Fowler’s Live, Adelaide

11th April

So it’s been almost exactly 2 years since Norma Jean has hit our shores, and since then, they’ve been quite busy. Releasing their latest album ‘Wrongdoers’ a few short months after their tour, they’ve been hitting the globe, playing many festivals and various levels of shows. And thus they return to Adelaide, and I can’t help but feel they were perhaps a little dissapointed.

Turning up to the show just before 7 as the show had been advertised as doors at 7pm. They ended up opening at 6pm and in turn I missed the opening act, Disaster Path. This is a shame for a few reasons as I haven’t seen them since the played with Promises at Enigma Bar almost a year ago, and was interested to see how the band had evolved in that short time frame, especially since the release of their latest song, Disgusting, sounded pretty huge and I was interested in hearing them live.

I got a beer, chatted to a few mates then headed in as next act Life Pilot were about to start. Life Pilot have been playing a solid brand of math-metal since their inception about 4 years ago, and their set definitely displayed the energy that I’d come to expect from them. Obviously stoked by the opportunity to play with Norma Jean, and despite the mostly empty room, they played their messy style, always held together solidly by Eli on drums.
It was a great mix of songs from their split with Statues and their EP, High Noon. Stand out was ‘Jackal’. I enjoy the pace of the song and it sounds just as good live as it does in audio format. All in all, Life Pilot worked with what they had, which was more or less a dead empty room. If you went, and missed them, you missed out.

A Ghost Orchestra have had an awesome start to the year, beginning with opening the main stage for Soundwave (likely the last in Adelaide), then playing a near sold out Enigma Bar last month with Jack the Stripper. Watching these guys play it’s easy to see why they’re getting bigger and better.
After their intro, they launched straight into Hesitator. By this time, those few punters whom had yet to enter the Fowler’s room proper came in, clearly intrigued by frontman Adam’s demeanour energy, and most likely, beard. Clearly not a fan of the barrier, Adam spent a large amount of time jumping over, on and around the barrier, doing everything he could to interact with everyone, and for the most part it worked. Again, the lack of people in the room was unfortunate, A Ghost orchestra put on a hell of a set, despite some tech issues early on, they played solidly, were extremely tight, and had an organic energy few bands in Adelaide are able to replicate. Finishing with Brown Teeth, it rounded up a really well put together show.

By this time a larger crowd had gathered. I grabbed another beer, and prepared myself for Louis Blanc. Louis Blanc are the re-branded Nazarite Vow, featuring more or less the same line up, but a shift in sound, dynamic and songs. All but one of their songs were from they’re digitally released self titled album. The set started out at high energy, playing track after track at an unrelenting pace. Their absence from the scene over the last few years has done nothing to deter the band. They played solid start to finish, though as they played mostly new material, the crowd was for the most part, spectating, simply enjoying the new music.

Belle Haven are a band from Melbourne. They sounded a lot like Underoath, but in honesty, it wasn’t really my thing. Having recently recorded an album in the US, which is a pretty big deal, they are playing shows promoting this latest release. They have also released two music videos, ‘Hunt For Health’ and ‘The Looking Glass’, two different sounding songs and videos showcasing the bands diversity. They opened the show with these tracks, playing each in succession, and as previously stated, I wasn’t realling vibing it. To speak honestly, it felt a little laboured, pre-meditated and did not feel organic. They still played extremely tight and are definitely a talented group of musicians, and given their sound, are bound to see more success in the forseeable future.

The mighty Norma Jean. It’s been two years since they played Adelaide and If I could give you a minute by minute breakdown of the events that were to unfold on this night, I couldn’t tell you. The show was a complete blur. Norma Jean played near flawlessly, from the opening moments of vocalist Corey Brandon’s long opening yell, to the closing moments of ‘Memphis Will Be Laid To Waste’, it was clear from the energy in the room and the excitement displayed by payers both young and old, this was the band to see this night. Ten years from the release of ‘O’God The Aftermath’, they only played one song, ‘Absentimental’. Key moments for myself included: Flipping off the barrier. Why Fowler’s had a barrier I’m not sure, it wasn’t protecting anyone.

The songs: ‘Small Spark Vs. a A Great Forest’, ‘Hive Minds’ (I still wish they played ‘If You’ve Got It At Five…’) and ‘Memphis’. The closer. What else needs to be said?