Whether you know him from Gallows or his solo material, Frank Carter has been redeemed as one of the most upper-class performers since he began his career. After having a successful east coast tour in 2016, Australia begged the man his band The Rattlesnakes to return to the country for another tour. So, with that promise being fulfilled, Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes recruited Canadian hardcore punk outfit Cancer Bats and Aussie-born and California-based newcomers Beverly Chills for this massive occasion.
With happy hardcore music blaring as the show began, The Beverly Chills then sprung out of nowhere, opening with Big Dog in front of a small crowd, slowly progressing in numbers. The vocalist of the duo Twiggy Hunter went from jumping into the pit to walk around and sing front of other people, to getting back onstage to get on his Telecaster to exchange rhythm between himself and guitarist Nick Piss. During Loader, they would hope to get the audience ‘going crazy’ in hopes of attempting a crowd surf. Eventually, that was accomplished with five people grabbed Twiggy as he blared into the mic. While they had a somewhat peculiar image, The Beverly Chills showed some potential and presented a promising start to the evening.
For Cancer Bats, no dramatic introduction to get the crowd excited we’re needed. The very second they stormed the stage, they immediately cut to the chase and belted the heaviest representation of Canadian hardcore punk music. Cancer Bats didn’t even need to try to get the 170 Russell patrons’ attentions, as they instantly earned their love and responded automatically in the form of a fully-fledged mosh that brought the house down for the venue. Throughout their moment in the spotlight, Cancer Bats supplied the evening with a number of hard-hitters including Hail Destroyer, Bricks & Mortar, Pneumonia Hawk, as well as their well-regarded Beastie Boys cover of Sabotage. Vocalist Liam Cormier also announced that it was his 38th birthday in the night, and that all the songs that were about to be played by Frank Carter were dedicated to him. Having been away from the Australian shores since 2015, Cancer Bats really packed a bludgeoning punch to the evening, and really showed out for those at 170 Russell.
And finally, the band of the hour, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes burst onto the scene with a powerful start to their set, opening with Primary Explosive. Frank had a habit of jumping into the crowd and pull a real serial killer look between vocal breaks. This would become present during the likes of Juggernaut, where he got held upside down in the pit, before getting up on his feet with the support of the patrons’ hands. Every now and then, Frank would give a little description of the songs that he and The Rattlesnakes played, such as Lullaby, Jackals, Paradise and more. He would also encourage women to crowd surf, promising them that a Frank Carter show will always remain safe, as he has been fully aware of the struggles that women have faced in now just concerts, but everyday life. He would then proceed to tell all the men and security guards in the room to always be considerate to them, before launching into Wild Flowers. For the entirety of the set, Frank’s troubadours would also present a maniacal persona within the process of the event. His guitarist Dean Richardson would also get into the pit with Frank and crowd surf as he went berserk on his six strings, especially towards the end of the gig.
Considering the Frank Carter has been a huge icon in the punk scene worldwide, he was overwhelmed that Melbourne’s second ever show for The Rattlesnakes was his biggest gig outside of the UK. It is also without a doubt, that when Frank Carter shows up, he gets exactly what he hopes for out of his hundreds of thousands of fans when they attend to see him go on an absolute frenzy onstage. With that being said, I can never imagine any vocalist of a band do it better than Frank Carter, for he has proven that he’s one of the most intense and fluent frontmen in the world. As someone who can naturally orchestrate an audience without any problems, Frank Carter is an artist that you can never afford to miss, no matter how many times he’s within your area!
Photos by Andrew Basso.