Updated: Jun 19
A venue is a home, and music creates a community.
Throughout the duration of the COVID pandemic, we’ve seen the music community struggling- with tours being cancelled and artists unable to record new music. However, there is another major factor in this distressing situation and one that is commonly oversighted. Music venues nationally have been facing the dire consequences of COVID with both a lack of revenue and business circulating through their doors. For many, this has led to their doors permanently closing and in the eyes of some, contributing to the death of Australian live music culture. It has never been more important and essential to support and protect our local live music scene- of course, when it's safe to do so.
Last weekend, Sydney’s extensive music community, dominated by pop-punk, punk, rock, and metalcore acts, banded together to support one of the city’s finest and most homely venues; Crowbar Sydney. After its Brisbane counterpart already having to close its doors, as well as a dire crowdfunder that was set up that recently reached $100,000, it was evident that this venue was screaming for help. It just so happened these screams were heard by someone- that being the incredible Emmy Mack. You may recognize this name from the band RedHook, especially after their show-stopping EP release ‘Bad Decisions’ that got us out of our pandemic slump and got our groove back. Making an impact, one project at a time, Emmy congregated the members of some of Australia’s finest acts, culminating in a night of super-stardom, crossovers, and amazing music- all contained in the memorable walls of Crowbar Sydney. It was uttered by many on stage that night, but I think it's extremely important to recognise and thank Emmy for her tireless efforts, and most importantly, banding together music fans and artists alike to support something so important!
It took only one step into the venue to feel the electric energy radiating off everyone! For some, this was their first show back, for others, it was an opportunity to see their favourite bands from an angle never seen before- but for everyone, it was a chance to give back to a venue that had created so many memories. Of course, this is easy to say, but in this case, it is incredibly easy to back up considering the gig’s sold-out status.
The event started with the first set- a packed hour of some of the most classic pop-punk anthems that had everyone singing their hearts out. Members of Molly & the Krells, Introspect and RedHook dominated this set, building a foundation on their respective instruments as some of the most prolific vocalists of the scene flooded on and off the stage. With covers of ‘The Kill’ by Aurateque, ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’ by SoSo, and ‘Thnks fr th Mmrs’ by Traces to name a few, the stage was already overflowing with nostalgia and an infectious energy (not the bad kind we’ve become used to)! It was clear to see that even though none of the songs were their own, every band was putting their best foot forward- giving a glimpse into their own unique styles. I think one of the most beneficial factors of the night was the discovery, a taste test of an overwhelming handful of bands to delve into next!
The second set saw Wicked Things dominate the stage with their old school touch and their new school stage presence, entrancing everyone in the crowd. It was clear to see an air of professionalism and skill was pouring out of this band (they're definitely someone to keep your eye on), but this wasn't stopping them from letting their hair down to perform alongside others for what was to be the throwback section of the night. Joining with a multitude of artists including Fangz, Bad Moon Born, and the birth giver of the night, Emmy, the band tackled beloved hits from bands like Van Halen, Guns N’ Roses, and more. Catering for the wide crowd, the night was set up in a way that truly everyone enjoyed the event, with fans young and old singing their hearts out to nostalgic anthems and fresh hits.
Before we knew it, the last set of the night was upon us and it conjured up some antics to say the least. Whether it was Starcrazy hitting us with the closest thing to Alice Cooper in Australia (eccentric stage presence was, of course, spot-on), Down For Tomorrow gifting us the presence of a fake mullet donning drummer and their heartfelt cover of ‘Community Property’, or the many crumbs of the iconic caramel mud cake that ended up on the bottom of more peoples shoes than mouths, this last hour was not to be forgotten. With Paramore and Machine Gun Kelly covers incoming (not to mention yet another taunting of Between You and Me and Yours Truly fans for a performance of ‘Delusional Paradise’), the night was quickly coming to a close. However, not before the most rock n’ roll part of the night was given to us by Stand Atlantic’s Bonnie Fraser, who wouldn't even let a vomiting bug stop her from putting on an outstanding performance for such an amazing cause.
The final moments of the night saw Isotopes lead the stage with a heartfelt cover of A Day To Remember’s ‘If It Means A Lot To You’. Soon the stage was filled with every performer of the night, making for an emotional heartfelt sing-a-long; and what better song to do it with! Truly, the night closed on such a memorable and emotive note that made it impossible to leave without a sense of genuine enjoyment and a feeling of pride for the talent that encompasses our Sydney area.
The night was not only a huge success but was an incredible showcase of the extensive talent Australia’s music industry holds across a range of genres. Of course, a huge thank you is deserved to the many acts of the night; members of Tonight Alive, Stand Atlantic, Yours Truly, Between You and Me, Forever Ends Here, RedHook, The Dead Love, Columbus, The Art, A Swift Farewell, Aurateque, Bad Moon Born, Breakaway, Claire Louise, Closure, Down For Tomorrow, Fangz, Fox Company, Everchange, High, Introspect, Isotopes, Marlow, Molly & The Krells, Peni Parker, SoSo, Traces, The Black Cardinals, The Fossicks, Sigmund Fraud, Starcrazy, Wicked Things, and Wolf Creek.
Make sure to check out all these fantastic acts, and support their music- you might be seeing them playing at the Crowbar again soon thanks to their impressive efforts!