There was never any doubt over the epic nature of Violent Soho’s WACO Tour. It saw the band playing their biggest shows to date, and boasted a killer lineup including Gooch Palms, Dune Rats and DZ Deathrays as supports. Everyone knew it was going to be wild — and that it was. After a steady stream of sold out shows, the Brisbane rockers ended their nationwide tour with two closing nights at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre.
Playing to a half full theatre, enigmatic party duo Gooch Palms kicked off the show. Although the majority of the audience appeared unfamiliar with much of what the Mansfield natives performed, they still remained a pleasant addition to the roster and no doubt won over a sizeable number of new fans. Their wavvy, garage punk sound was unique and refreshing and, along with their good-natured banter, was the perfect start to a soon to be rowdy night.
A warmed up and packed out dance-floor welcomed out Dune Rats who set things ablaze with ‘Dalai Lama Big Banana Marijuana.’ This copped an absolute belting from the crowd, as did its succeeding track ‘Fuck It.’ The band’s frivolity and erratic spirits remained ever-present through the performance, even during their cover of Violent Femmes’ ‘Blister in the Sun,’ which was shortly followed by a customary shoey—because a Dune Rats set isn’t complete without one. ‘Red Light Green Light’ and ‘Funny Guy’ both became set highlights as they evoked some intense head bopping and hefty roars. With beers and bodies flailing throughout, freshly released ‘Bullshit’ rounded the set, leaving the audience more than hyped for DZ Deathrays.
DZ’s are a prime example that numbers aren’t necessarily a determining factor of how hard a band bangs; after all, many were almost as amped to see the electrifying lads as they were for Soho. ‘Gina Works at Hearts’ made for a rabid opener and drew a massive crowd response, making it evidently clear that energy was not solely conserved for the headliners. Needless to say, DZ’s ripped through their setlist with intricate instrumental eccentricity. Despite an unexpected rendition of Blur’s ‘Song 2’, the mosh pit went off during every tune. Inarguably, ‘Blood On My Leather’ ranked as a favourite, with its buzzsaw rawness and furied vibe setting the rowdy tone for the remainder of the night.
Following a brief DZ recuperation period, a WACO backdrop appeared and the jangly, immediately recognisable guitar riff of ‘How to Taste’ brought about a thunderous rumble and the much awaited four-piece. The gig had a perfectly balanced setlist, with a seamless blend of old and new tracks. Mosh pits occupied the entirety of the Enmore floor, as expected, to create a whirlwind of mayhem. Throwback ‘Neighbour Neighbour’ was played early on and followed by a steady stream of WACO hits like ‘In the Aisle’ and ‘Slow Wave’ , as well as the simplistic’ guitar chugging ‘So Sentimental’, which turned the place into a convoluted mix of moshing and singing.
The rapid fire, garage heavy ‘Blanket’ kicked the crowd into overdrive, with ‘Viceroy’ following mercilessly after. ‘Fur Eyes’ brought about a much needed intermission of sonically calmer tunes before ‘Dope Calypso’ commenced a knockout strand of closing tracks, including tidal wave lead single ‘Like Soda’ which induced a fan sing along for its entirety. The dynamic vitality and shredding magnitude of Soho undoubtedly made for a killer show, and remains an emblematic trait of their performance personas. With the accompaniment of Dunies, DZ Deathrays and Gooch Palms, the Aussie legends expectedly bid goodbye to a loose, sore, sweaty and what appeared to be a vastly pleased crowd with ‘Covered In Chrome’ —setting the place off one last time for a proper, and only fitting, “Hell fuck yeah” conclusion.
If this review is giving you FOMO, re-live their 2014 gig at Manning Bar here.