Redhook, Bad/Love, Belle Haven, Grenade Jumper @ Enigma Bar, Adelaide 13/5/2023

RedHook’s Ned Jankovic is in a ecstatic mood as he welcomes me into the venue. He has good reason too. His band RedHook are playing a sold out show in Adelaide tonight as part of their extensive Australian tour, their cracking debut album Postcard From A Living Hell has hit the ARIA charts and they just come off a string of shows supporting The Smashing Pumpkins. It’s been a smashing time indeed.

The Adelaide crowd are treated to a smorgasbord of the finest Australian talent on the bill and it’s Grenade Jumper who open proceedings with the Sydney band slaying with their funky pop punk vibe winning over an already large crowd. Vocalist Bianca Davino leads the audience through a selection of snarling yet empowering songs which includes a cover of No Doubts Just A Girl and considering this is the bands first venture to Adelaide, it’s great to see so many people sing back their songs.

Belle Haven were in this same venue a few months ago with Banks Arcade and they hit the stage like a homecoming band. They come in hard and stay the course combining their musical combination of post hardcore angst, melodic emo and metalcore. Vocalist David De La Hoz is engaging and gets everyone singing back Burn The Witch, which is impressively heavy, while Nobody Likes A Hospital continues to turn the heat up.

It’s my first time seeing Bad/Love and what stands out is the energy of the band. All members are jumping and the crowd reciprocates including people dressed up as Winnie The Pooh characters. Their metalcore foundation is layered on top with an ear for a melody and it makes them incredibly enjoyable to listen to. The bands infectious attitude spreads around the venue and you get the sense the guys really enjoy what they do. I can assure you the crowd really enjoyed what they did too.

With everyone suitably warmed up, lubricated and ready to fire, it’s the conquering headliners turn as they open with the punchy Postcards XO from the new album. Straight away, everything lifts a notch, the crowd know all the words as vocalist Emmy Mack snarls her way through the track and the band drive the music that sounds as powerful as a truck bursting through a wall.

Only Bones has the room shaking before Mack takes some time out to explain she’s under the weather and was still determined to play. I’m not convinced anyone noticed such was the ferocity of her theatrical performance however I do know everyone was grateful she did play.

Felicia from Adelaide band Connections gets up and sings Yours Truly Mikaila’s part in Imposter and it’s quite impressive. At this point it’s also fair to say the crowd are 100% committed to the cause too.

Fake has the crowd beginning to spill onto the stage as the whirl of excitement at what is essentially becoming one big party grows. Psych vs Psych has nurses come on stage and wrap Mack in a straight jacket as the band turn up the vaudeville of their art.

By the time Greased Jumper jump on stage for Turn Up The Stereotype – complete with saxophone solo – the party is in full swing to the point Mack requests a circle pit as the tribal rhythms of Soju hit and then Mack herself disappears into the crowd.

Whether it’s the emotional collapse during Jabberwocky or the marionette performance of Dead Walk you can’t help marvel at Mack’s performance. Full of vibrancy, attitude and not short of dramatic impact, she is entirely engaging and role model to those down front. Don’t forget, she’s under the weather too.

Bad/Love are back on stage for Off With Your Head as guitarist Craig Wilkinson comments about how crazy the crowd is tonight. It certainly is electric as Belle Haven jump on for Kamikazee.

Finishing with all the bands on stage for a raucous toilet paper throwing Bad Decisions, the party is wild and everyone here revels in a moment of pure and genuine happiness. That’s what a RedHook show gives you. Music, happiness and the ability to express who you are.

Live Review By Iain McCallum

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