Reviews – Midnight Juggernauts gig @ Forum Theatre 19/08/2010

This review was written as an assignment for reporting arts and culture. And was also published in Inpress magazine where I interned in 2010.

Since the release of their sophomore album, The Crystal Axis, in May, Melbourne electro-rock outfit Midnight Juggernauts have been on a whirlwind tour of the world.

Arriving on home base, Vincent Vendetta (vocals/synth), Daniel Strickland (drums), Andrew Szekeres (guitarist), and an extra touring member treated Melbournians to a night filled with a unique blend of rock and psychedelic dance tunes at The Forum Theatre on Thursday 19 August 2010.

Punters who turned up at the very early time of 8:25 were treated to the eccentric Nick Cave-esque vocals of Kirin J. Callinan. The one-man-band’s performance was a bizarre mix of synthesised beats, slow guitar riffs and soothing vocals. He thanked the small crowd that had gathered at the show to watch him.

Sydney five-piece Dappled Cities were also supporting on the night. The band played a slew of yet to be released songs, receiving a positive reaction from the audience as they quietly moshed to the rock tunes. Triple J favourite The Price, a slow tempo song featuring harmonious vocals was also played. Having never heard their music, I thought these guys were a band I’d definitely recommend as they were able to get the crowd excited after an underwhelming performance by Callinan.

Showcasing tracks from their current and debut album, Dystopia released in 2007, Midnight juggernauts upbeat Tombstone with its sing along lyrics: “Is it a war zone? Is it a freak show? Is it a terror dome? Is it a radio? Is it a firewall? Is it a death toll? Is it an atom bomb? Is it a tombstone?’ garnered the biggest reaction from the crowd. From their new album, Vital Signs, first single This New Technology, The Great Beyond, and Winds of Fortune were played. The talented men kept the performance interesting by showcasing their multi-instrumental talents.

Having not heard their new music, when asked what she thought of the new material, fellow concertgoer Vivienne, 20, said she was quite impressed. “Midnight Juggernauts definitely have their own unique sound. They’ve definitely continued with that uniqueness into their new stuff, so I love it!”

Vendetta’s interaction with the crowd was fantastic; he asked for song requests, took photos of them and talked to their fans. The only downfall was when a ‘minor’ glitch occurred; Strickland was pounding on his drums with such force that one of them broke. Vendetta kept the audience occupied with a spot of improvisation on his new synthesiser, which he said the band had to purchase “because the previous one was lost two shows ago.”

Szekeres told www.thevine.com.au the idea for their latest album came from wanting to produce a more raw sound than previously, “I think the live (feel from) touring really carried over into the recording process, we just wanted to work on a much rawer (sic) sounding album,” he said.

The three-and-a-half hour long concert concluded at midnight with a rocking encore performance of Into The Galaxy. With its spacey synthesised timbre, the song was a perfect choice to end on, the surroundings enhancing the atmosphere with its blue roof and tiny lights representing the night’s sky.

Left alone on stage, Vendetta thanked the crowd, took a photo of them, and left the stage with a salute to his fans.

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