Gig Review: Children Collide @ Corner Hotel, 15th January

Children Collide are one of the bands of now in Australia. No longer one of the ‘next big things’, they are the big thing. After releasing their critically acclaimed debut album ‘The Long Now’, the Melbourne rockers have been absolutely everywhere, from having a song included on the soundtrack of FIFA10 to supporting The Living End, to playing at a State of Origin rugby game.

About to head overseas to tour and record the followup to ‘The Long Now’, the band played a standalone gig at the Corner Hotel in their home state as a way of saying goodbye for a while to Australia.

I missed both the opening acts, but was extremely excited for the arrival of Children Collide on stage, in front of a absolutely packed Corner hotel crowd that was brimming with anticipation. I’ve never been a huge fan of Children Collide’s recorded material, but live, these guys are a force to be reckoned with. I saw their last gig at the Corner and they were phenomenal, however I witnessed it from the back of the room for a change, only later realising what a mistake this had been.

Of all the indie rock bands in Australia, Children Collide are probably the best I have seen at whipping the crowd into a frenzy throughout an entire gig. I’m not quite sure how they do it: it is probably a combination between their grunge leanings, which suit the atmosphere of a packed room perfectly, and the band’s sheer energy on stage, which is almost unparalleled. This time, I knew I wanted to experience that energy properly.

The only problem was that was that so did everyone else in the Corner Hotel. The push towards the front was immense, and it even served to make me reminisce about Falls Festival, so intense was the rush. As the band finally took the stage, I had only managed to position myself about five rows back and to the side, but even there the atmosphere was just incredible. You could tell, this was going to be one hell of a show.

And so it was. Children Collide made the Corner Hotel theirs. They absolutely owned the room, and the crowd repaid their frantic energy with an electric atmosphere. The Corner Hotel was turned into one big moshpit. Children Collide’s set was filled with favourites off their debut album, such as Skeleton Dance, Social Currency, and Across The Earth. However the band are about so much more than their songs.

The atmosphere was probably the best I have ever witnessed at a gig in the Corner Hotel. This was energy-filled, uncontrolled insanity. As the gig went by I managed to somehow work my way to a front and centre spot, only one row from the front, where insanity took on a whole new meaning. Every song, even new tunes that the band were trialling, was greeted with a roar of appreciation from the crowd, and not knowing the words didn’t stop everyone from having a good time. It is little surprise that Children Collide fans are building a reputation for crazy intense atmospheres during live shows.

However naturally the highlight of the show came in the form of Farewell Rocketship, a wonderful song that builds perfectly from a more stripped-back tune into another grunge rocker. The song saw the crowd overtake singing duties from the band, which was a true experience.

Children Collide have never really believed in encores, so as a substitute for one lead singer Johnny McKay merely turned his back to the crowd for a few seconds. He turned to face the crowd once again as the band broke into the unmistakable sound of Social Currency, which saw a climax of energy in the moshpit (ie. The Corner Hotel). The band left the stage to roaring applause and a stream of guitar feedback, which was unmistakably a fitting way to end the grunge-rockers’ Australian stay, at least for the time being.

I was absolutely drenched in sweat by the end of the gig, and even more in love with the Australian music scene than usual. How can you not love being able to see bands like this for $25? They are a true spectacle live, and the crowd were just phenomenal. This was the most fun, anywhere in the world, that you can get for $25. For an hour, the Corner Hotel was the moshpit, and if their live performances are anything to go by, Children Collide are about to take over the world, even if it means travelling overseas away from their established fanbase in Australia.

All we can do is hope that they don’t take their time in doing so.

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