Brisbane punks WAAX are a force to be reckoned with

Brisbane punks WAAX are a force to be reckoned with

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Words by Luke Carlino
Photo by Josh Braybrook

You know you are in for a good show when the opening band plays to a near-full room.

Wollongong’s Cry Club were privy to such an occurrence as part of WAAX‘s sold out ‘I Am’ Australian tour. The opener seamlessly brought together post-punk energy with pop hooks that had touches of the ‘80s strewn throughout. It’s the perfect music for sad dancing and a great way to amp up an eager crowd, not to mention their excellent megaphone use.

Next up, WAAX’s hometown buddies Sweater Curse soothed the crowd with distortion and the haunting melodies of lead singer Monica Sottile. This band feels like a ‘90s throwback that pulls guitar influence from American football. You could almost be forgiven for thinking you were at a Sweater Curse headline show based on the crowd size and reaction, along with how well they handled themselves on stage.

WAAX are known for their frenetic live presence, and lead singer Marie DeVita was in fine form throughout the entire set, commanding the stage and clearly enjoying the sold-out milestone. Kicking off with the new single ‘FU’, it was clear that the support bands had either done their jobs really well or people just really love WAAX. The crowd was with DeVita for every word as the group moved into ‘This Everything’, a song that shows off the power and range of the singer’s vocal abilities.

With a new record due out a week after the tour finishes, there was plenty of material to choose from. The band took the opportunity to preview a few new tracks, including the thumping ‘No Apology’ and the slightly slower and more melodic ‘History’. While the energy of the crowd understandably dipped a little during the lesser-known numbers, the band’s performance didn’t waiver in the slightest, clearly proud of their latest offerings.

The main set ended with a massive singalong for ‘I Am’, the title track of the tour, before the band reappeared for a massive encore with the hit ‘Labrador’ which was given a boost from Camp Cope‘s Georgia Maq.

The high-energy affair seemed to go very quickly, with a few former WAAX staples left out, though with a swag of new material ready to be shown, it’s understandable that the group is eager to show crowds what’s up ahead. Based on the first of their two sold-out Melbourne appearances, WAAX are only getting better.

Highlight: The new, as yet unheard music.

Lowlight: It could have been a little longer.

Crowd favourite: The closing ‘Labrador’ with Georgia Maq.