Words by Janelle Tai
Tears, sentimentality, and hope aren’t what one typically expects at a punk emo gig, but these emotions were ablaze at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre by the time Trophy Eyes took their final bow.
Even seemingly tough-as-nails bassist, Jeremy Winchester tweeted about how he couldn’t hold back after the show:
Winchester’s response is momentous as it represents the colossal success of the band who have grown from basement gigs just a couple of years ago, to now touring their third full-length album The American Dream.
Marking an accomplishment is when the the whole room chanted chorus “I won’t sleep until Sydney knows my name” from ‘Lavender Bay’ which Sydney punters gladly obliged as a kick off for the night.
The seamless transition into favourite ‘More Like You’ opened up another anthemic chanting opportunity, while lead singer John Floreani spun in a flurry across the stage and tore open the bridge of the song like a savage.
Floreani’s delivery of slower number ‘Broken’ shows a sort of tenderness balanced out with strength that only commands respect for his dynamic musicality. What’s important here is that the song is not one of pity for “sleeping with the light on at night” or feeling “what it’s like to be scared of what’s inside”, but rather it shows his resilience which doubles as advice – to “Don’t let anyone see that you’re broken”.
When ‘Something Bigger Than This’ came on, the air in the room was taken up by the dedicated fans who sang along to every word with an attempt to match (or overthrow) the already powerful stage presence brought by Floreani and the boys. Even the normies who tagged along that night would have found it hard to get swept up in the unity felt at that very moment.
Much like how comfort food satisfies a craving for something familiar, loyal fans were indulged with familiar tracks ‘Heaven Sent’ and ‘Breathe You In’ from the previous album Chemical Miracle. As the beat of the drum sped up for another oldie ‘Suicide Pact’, the crowd kept pace in singing as much as footwork. Okay, perhaps the comparison of the crowd’s enjoyment with the act of consuming a bag of golden, crisp fries seem rather frivolous now.
Ending the set was a revert back to the current album with ‘Friday Forever’, a satisfying exit with blasts from the smoke machine and golden streamers while singing along to “Don’t you wish it was Friday forever / Don’t you wish the sun never came up”. It also felt good that it was indeed a Friday night, which added to the gusto of the chant. Singing ‘Friday Forever’ at a gig on other days must suck.
It didn’t take long for Trophy Eyes to jump back onstage for encore ‘You Can Count On Me’, perfectly planned to rouse the crowd back up to fever pitch. ‘Some of my friends sell drugs /But I just sell sad songs /To the ones who feel alone/ You can count on me when it all goes wrong” may sound like another typical chant but these lyrics stand out for the bittersweet truth it tells of why they make music for their fans. Finishing on ‘I Can Feel It Calling’ is the kind of anthemic finish that made everything feel perfect and complete, representing a career milestone achieved, a nod from the music scene and a mark left on punters that night in Sydney.
Check out all the photos by Josh Groom –