Photos by Dylan Martin

It’s Thursday night and the early arrivals for Unify have flocked to the AM/PM Emo Night pre-party, with Caged Existence, Aburden, Between You & Me and The All Nighters. While the crowd is slow to build, as soon as the bands start to play the people appear.

First up was Caged Existence, the metallic hardcore outfit from Melbourne. It’s always nice to see female’s kicking ass, and vocalist Steffanie definitely fits that bill. Her presence both on stage, and vocally is strong and commanding. She held the crowds attention from the start to the end of her bands set, and the rest of the boys in the band were just along for the ride. But credit where credit is due here, the rest of the band put in just as much effort as she did, and the whole band worked together as a cohesive and impressive unit.

You know how sometimes you hear and band and say – they’re going to be the next big thing? That is definitely the case when it comes to tonight’s second act, Aburden. There was not a moment during Aburden’s set where the crowd was still. There was moshing, a circle pit or two, singing and dancing. With a combination of clean and screamed vocals, with the clean vocals being insane, there is something here for everybody. If you are a fan of rock, hardcore, metal, pop, or punk, there is a very large possibility that you are going to enjoy Aburden.

Second last to play is a band well known to the emo kids in Australia, Between You & Me. A band that is already starting to take over the world, it won’t be too long before they achieve world domination. They are fun, lively, funny, and talented as hell and it is easy to see why they are successful. The Melbourne boys didn’t just slack off though and worked from start to finish to win the crowd over. Despite countless requests for the band to complete a shoey, the band were quick to remind everyone that it is only day 1 and way too early in the festival for a shoey. It’s always a fun time when BYAM are on stage, and tonight was not an exception.

Finally, it was time for the headliners, The All Nighters, to take the stage. Tonight’s headlining set was a little bit different than a typical headlining set, as it was completely covers. The three piece from Sydney specialise in pop punk and alternative covers so were really the best band for the job. They thrilled the increasingly large and vocal crowd with covers of All Time Low, My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Green Day and Unify Day 2 headliners, Taking Back Sunday to name a few! The three guys encouraged crowd participation and gave just as much energy back to the crowd as the crowd threw at them. A terrific way to end a terrific evening.

This is the first time that Unify has had the Thursday night pre-party, and from the success of this evening I see it becoming a regular occurence. It was such a great way to kick off what is shaping up to be an incredible festival.