The Black Queen had the audience in palm of their hands at the suitably intimate Northcote Social Club

It was a stunning show by the Greg Puciato-led outfit.

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David Harris

I’ve seen Greg Puciato perform with The Dillinger Escape Plan dozens of times over the years. He is one of the best vocalists and performers in heavy music and never fails to impress. With that in mind, I truly had no idea what to expect from The Black Queen’s performance walking into Northcote Social Club on Saturday evening. The Black Queen couldn’t be farther removed from the bands that Puciato is heralded for, and with their material being so predominantly electronic and full of eerie atmosphere, I was curious to see how the songs would translate live.

I arrived just in time to see Drab Majesty. The electronic two-piece were a stellar choice to support The Black Queen’s first to Australia and set the tone of the evening perfectly. Dreamy soundscapes, chorus-drenched guitars and enough Depeche Mode/The Cure worship to make any ‘80s synth fan foam at the mouth. Job well done, team.

Two things went through my mind within the first 60 seconds of The Black Queen’s ‘Thrown Into The Dark’. Firstly, any preconceived concerns I had about the songs not translating well to a live setting were unnecessary. Secondly, Greg Puciato is one of those vocalists that can do absolutely anything and be utterly exceptional at it. Vulnerable, powerful and captivating, he well and truly has all bases covered.

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The Black Queen’s setlist was an absolute treat and flowed effortlessly. With the set made up of essentially all of the band’s first record Fever Daydream, as well as selected cuts from the recent Infinite Games, you couldn’t really ask for more.

For those unaware, the Northcote Social Club isn’t a large venue by any means. This made the show feel tight and intimate, which honestly worked perfectly given the tone of the music. It felt like every member of the audience was at full attention and captivated by the music and production. On that note, a lot can be said about taking your show to another level with a projector and a good light show. These elements really took The Black Queen’s music to another level and immersed the listeners fully.

Upbeat cuts like ‘Secret Scream’, ‘Ice To Never’ and ‘That Death Cannot Touch’ had the crowd moving with delight, but the vulnerable moments of the set were truly something special. The incredibly sparse ‘Your Move’ and the hauntingly eerie ‘Distanced’ were highlights, and really showed how even in the most minimal songs of The Black Queen’s set, Puciato had the crowd in the palm of his hand.

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The Black Queen finished their set triumphantly, with both of the final tracks from their respective albums ‘One Edge Of Two’ and ‘Apocalypse Morning’. I walked out of the venue energised, emotional and praying beyond all hope that it doesn’t take too long for the band to release new music and return to our shores for another round.

Highlight: Puciato's undeniable swagger.

Lowlight: A member of the audience getting carried out mid-set.

Crowd Favourite: 'Secret Scream'.