Words by Matt Maric
Photos by Andrew Basso of Electrum Photography
The city was a hot spot of activity yesterday; not only is the Australian Open drawing to a close, but the beautiful weather over the long weekend and the countless concerts on meant that both tourists and locals were out in full force! Even though the mercury was hitting the higher 30s, The Forum had a line stretching up the alley way as die-hard Parkway Drive fans came out to show their support for the last date of the A Decade of Horizons tour and the second performance in Melbourne.
The almost sold out Forum was already abuzz by the time first band Alpha Wolf graced the stage and started the chaos off early; front man Aidan Ellaz was inciting chaos amongst the pit, as he was running around the stage full of energy which transferred onto the bodies flying around in the fight pit that filled up most of the floor! Even though Alpha Wolf only got to grace the stage for 25 minutes, they most definitely showed why they were the perfect choice to open for the evening; those who made the trip down early were already feeling the muscle ache from head-banging or fight-pitting during the seven-song performance.
Special guests Polaris made sure that Parkway REALLY had their work cut out for them, as front man Jamie Hails incited a massive circle pit to start before they had even played their first note; bodies were flying over the mosh pit at a steady rate and security were really earning their money! After seeing Polaris perform a couple of weeks ago at Unify, it was a very different but pleasurable experience getting to watch them perform in a venue as opposed to outdoors; the acoustics and set up of The Forum really allowed for an exceptional sight/sound regardless of where you were positioned. The band worked their way through a high energy, face paced 40-minute set consisting of songs from their debut album ‘The Mortal Coil’ and their previous EPs, before reminding the audience that they are doing their own tour in April and hoping to see some familiar faces there!
Parkway Drive had the best introduction to the stage; the crowd were involved in a singalong whilst waiting for time to pass and as Chop Suey drew to a close, the lights dimmed all of a sudden and the crowd erupted into a massive cheer! The band members each took residence in front of one of five huge LED screens that adorned the stage, illuminating the band from behind whilst the opening track to ‘Horizons’ offered the warning that things were about to get hectic before long. The first song of the night was Sirens Song and as soon as the opening note was played, the mosh was whipped into a frenzy greater than piranhas during feeding time; bodies were flying across the top, people were fighting to keep their positon and all hell broke loose! Feed Em To The Pigs and crowd favourite Carrion got huge cheers as Parkway made their way through the set, somehow managing to raise the energy levels the further they went down; security learnt from the night before by making sure to have more than four guards catching the crowd surfers but that still wasn’t enough to stop the surge of people. Five Months and Boneyards came and went in a blur of bodies flying and a stage show that you couldn’t work out who to focus on; the visuals on the screens added to the light show and the high energy of all on stage meant your eyes were darting around non-stop!
Wild Eyes, Vice Grips and Idols & Anchors made sure that neither the crowd or the security had fallen asleep; the mosh lifted to another level as the crowd surfers were thrown higher and more frequently, the security were working overtime (after having to call in re-enforcements!) and if you walked past the Forum, you would have felt the ground shaking from everyone jumping. Prior to the introduction of Breaking Point, Winston McCall made a joke about how guitarist Jeff Ling had to decide whether he wanted to make a deal with the Devil for insane guitar abilities, or whether he wanted to make a deal that involved getting taller; Ling has taken up his place on a stomp box and melted the faces off everyone in the front three rows, showcasing which decision he made! Dead Man’s Chest, Frostbite and title track Horizons rounded out the rest of the ten-year celebration of Parkway’s third album before the band made their way off stage, resulting in fans starting up the chant of ‘one more song’; thankfully Parkway didn’t make fans wait all that long, closing out the set with Crushed and fan favourite Bottom Feeder. One of the last things that McCall said to fans was to “make sure you get behind Polaris and help them get to the heights that we have; they’re extremely talented and deserve the support and push of everyone!”