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At The Drive In returned to Melbourne in fine form

There’s always a certain juxtaposition of excitement and hesitation when a heralded band returns from the grave. At The Drive In left a legacy of frenetic energy and chaos when they broke up, so it was hard to go into this show without some semblance of expectation and nerves.

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Image source: 
David Harris

Le Butcherettes opened the evening’s proceedings with a very interesting and unique set, but it was clear that the crowd was aching for the headliner. With At The Drive In selling out The Forum in record time last year, it wasn’t surprising to see Festival Hall sufficiently packed with people reliving their early-‘00s post-hardcore phase.
 
The lights dimmed and the all too familiar shaker/drum intro of Arcarsenal bellowed through the venue. Expected? Yes. Complaining? No. It was clear to see from the moment the entire band kicked in that the magic was still there and that they were having fun.
 
Classic Relationship of Command cuts like Pattern Against User, Sleepwalk Capsules and Cosmonaut rallied the crowd for some epic singalongs and got the pit moving. As far as newer material, No Wolf Like The Present and Governed By Contagions went down well, but the rest of the cuts from this year’s Interalia simply seemed to operate as gap fillers for the more coveted classics that the punters were hungry for.
 
Cedric Bixler-Zavala did incredibly well to captivate the crowd with his powerful words. Admittedly, he’s older now and a more seasoned vocalist, but sadly with that proficiency also comes a lack of harshness and urgency, which is a huge part of what is so endearing about earlier ATDI material.
 
After a strong hour of power, the band exited the stage, only to return for the all-too-expected encore of One Armed Scissor. Again, we all knew it was coming, but no one seemed to care. Ensuring that the show finished on a high note, and that no one in the venue could speak after screaming their lungs out.
 
Highlight: Singing along to Pattern Against User without a care in the world.
Lowlight: The epic wait for the bathroom.
Crowd Favourite: One Armed Scissor……..duh.