Gig Review: Children Collide @ The Prince Bandroom, 22nd April

Last night Children Collide played a furious and exuberant set at the Prince Bandroom that left the crowd stunned and sweaty. There was always the risk of the show being stolen by opening act Red Riders, with the Aussie favourites recently announcing that this would be their second last Melbourne show, however whilst the support act were indeed very enjoyable, Children Collide left everyone in no doubt whatsoever as to who the headline act was.

First up however was indeed Sydney’s Red Riders, and they played a fantastic and surprisingly nostalgic set that illustrated why they will be so very missed. 

All other circumstances aside, opening for Children Collide is never an easy effort. It was clear that the majority of the crowd were just waiting to go nuts to the main act, but Red Riders won them over almost immediately with a charming stage presence and, above all else, great music.

Tomorrow/Today provided the first taste of their more reognisable music, and it was clear that Red Riders were grunge-ing up their music a bit, with heavily distorted guitars and at times indistinguishable vocals as opposed to their more clear-cut studio music.

The more dedicated Red Riders fans amongst the crowd were given a treat with C’mon, a track from their 2006 album ‘Replica Replica’. It was a wonderful and frantic live track, and even got a few people singing along, always an achievement for an opening act. Meanwhile Feels Like A Grace and You’ve Got A Lot Of Nerve provided further tastes of newer album ‘Drown In Colour’, and were both definite highlights.

Whilst the band were clearly trying not to make a big deal of their breakup, they did mention that they found it flattering when Triple J mistakenly called them a “Melbourne band” when announcing their breakup, which went over very well indeed with the crowd. 

Closing song Ordinary was my favourite moment of the night. It’s just such a wonderful and summery and fun track, and live it is simply infectious. It was the perfect way to end Red Riders’ second last Melbourne set, and provided a great warm up for the headliners.

Whilst the band were admittedly slightly off their game, with a few mistakes creeping in here and there, it was still a fantastic performance from Red Riders. I eagerly anticipate their last Melbourne show, which will apparently be sometime in June.

There was a decent wait until the arrival of Children Collide, and while everyone almost without exception surged towards the front of the stage, my mates and I were contend with securing a spot standing up on seats towards the back. Given that we weren’t really feeling a mosh, it was the ideal vantage point.

And it was quite the sight to see Children Collide destroy the venue like they did from afar. I still remember the first time I saw them live, when I left the Corner Hotel absolutely drenched in sweat and barely able to walk. I imagine it would have been the same for many of the people at this gig. 

Openers Chosen Armies and Across The Earth got the crowd moving nicely, but it wasn’t until some of their newer material in the form of Jelly Legs that things really got heated up and the mosh got going properly. The chemistry between the band was fantastic, and it was almost clinical the way they worked the crowd up into a frenzy with their stage antics and music. It’s hard to imagine these guys not getting a mosh going wherever they play. 

Their music definitely fits into the genre of grunge, and lead singer Johnny was unmistakably channeling Kurt Cobain complete with hairstyle. This being said the gig was criminally loud, much more so than most other shows I’ve been to in the past. It was clearly what the crowd and the band wanted, and I don’t want to sound like an old fart here, but there reaches a point where it is actually dangerous to be exposed to that level of noise for an hour straight. Personally my ears are still ringing 24 hours later, and it’s becoming a very real concern.

Not that anyone cared last night. Farewell Rocketship was the highlight of Children Collide’s set, with the entire crowd singing along loudly and taking over lead vocals for extended periods of time. It was wonderful, and is easily my favourite song written by Children Collide. Even their newer material however, which I don’t really care for in studio form, came to life when played in the atmosphere of the Prince Bandroom.

Social Currency provided probably the most intense mosh of the night, and the closing instrumental song was also absolutely frantic, and saw bandmembers demonstrate rather self-destructive energy on stage that the crowd loved. Children Collide of course refuse to do encores, and I’m fully supportive of this. I don’t think anyone had much energy left by the end of their set anyway.

It was a wonderful set from Children Collide matched by and incredible degree of energy in the crowd. Whilst I wasn’t really up to a mosh last night, I look forward to the next time I will stagger out of a Children Collide gig looking like I’ve run a marathon (and definitely with ear plugs this time), and even from afar it was thoroughly enjoyable to watch the Prince Bandroom lose its collective mind. 

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