Biffy Clyro

You've got to admire a good work ethic. Scorning the thought of resting between the huge arena shows they've been playing with Muse, Biffy Clyro instead chose to reward Melbourne fans with their second headline show at The Hi Fi in just six months. Two arena-loads of people may have held tickets to see them the same week, but the Scottish rockers managed once again to sell the entire place out.


Calling All Cars know exactly how to handle an excitable crowd, and I walked in on them midway through doing just that. There were no fancy lights or over the top stage moves, but there was plenty of fist-pumping from the crowd as the boys blasted through a bunch of tracks familiar to any casual Triple J listener. The mix was impressively solid for an opening band, and closing track ‘ Disconnect' definitely had a few people exited.


The anticipation seemed to set in as soon as they left the stage. Chants of ‘Mon the Biff!' struck up within a couple of minutes of the house lights coming up, and the security guard in front of me looked a little worried as he told whoever was on the other end of his radio that the whole place was "about to go off like a firecracker." Blasting onto the stage to ideal opening track ‘ The Captain', anybody not yet excited was onboard by the first whoop. Clad in nothing but skinny jeans and Chuck Taylor's, the band's three main members claimed prime positions amid the shifting lights and forest of mic stands. An additional guitarist opted for a costume of skinny formalwear and was relegated to a darkened corner of the stage.


Last time I saw these guys, I can remember the sound literally distorting in my ears. It was loud. Thankfully, the mix this time around was not only perfectly balanced, but actually digestible. While more than half of 2009's ‘ Only Revolutions' made it onto the setlist, this was less than earlier in the year and the longer set was fleshed out with plenty of older favourites that the crowd seemed all too familiar with. A couple of these were given the solo treatment by an unaccompanied Simon Neil, and he seemed a bit blown away by the volume at which the crowd returned his lyrics. Standout tracks were hard to pick, but ‘ That Golden Rule' was definitely memorable, as was ‘ Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies'. The older tracks definitely saw the band at their most energetic, and it was great to see Neil lurch from a headbanging crouch to thrash around the stage when the distortion kicked in. He stole the spotlight throughout the entire show, but when totally rocking out he was just captivating. Although it lasted an hour and a half, the night was over all too quickly. After a few minutes of teasing, the band returned to encore with radio hit ‘ Mountains' and were greeted with their biggest response of the night. If you missed it never fear, they'll be back soon – and I wouldn't be surprised to see them pack out a much bigger venue.

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