Live Review: Northlane at The Roundhouse in Sydney Australia (Live Stream)

Not a live stream in the conventional sense but a replay of the first and biggest show of the “Alien” World Tour,  pro-shot using 14 cameras in front of a sold out home crowd, with the audio mixed and mastered by “Alien” engineer Chris Blancato. A celebrated performance captured at The Roundhouse, an iconic venue in Sydney on 11th October 2019, it sees Northlane themselves getting the first direct feedback from the fans to their style shift for the deeply personal “Alien” fifth studio record, that sees vocalist Marcus Bridge share his thoughts and feeling on a troubled childhood. As this is a recording, there is a chat going during the show with vocalist Marcus Bridge talking to the fans, which makes for a slightly surreal experience. When we watched the Suicide Silence live stream, the fans got a Q&A with the band afterwards, which was great fun, while the Raging Speedhorn one just saw the fans chatting among themselves during the show. The questions are free flowing and varied, Bridge does his very best to answer them all and it’s surprisingly not the distraction from the show that you might think it would be.

From the very start of the show, the mix is phenomenal and unlike the show that we saw them at in London later on, there is no muddiness in the sound at all. “Talking Heads” gets things started in riotous fashion, although there are some mid song strained vocal moments from Bridge, that’s perhaps more down to nerves than anything else. He’s sporting a new look, having shed his hair and the aesthetic has a science fiction feel with the band in black performing in front of a brilliant light show of fluorescent colours. The rap-screams of “Details Matter” with it’s instant hook and Meshuggah esq chug sees the fans screaming along with each battering riff of heavy DJent roar hitting hard, wave after wave, the “Alien” guitar tone being seriously dark and dense. Any nerves that Bridge was suffering have gone by the time “Jinn” surfaces, his clean vocals soaring as they do on the album, while having that raw quality you get from the emotive side of a live performance. It’s clear that this show is very important to Northlane, everything has to be perfect and the band are tight, drummer Nic Pettersen sitting behind a huge rig and providing the rhythmic grooves alongside bassist Brendon Padjasek.

Tonight maybe about “Alien” but there is plenty of space for tracks like “Rot” from 2015’s “Node” and “Citizen“, the opening cut from 2017’s “Mesmer” which both sits comfortably in their new surroundings, the DJent heavy grooves and bright chorus of the later getting more guitar involvement from Jon Deiley who also gives this one some added programming. “4D” sees Padjasek deliver the final unclean vocal lines and has proved himself as more than a fitting replacement for Alex Milovic. “Bloodline” is an anthem and becomes a huge sing-a-long “I was raised in hell, I made it out by myself, I was raised to bleed, Bad blood runs wild and free” sung by every single voice in the building and no doubt all the fans watching at home. An encore of “Sleepless” sees Deiley provide the icy synths and break beats before the band come in for the final chorus and verse, while the spotlight is firmly on Bridge, whose stand out clean vocal performance of the night is mesmeric in its stunning quality, holding everyone’s gaze and attention throughout. “Quantum Flux” closes out the show tonight, from 2013’s “Singularity“, the fans singing every word, before a ticker tape drop into the final vocal lines. The show is an hour and by the end we’re left wanting more, which tells you all you need to know about just how good it is, not to mention how much we’ve been missing live shows in the current Global situation. Hopefully we all get the opportunity to see Northlane on a stage soon [8.5/10]

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