Venue: 801 Hall @ The Axis of Textile Centre, Singapore
Date: 7th March 2013
Promoter: Reconstrux Booking
Review by: Fadhil R.
Special Thanks: Jai and the Reconstrux Booking team
Photo Credits: Isaac Sim for Reconstrux Booking
Couldn’t have asked for more than to hear the vocal talents of Matty Mullins of Memphis May Fire live in Singapore at 801 Hall @ The Axis of Textile Centre – finally. After making all their way from Australia for their Soundwave 2013 tour, they did nothing to lower my excitement for what would be a great night, especially for our two homegrown bands opening for MMF.
A roar accompanied Allegiance’s entrance from the crowd whereas Avalanche was cheered for when the lights went out. The similarity between these two local bands is that their commitment to the Singapore underground hardcore scene has been tremendous. Their newer material has never been better as both bands ripped the stage with their own set of songs. The crowd got their moshpit going, and that was a kick-start to a glorious gig.
After witnessing the supporting acts, our two opening homegrown bands Allegiance and Avalanche didn’t really have much competition in Singapore’s music industry when it comes to their genre but even if the surround sound had have been top quality, Memphis May Fire would still have blown them away. As soon as MMF announced their arrival on stage and they burst into “Without Walls”, and it was clear they were gonna put on a hell of a show, and they did exactly that. I’m not the biggest of guys, and soon lost my spot near the front after the pit opened wide, as the floor became a sea of movement and energy which didn’t let up all night. Blasting through “Alive In The Lights”, it was obvious that even with their new recent album Challenger, the setlist was heavily centred on this song, which I was completely fine with.
Sound issues have been a problem in every gig and shit happens when vocalist, Matty Mullins told off the soundman by calling him “the worst and the most pathetic soundman”. Lucky for him, Matty was in good mood with every person in the place singing every word to “The Sinner”. The delicate balance between melody and heaviness that MMF pulls off so well is not only evident within their songs, but also in their showmanship. Matty continued creating chaos on stage with a little bit of help from the crowd screaming the lyrics to “Legacy” as he tried to crowd surf but security denied that. Cory was pulling the strings of the bass tirelessly; creating an echo throughout the hall but the stereos weren’t in a good state as only a faint sound can be heard. “Vices” was more of a crowd pleaser, making the setlist a decent one, as there was a superb short drum solo by Jake Garland. Great stuff. Ending the song on a high note, Matty wasn’t impressed as he was irritated by the lack of volume on his vocals.
Speeding through “Losing Sight”, their setlist reached its nearing conclusion with sound issues time and time again (it’s the first time I had ever experienced one that bad). The vocalist threw the microphone away, trying to compose himself once again but it’s too early to quit on a bad note. He was thankful for the loyal crowd instead and told them “I do not know what’s the problem with your fucking soundman but this one is for the old school, it’s called “Victim”.” The majority of the crowd seemed to share my opinion, as there were audible boos as the sound issues were ongoing. There was a distinct lack of crowd movement all the way behind, even though I’d forced my way from the back to fairly close to the front. I actually struggled to tell when one song ended and another began at some points, but thank god for the power of crowd interaction from the lead singer. These guys have really built up the momentum from the start and toilet breaks aren’t one of the few things I’ll be rushing off to.
Of these tracks, “The Deceived” was a particular standout for me, but they all sounded just as good as on record, if not better. Matty was on fine form, leaping around the stage and engaging in some fun banter with the crowd. The audience reached fever pitch for that final song of the main set, which included everyone in the Axis jumping and moshing at the same time, which went down brilliantly.
Almost as soon as they left the stage, the chants were heard, which I was certain they would have their encore begin shortly. They came out back in a heavy fashion ensuring everyone went home with their fair share of bruises, with the flawless “Prove Me Right”! I have no idea how anyone in the Axis had any kind of voice or energy left after the post hardcore metalheads from Texas laid waste on Singapore. They did nothing to ruin my enjoyment of an amazing performance despite technical problems, from one of the most underrated bands on the planet. A slightly longer set would have been nice as well; apparently it was shorter than other nights. Have to thank Reconstrux Bookings for bringing Memphis May Fire to our shores!