Escape The Fate, D.R.U.G.S, The Beautiful Monument @ The Gov, Adelaide 20/4/2023

It’s been a hot minute since American post-hardcore boys Escape The Fate graced the boards in Australia and the unique timing of the album celebration – thirteen years – probably tells you why. Tonight in Adelaide, it’s as if they’ve never been away as they set out to perform their self titled third album in full.

On the journey across the continent is The Beautiful Monument, who blend bursts of energy with harmonic vocals, emotional lyrics and enough swagger to get the crowd swaying like the ocean.

The venom in lyrics such as ‘I’d wish you the best but you already had it fucker!’ and new song Hellbound – a electro laced surge of pop punk metal fury with a great chorus – has the audience hooked on a line they will not wriggle free from.

The intelligently named Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows, or D.R.U.G.S,, are like a great meal with a uniquely different flavour you can’t quite put your finger on that makes it even more delicious. Are they hardcore, punk, metal, doom? To be honest I don’t know as they switch between styles seamlessly within songs however I will tell you it works and it’s enjoyable.

Vocalist Craig Owens works the audience, imploring hands to be waived, clapped, bounced and they duly oblige including singing back the words to almost deafening volume.

The Longest Road gives everyone a breather as the atmospheric number builds before new single Gold snaps in with a snazzy groove that metamorphosis into a emo riff of gargantuan proportions.

There’s just enough time for Owens to whip the audience into a frenzy once more with Laminated E.T. Animal as the room bounces and shakes to the bands epic ability to hit that bottom end with force.

With sweat dripping off the first ten rows or so at this point, you wonder what Escape The Fate will have to do to top what’s gone on before.

The lights go down, the intro tape plays and already people are dancing, singing. and smiling. The audience is ready, is the band? By the time Choose Your Fate/Massacre has finished, a supernova of energy and excitement combined into one, we can tell the band is.

Robert Ortiz’s pounding drum rhythms are like a army of gorillas charging towards you such is the power of his hits. At this point, during Issues he’s already thrown broken drumsticks into the crowd adding to the excitement.

Singer Craig Mabbitt performs as if this is his last ever show and leaves nothing on the table. He’s shaking hands, bouncing, cracking jokes, crowd surfs. Hell at one point he’s climbs The Gov’s chimney stack and sits atop it to sing Ashley during the encore before leaping the 8 feet or so into the crowd. But I’m getting ahead of myself, back to main album set list.

Ortiz cries to keep dancing, the rhythms kick in and the distinct characters of the band really shine during City Of Sin and Day Of Reckoning’ from Ortiz’s sunset strip cool to Mabbitt’s whirl of energy and everything in between creating a sensory overload.

The venue is bouncing, it’s rowdy down in the pits and at that stage a few tech issues appear, mostly with the vocal monitors and some feedback on guitar. The band plough on completing the album, with one notable exception, before departing to cries of ‘one more song’. Little did the crowd know but there’s actually six more songs.

Low explodes, with a brilliant riff cutting its way through the song, before H8 Myself drops to an audience that is every much as part of the song as the band.

The interaction between band and crowd is legitimately 100% good time fun rock n roll. Every member of the band smiles, even the notoriously stoic Ortiz, as everyone forgets their problems and just joins in.

The aforementioned Ashley turns up the notch, unbelievably, again. Mabbitt at this point doing his best chimney sweep impression before the band finish, for real this time, with One For The Money.

With that, it’s hi-fives and smiles all round, Escape The Fate came to town and created a party atmosphere from start to finish unlike many I’ve seen before. When you go to a gig you want to walk away feeling that you experienced something special and unique. Tonight was exactly that.

Live Review By Iain McCallum

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