Ohio natives Miss May I touched down in Australia for the first time in four years last week, intent on delivering a show their audiences down under would remember. Touring their latest release Shadows Inside, the metalcore outfit was accompanied by fellow American hardcore group Sylar.

The evening kicked off with sets from local Melbourne outfits Arkive and Earth Caller, setting the groundwork for a night of fast-paced, heavy music. Punters rolled in, settling into the mood of the evening and nodding along to the driving riffs with drinks in hand.

Up next was Sydney four-piece Justice For The Damned. The band proffered a gutsy hardcore set that unfortunately wasn’t reciprocated by punters; save for a couple of enthusiastic lone thrashers, frontman Bobak Raifee’s pleas for the crowd to move to the front were largely ignored. This didn’t deter the group from seeing out their set without wavering on the energy, headbanging and thrashing for the entirety of their 25-minute slot.

New York hardcore outfit Sylar was next to take to the stage. Described as ‘nu metal revivalists,’ the group’s eclectic blend of metal, rock, hip hop and electronica proved to be the perfect choice for Miss May I’s opener. The audience was roused by the impassioned performance of vocalist Jayden Panesso, whose charisma was infectious as he screamed and gesticulated over the tremendous wall of sound.

Consistently engaging in banter with the crowd, Panesso’s stage presence was immense throughout the band’s half hour set. Props must also be given to guitarist and backing vocalist Miguel Cardona, whose unique voice soared above the mix in melodic choruses and added depth to the band’s tight and confident foundation.

Just before 11.00pm, headliners Miss May I entered the stage to a melodic synthesizer backing track before launching into their brutal meaty sound. A thudding double-kick drum setup permeated through the mix, complementing the heavy riffage of the band’s two guitars and driving bass. The American headliners offered a setlist comprising a decent helping of tracks from new album Shadows Inside, as well as including plenty of older classics. While fan favourite ‘Hey Mister’ got a fantastic crowd reaction, the audience still didn’t match the energy of the band throughout their hour-long performance.

In between vocalist Levi Benton’s screams, reminiscent in some ways of ’80s glam metal vocals, he urged the crowd to get involved. Levi requested a “good old-fashioned circle pit” for the anthemic ‘I.H.E.,’ which started strong but petered out after the song’s introduction. Two-thirds into the set saw the band leave the stage while drummer Jerod Boyd took over with a formidable drum solo, showcasing his epic technical prowess. The remaining members returned onstage to wrap up their set with tracks including ‘Forgive and Forget,’ ‘Under Fire,’ and title track ‘Shadows Inside.’ Although they were also met with “one more song” chants at the conclusion of their set, the crowd’s enthusiasm paled in comparison to the demand for Sylar’s encore.

Saturday 25 November – Adelaide, Uni Bar LIC AA

Sunday 26 November – Perth, Amplifier Bar 18+

Tickets available here or at Oztix outlets.

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Photo: Supplied