Banks Arcade, Belle Haven, Signv/s, Throwaway @ Enigma Bar, Adelaide 25/2/2023
Just shy of two years ago, Banks Arcade left their home country of New Zealand and set up camp in Melbourne, armed with a collection of songs and a drive to fully focus on their dreams, to be someone.
Fast forward to tonight and the last show of their Australian headline tour in Adelaide. Recent trips here recently have been with Thornhill, Yours Truly and an appearance at the world famous Download Festival in the UK, and as singer Joshua O’Donnell finishes the last words to Wine, you can’t help but think the boys have done good.
O’Donnell comes off stage, literally dripping in sweat, the performance tonight engaging the energetic Enigma crowd that they too are experiencing something special. They are witnessing a band that have just completed this level and about to rise up another notch.
First on the quadruple bill is Adelaide three piece Throwaway, who put everything into their set. Categorising them is brilliantly difficult as one song has 90’s alt rock vibes before a hardcore track is dropped and a cover of BMTH Drown thrown in too. It makes for compelling viewing as the style keeps you guessing each time.
SIGNV/S have been on my radar for a while and should be on yours too. An actual whirlwind of sound, energy, riffs and beats, the band know what gets a crowd going and they waste no time flicking that switch. The breakdowns are earth moving, the vocals snarling and the groove behind the front drives the way Vin Diesel wishes he could in those movies. Always a good set.
Melbourne’s Belle Haven are always welcomed back to Adelaide with outstretched arms and reciprocating vocals from the crowd. Tonight is no different. Scrolling through a extensive playlist, they mix deep cuts with newer tracks with a style I can only describe as melodic hardcore such is the ability to switch between the softer approach and then a sledgehammer of guitars.
Banks Arcade are another band that can seamlessly switch from a emotive gentle feel to a deliciously heavy rumble. They also add in hip hop influences with electronic beats and you have a enticing smorgasbord of sounds.
With the set list essentially their last cracking album Future Lovers with a few oldies slipped in, the band go straight for it with Fake Your Death opening and the tone is set.
System Failed is big and dynamic and the audience, bellowing every word back to a person, are clapping along to Spark shortly after.
O’Donnell’s burgeoning performance style coming to the fore during the solo Ether before Future Lovers itself has the band come in, all the while accentuating the emotional storytelling of the lyrics.
It’s the story telling that is key, every crowd member is focussed on the band and Josh’s every word, at times seemingly louder than the band themselves. None more so than on Be Someone.
As the clock strikes midnight, mosh pits develop during Chosen and the band bring home not just tonight’s set but the whole tour in glorious fashion.
Used, Smile, Sick and Wine round out the night as the band bounce on the tiny stage and the crowd light the place up with mobile phones.
Banks Arcade implore you to Be Someone, to go live your dreams with all your heart, these guys should know cause tonight was the culmination of them doing the exact same thing, they are and will continue to be someone you should have on your playlist every day.
Live Review By Iain McCallum