Words: Holly Rose
Photos: Andrew Basso – Electrum Photography
From the moment I stepped into the Forum, I was hit with the indescribable feeling of adrenaline and excitement in the air. Safe to say everyone in the room had eagerly awaited this night, a massive line-up for a band who just keep the anthems coming.
Since the launch of their fourth album titled ‘Anon’ through popular alternative label Hopeless Records, Hands Like Houses have only grown to further dominate the alternative music scene. This album tour is their largest to date, kicking off in their home town of Canberra earlier this month, the group is selling massive venues all over Australia.
Opening the night were Redhook, the energetic band riled up the crowd from the moment they stepped on the stage. Their energetic performances and confidence definitely set in stone that whilst still a young band, they’re prepared and ready to be playing big venues. Their cover of Limp Bizkit’s Break Stuff was also the perfect way to get the crowd up and moving from the beginning of the show.
Next up were Endless Heights, the Sydney locals made a huge impression and had one of the most memorable performances of the night. Their performance was tight and energetic, not to mention the breathtakingly powerful vocals. The bands ability to move from slower songs, to more fast paced energetic tunes and still keep the crowd engaged was phenomenal, there is so much more to come from this band and they’ve certainly gained a new lot of followers from the Melbourne crowd at last night’s show who couldn’t get enough of the young and up and coming group.
And so, it was time for Ocean Grove. Since the insanity of their set at Unify, I was oozing with excitement, and through myself in amongst the madness. Although being one of the first sets since their band line-up change, the band were as tight and energetic as ever. There’s no experience quite like seeing Ocean Grove, and I honestly think it would be difficult for them to disappoint. I will say however the set from within the mosh tended to be a blur of elbows and legs flying, being crushed by crowd surfers and swallowed whole by the crowd, but for the Ocean Grove boy’s particular brand of insanity that always tends to rub off on the crowd I expected nothing less. This band just keeps growing, with almost everyone in the crowd screaming the words back to them, it was clear that most of those who were there had already fallen in love with the group, and those who didn’t know almost certainly walked away with a new-found love.
During the wait for Hands Like Houses, anticipation was high. The crowd managed to keep energies high whilst doing massive sing-a-longs to the Aussie classics in the venue’s playlist such as Horses, Working Class Man, Flame Trees, You’re the Voice and plenty more. This was something I had only ever experienced at festivals’ and was surreal to see between sets at a Forum gig and goes to show you what a community this fanbase is.
Finally, Hands Like Houses took the stage. From the moment they stepped on the mosh began and the crowd was in a frenzy. Safe to say, every single member of the crowd walked away blown away by this set. The high energy and adrenaline made the show a blur of amazing moments. The band know how to please a crowd, playing the perfect mix of their older and newer pieces, as well as interacting with the crowd and keeping everyone on their toes. During Drift vocalist Trenton Woodley stood in with the crowd and I was genuinely shocked was not devoured by it, and later in the set bassist Joel Tyrrell gave crowd surfing a whole new meaning, riding a literal surfboard across the mosh to the banger Bad Dream. The show was full of flame throwers, mesmerising lighting, and it was so easy to be consumed by it all, the bands presence was undoubtly in a league all of its own. The Aussie boys set left the crowd dying for more, ending the set with ‘Half-hearted’, a fan favourite anthem that concluded the show that no one ever wanted to leave.