Before you start this read, let me introduce you to Choosing Sides with a piece we did a few months back which you can read Here!
Words and snaps by Jordan Fauth
Alright, now this review is going to be biased because Choosing Sides have a special place in my Adelaide band list. I turned up to HQ a little after 7, just before the night was about to kick off and just after the lads had finished soundcheck. I wandered in and immediately was greeted by 4 big hugs from Michael, Will, Lawson and Frankie as they were finishing the final touches on setting up for the night, bar a little trouble with the venue getting the door entry sorted for the night the atmosphere was quite nice. HQ is generally considered a ‘Sports bar’ so there were plenty of punters there watching the England Vs Australia rugby game on the tellies, a few of them even chose to stick around after they were kicked out due to the night being a ticketed event which I thought was odd as these people had told the bands to 'Keep it down' just a few moments ago as they were doing soundcheck but I digress.
We all headed backstage to conduct a cheeky little interview that turned out to be a funny little laugh for all of us, You can have a watch of that Here if you would like.
After the fun of filming, and with a cheeky rum in hand, I explored the Hq venue and acquainted myself with a few new faces and generally just started to immerse myself before MoonHunter took the stage. We had a couple of the lads from the hard rock outfit Alium in attendance as well as the fellas from The Max Headroom among the myriad of different faces that it seemed had come out of the woodwork to celebrate Choosing Sides’ single launch.
Alt-Rock Duo MoonHunter were the first band to grace the stage, and as the footy fans left, the music fans came in and with a few little tweaks to their sound as they draw the curtains on the windows overlooking Hindley Street, Their set kicked off. Consisting of slightly heavy, mesmerising riffs that were coupled with some pretty impressive harmonies I'm not sure they could have grabbed a better opener, I think the fact that Moonhuner were a heavier band than the others on the bill really gave the night a more energetic atmosphere.
Moonhunter hit the scene in 2017, debuting with ‘Tell me Kid’ and a follow up single ‘Inside Out’, The duo consists of Steff Esposito on Guitar and vocals as well as Jack Crawford who hits the tubs and provides backing vocals and I was quite impressed by Jack’s passionate and energetic approach to his drumming, helping all of us to get into the groove. With the help of Jordan from Don’t Bring Stacey (Who took the stage shortly after Moon Hunter), we got the mosh going and the early stages of a circle pit which would grow into something quite beautiful towards the end of the night. Moon Hunter recently dropped their first EP ‘Hypersensitive’ as well which I would recommend having a listen to. (Sus the links section at the end of this article)
As MoonHunter wrapped up we were all feeling the energy. The lads from Choosing Sides using the early mosh as a chance to warm themselves up a bit in preparation and I think the 2 other bands on the bill Don’t Bring Stacey and Velvet Void also used it as an opportunity to loosen the joints, it being the typical spring climate that Adelaide is known for and all that.
After a short intermission, Indie rock outfit ‘Don’t Bring Stacey’ took the stage, I say Indie but you could tell these lads have a deep and secret influence from hardcore and punk bands, something you could immediately tell as they were key in opening the pit for Choosing Sides, later on, Jordan Schumacher their drummer in particular,(Honestly not convinced that’s his real name)
Arguably their most popular single to date ‘Everybody knows’ proving to be the obvious crowd favourite, eliciting the biggest response from clearly adoring fans.
Velvet Void took up the stage next and it was starting to really heat up in the room, I managed to grab myself a vantage point from backstage viewing the entire room and when I said earlier that people had come out of the woodwork, that was quite spot on, there were quite a number of people in attendance tonight which couldn’t help but make you smile.
Velvet Void brought a particularly psychedelic vibe to the stage, with clear influences from years gone by. They gave us an atmosphere from the late ’60s for part of the night, The smoke machine helped escalate this a touch as well.
I had joined Frankie and Lawson, Drummer and Bassist respectively, backstage in the ‘Brick Room’ for a moment which provided a nice reprieve from the ‘Concrete and sweat room’ and was able to observe some of their ‘Pre-Show rituals’
Blue Man group anyone?
The time had come though and everyone was more than ecstatic to see Choosing Sides take the stage, It was their single launch after all. The smoke machine was ready, the footy fans had all left, the concrete floor was as slippery and sticky as ever and Jordan from Don’t Bring Stacey was ready to open that pit up.
The lads launched into ‘The Clouds’ followed by a number of their lesser-known tracks that somehow still found to resonate within the audience as it seems the entire room jumped into the centre to join the ever-growing circle pit taking shape before us. Choosing Sides seem to have given everyone there a whole new boost of energy.
They hit us with a cover Of 'Dakota' by sterophonix that was able to retain the same tight, fast-paced energy the lads had been keeping their entire set, Bassist Lawson showing off some pretty impressive Punk jumps and shuffling techniques before They finally unveiled the new song we all wanted to hear live for the first time, ‘Transmit’ and damn if it didn’t get people signing along immediately, or was that just me? I'm not sure, I was having such a good time at this point in the night, Choosing Sides had blown me away and I quite enjoyed the set they had laid out for us. Full of passion and focus, these 4 gentlemen perfectly combine an element of Brit-pop with Australian punk to create something that sounds pleasant on the ear but gets your head banging and your feet moving.
After the set, the lads were flooded with appraise but in an obvious rush to pack up and leave as HQ was closing up and who wants to be stuck in the city with a couple of cars full of gear.
Towards the end of the night, I exchanged my goodbyes with the lads, passed around a jug of beer with a couple of the blokes from Alium and then made my way back out into the night. Thoroughly satisfied with the music I had just witnessed from all 4 bands, feeling proud I could call Adelaide home so ready for sleep I headed out…
But then, I stumbled into the boys from The Max Headroom hanging out with a Magician from Ireland and well…
We’ll leave that story for another time Haha.
For your ears:
The reason we we were all there - ‘Transmit’
Moonhunter’s latest EP - ’Hypersensitive‘
Don’t bring Stacey - ‘Everybody Knows’
Velvet Void - ‘Halfway to Marla‘