Dead Letter Circus

Dead Letter Circus

Closure in Moscow and Sleep Parade

Another Dead Letter Circus tour, another sold out Melbourne show. It seems almost par for the course these days, with Melbourne’s love affair for Brisbane alternative rock wunderkinds Dead Letter Circus on full show again on Saturday night. Touring in support of their fantastic new record The Catalyst Fire, Melbourne’s Hifi Bar was the third stop on the band’s extensive tour.

Opening the night was local progressive group Sleep Parade. The four piece have been slowly honing their sound over the past few years, culminating in the release of their second album Inside/Out. Frontman Leigh Davies is as charismatic as ever, especially on the more dynamic tracks like ‘Everyday’ and ‘Passenger,’ while the intricate nature of ‘2:09’ seemed to win much of the early crowd over. However, it was closing track ‘Weeping Walls’ that really impressed, slowly building before reaching a crescendo of crashing symbols and walls of guitar. As Davis wailed into his guitar pickups at the climax, Sleep Parade had well and truly won the crowd over and was probably one of their best sets as a band.

After a short break, another group of Melbournians in Closure in Moscow took to the Hifi’s stage. Frankly, the Hifi’s somewhat cosy interior is far too small for vocalist Chris de Cinque’s excellent stage presence. Having toured with Dead Letter Circus previously, Closure In Moscow weren’t unfamiliar to much of the crowd. Tracks such as ‘Afterbirth’ and ‘A Night at the Spleen’ went over well with the crowd, while de Cinque’s inter-song banter got plenty of laughs.

Bright flashing lights and pounding synths signalled the beginning of Dead Letter Circus’ set, tearing straight into the opening track from The Catalyst Fire, ‘The Cure.’ About mid-way through the song came the realisation that Dead Letter Circus have, in the space of a few months since their last Melbourne jaunt, become a genuine headline act. Yes the band have headlined plenty of tours before, but this was the probably the first time they had played like they were headliners. Instantly, Kim Benzie had the crowd screaming lyrics back at him, while the rest of the band simply owned the stage.

All of the older favourites were there, with ‘The Mile’ and ‘Reaction’ seeing plenty of jumping, while the singalong for ‘Alone Awake’ was impressive for a track only a couple of weeks old. Later on in the set, ‘The Space on the Wall’ saw bassist Stuart Hill practicing for a limbo tournament, such was his stage manoeuvres. Importantily, it was the newer songs that seemed to hold up better in a live environment – ‘Say Your Prayers’ and ‘Insider’ came across much heavier than on record, and the crowd lapped it up big time. All too quickly, the quintet had finished the main set and walked off stage before returning for a monumental encore. After tearing through ‘Here We Divide,’ crowd favourite ‘Lines’ set the bar for every Dead Letter Circus performance from here on out, such was the energy behind the performance.

Without a doubt, Dead Letter Circus have stepped it up to a whole new level, particularly in the live format. If you were at all thinking of catching Dead Letter Circus on this tour or overseas, make sure you do, because they’re a band at the very top of their game.

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