In June of 2016, Luca Brasi supported Melbourne indie-punks The Smith Street Band on a national tour that landed them at a sold out Metro Theatre. It was eye-opening to see how brightly the Tassie shredders' loose and upbeat brand of punk shined in the open surrounds of a 1,000-cap hall, as opposed to the scuzzy clubs and bars they're used to thrashing. It's with that in mind that tonight's show was extra special: Luca Brasi have finally made it to the stages they deserve to conquer, and goddamn is it heartwarming to see.
Before witnessing a pivotal moment in Aussie punk history, though, we were treated to 30 minutes of spellbinding jams from fellow Apple Isler and soon-to-be superstar Maddy Jane. Jane was instantly enigmatic, coolly noodling her first song acoustically to a sea of stunned faces before she and her backing band powered into a breathless blitz of electric energy. Blending indie and pop with a deep, folky twang, Jane delivered a stunning blend of vibes that swerved between inescapable catchiness and smoky groove. She jammed passionately and in a haze of buoyancy, her stage presence in general screaming genuine adoration for the craft. Expect to see her name pop up a lot in the near future.
US imports Pianos Become The Teeth were an odd choice of opener, with their smooth and moody emo a jarring fit amongst the otherwise loud and upbeat flavours of the bill. Not for a second did that get in the way of their performance, however - frontman Kyle Durfey slid around the stage, bounding like dropped jelly with every numbing hook while guitarists Chad McDonald and Mike York thrashed like maniacs in the background. Cuts from 2014's Keep You were the centrepiece of the set, every cold pluck on "Ripple Water Shine" intense and every ethereal bend on "Repine" a cue for jaws to drop. With a new album soon to land, hopes are high that Pianos will return for a much-needed headline run.
Though their crowd was on the smaller side, Luca Brasi had no troubles bringing the Metro to life. It's unsurprising that "Aeroplane" is still an absolute banger in the live set, and when axeman Tom Busby ripped into its driving chorus riff, a mosh worthy of a deathcore gig broke out. Such pious energy remained consistent throughout the night, a new body toppling over the barrier and a new glass spun beerless with every rip-roaring punk frother. With cuts like the fiery "Say It Back" and anthemic "Anything Near Conviction", the band proved that If This Is All We're Going To Be – their 2016 breakthrough LP – still feels fresh and ferocious from the pit. Even the slower "Count Me Out" (with Maddy Jane filling in for Georgia Maq behind the mic) was acute in its impact as the final jam of the night.
There was a sharp dynamic between Busby and co-shredder Patrick Marshall; the duo buddied up often to rip noodly solos, elevate each other's shredding or flick riffs back and forth. Coursing over tight basslines from frontman Tyler Richardson, the pair built a fierce wall of sound for drummer Danny Flood to go full-on psychopath with. The band as a whole forged an authentic bond with the crowd – between interjections of how shocked he was to be headlining the Metro, Richardson clamoured for fans to scream along, threw shakas and head nods to every punter he laid eyes on, and tied every line of banter back to their fans. And it's that – the positivity, the inclusion and the focus on inciting a – which makes Luca Brasi such an alluring force.
Simply put, it's hard to leave a Luca Brasi show unhappy. At the very least, you're guaranteed to hear a handful of two of riotous punk anthems, throw down in a mosh that's not too dickhead-plagued, and feel like you're part of a close-knit family that – even as it continues to balloon with every radio-slammed single and venue-filling tour – never loses its sense of authenticity. Tonight, obviously, was no different.