Sentia @ Evelyn Hotel

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Right from the get-go, Melbourne five-piece Enlight laced into their set and sounded great. They have an interesting sound, it could possibly be described as atmospheric prog-pop, but when they fire up and get heavy, they do so very skilfully, reaching out, smashing you around the face, before pulling back again.

These guys weave nice, intricate guitar lines and sweet lead work into their sound, and singer Rachael Graham possesses an ethereal voice. With a little more work on her confidence and general stagecraft, she will be an excellent frontperson. Enlight are a highly promising young band with a very bright future, if they continue to work hard on their craft.

Terrestrials received some good natured heckles from the crowd at the completion of their first song, with some joker yelling out “Testicals” to general laughter after the singer announced the band’s name. There’s always one.

This band slammed out relatively straightforward grooves via a rock solid rhythm section, with the emphasis on very active, technical, reverb soaked guitar lines and high-end vocals. You can detect a strong Dead Letter Circus influence in this band’s sound, and this is cool because DLC are a rippingly good band. More in the way of vocal harmonies could make the music really soar to the heavens, but  that will come with time. Overall Terrestrials are definitely heading in the right direction.

Sharrow are an interesting conglomeration. Four hippie looking blokes and one tall willowy blonde girl on the keys belting out what can only be described as psychedelic prog, and looking like they’re having an absolute ball doing so. Their extended instrumental space jams, that stray into experimental jazz and fusion-esque territory, nudged at the edges of self-indulgence but never quite stepped over the line, managing to keep it just in check. Sharrow’s set was heaps of fun.

The entire stage was bathed in light blue dry ice as Sentia’s intro music blasted out of the PA, building tension nicely as the large crowd anticipated the band of the night. Their style is smooth and soothing, more crisp and clean than bludgeoningly heavy and in your face, and their earnest onstage enthusiasm was quite infectious. Especially that of the eternally sincerely grateful frontman Amos Phillips, who has a great voice and presence, and with the other members created some sweet vocal harmonies.

Their set slid by too quickly. However, they packed some serious dynamics into 35 minutes and only left the crowd howling for more. And they go it, with the band returning for an encore, which turned out to be their most driving and energetic tune of the night.

While the night had the unusual structure of the headline band playing second last, final act Chasing Lana were out to prove they weren’t just some band tacked on the end. They exploded onto the stage after an intro of Carmina Burana, cliché but ever dramatic, smashing the still very healthy crowd like 10 tonne of bricks before rising to soaring poppy choruses. They’re the very definition of modern hard rock, certainly drawing influence from glammy hard rockers of the past, but injecting it with more grit and toughness. They know how to put on an extroverted rock show too, bringing in extra lights, including a strobe, a smoke machine, and indulging in some typically rock n roll onstage antics.

BY ROD WHITFIELD

 

Loved: The variation.

Hated: Not hated, but five bands is a bit much.

Drank: Coopers Pale Ale.