Live Review: Children Collide – The Metro Theatre (24.03.2012)

Children Collide returned to The Metro in Sydney for their ‘Sword to a Gunfight’ tour, showing us why they’re one of the best live bands doing the rounds in Australia.

From the moment ‘Chosen Armies’ kicked things off for the night, their energy was high and the sound was loud. Lead singer Johnny Mackay barely stopped moving around the stage and launched himself into the first rows of the crowd a number of times, causing a fan to caress the back of his head as he leaned over.

Children Collide mosh-pits are often dangerous places and Saturday night was no exception. Two girls started fighting about five songs into the set and it took three attempts from other crowd members to stop them before security stepped in.

It was a strangely excited Sydney crowd, with one guy taking his shirt off and swinging it around his head for most of the show and another getting over the barrier and jumping on stage.

Mackay and drummer, Ryan Caesar, appear to have a loveless relationship – with no mention of this being Caesar’s last tour with the band and his last show in Sydney. A devoted fan held up signs saying: “Farewell Ryan Caesar” during ‘Farewell Rocketship’ and “Ryan leaves me with Jelly Legs” during ‘Jelly Legs’, to show at least one person would miss him.

If anyone was looking forward to hearing new material, or even tracks from their last album ‘Theory of Everything’, they might have left disappointed. The set list was primarily from first album The Long Now and songs such as ‘We Live in Fear’ and ‘Fire Engine’ have become predictable. Single ‘My Eagle’ got the strongest response, with the crowd yelling: “Woo! Woo! Woo!” and fist-pumping with Mackay.

Technically, they are faultless and Mackay’s guitar playing is stronger than ever. He’s also becoming more comfortable on stage and has started to engage in banter with the crowd.

But you’d like to see more variety from their set-lists and the possibility of an encore every so often. Perhaps a tour and a new drummer after the album Monument is released in April will see them add some surprises to their shows.

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Justine McNamara

I'm an Australian living in New York. I work in marketing but I write about music, New York, and my own personal experiences.

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