hearing the echo of Parkway lyrics at shows for years to come.
Find more photos of Parkway Drive, Killswitch Engage and Thy Art Is Murder on Facebook.
Tuesday, 6 November – PERTH, HBF Stadium
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Photos: Josh McCawley