Hailing from Sydney, Tonight Alive returned to local venue, The Metro, for an “intimate live album preview” according to the venue’s Facebook event. Limitless is due for release in 5 weeks and to say the band and the fans are excited is a massive understatement. Tonight Alive is undergoing a transformation towards a larger audience, securing their first commercial radio time with the track Drive, the third single from the upcoming album.
D At Sea opened, just one man and his acoustic guitar smashing out a very quick chilled set. The playlist in between sets included such classics as Blink-182’s I Miss You and, to the entire crowd’s utter delight, John Farnham’s You’re The Voice, which triggered an anthem-like response. The lights went dark and lead guitarist Whakaio Taahi, rhythm guitarist Jake Hardy, bassist Cam Adler and drummer Matt Best entered to the sound of Jenna McDougall’s disembodied voice singing the intro to To Be Free. She ran on stage in Adidas track pants and I was momentarily confused as to whether I was at a rock show or a rap concert, especially with the addition of lasers. While it may have been jarring at first, Jenna effortlessly conveyed who she was as the band’s front woman, barrelling through 3 tracks before stopping to introduce them all:
“We are Tonight Alive and, if you don’t know what we’re about, we stand for personal expression and emotional freedom.”
Full of power poses and spinning roundhouse kicks, Jenna spent most of her time dancing on top of a narrow riser the ran the width of the stage, her voice impeccably clear and bright. The crowd was all too willing to sing the lyrics for her whenever she pointed the mic their way (which was often). Jenna also recognised some audience members who’ve been coming to their gigs since 2008.
Five tracks in and the boys left just Jenna and Whakaio sitting on the edge of the riser with an acoustic guitar. They played Closer on request. Jenna dedicated Breaking and Entering to their record label, Sony Music, in an attempt to dispel some preconceived notions about being on a major label and to thank them for being “like a family”. Afterwards Jenna left Whakaio to adjust something. The crowd chanted for a solo and Whakaio played a few bars of Blink’s I Miss You to elated cheers. When it came to introducing the third acoustic track, The Other Side, Jenna cheekily replied to the audience, “Oh, you don’t want to hear this one? I’m so sorry!” and played it anyway.
They didn’t bat an eyelid when a man dressed in a Spider-Man morph suit made it on stage. Whakaio, Jake and Cam were full of a bro-type camaraderie, each of them trying to include Matt as much as possible. There was a moment where the three boys perched on the corner of the drum riser and jammed together while Jenna did her thing up front.
Even though they left the stage before doing an encore, they didn’t waste much time teasing the audience. It was barely a few minutes before a roadie was on the drum kit to play the intro recording to How Does It Feel.
Overall, the band is filled with such energy and electricity; I anticipate this new Limitless era will be something worth seeing
Limitless will be available on 4th March!
To Be Free
Hell & Back
What Are You So Scared Of?
Closer (acoustic, played on request)
Breaking & Entering (acoustic, dedicated to Sony)
The Other Side (acoustic, extended unreleased version)
How Does It Feel