Thornhill: Heroine tour

10 July 2022 – The Triffid Brisbane – words by Luci Scott – pictures by Bec Harbour

Following the recent release of Thornhill’s sophomore full-length Heroine on 3 June on UNFD, the latest chapter in the Melbourne group’s scintillating journey continued with a huge national Australian album tour. I was lucky enough to be able to experience this on Sunday at the Triffid in Brisbane. Fans of Thornhill seemed very eager both online leading up to this show and when arriving at the venue, you could sense that they were very excited to hear the band’s new album live. Thornhill’s newest album Heroine is one that needs to be experienced, not just listened to, the band have said they wanted to play the album in full start to finish for this tour but ultimately settled on throwing some older songs in too and made the whole night more of an experience than just a show, that definitely was a reaction I had for this bands live show.

Getting the night started was Melbourne-based New Zealand modern heavy mavericks Banks Arcade. This 5-piece brought their style of modern heavy music into the Triffid for one hell of a performance on Sunday night. Unfortunately, being the opening band people were still trickling into the venue and were hesitant to get into the set. It was quite disappointing to see very minimal movement from the crowd as I looked around during their set. I very much enjoyed their set, having seen them a few months ago when they last were in Brisbane, their set on Sunday night was a huge improvement on the last time seeing them. Banks Arcade had some definite stand-out songs for the night being, however, the song that stuck the most in my head was ‘Sick’, which did get a lot of people singing along to its very catchy chorus and a few people moving around in a small mosh. 

Keeping the night going on a much heavier note was Gravemind. Coming from Melbourne, they brought a shift in energy straight out of the gate; with their upbeat, kinetic, heavy sound; there was a soar of movement all through their set from their very first song. Although Gravemind is a four-piece, they came on Sunday as a three-piece, exclaiming to the crowd that their drummer’s flight had been cancelled and he wasn’t able to make it to the show – however, I, I’m sure along with many others, hadn’t noticed there was no drummer on stage as the band had a backing track of drums playing which still resonated through the Triffid as hard and heavy as if their drummer was there with them. 

Continuing the night on was the very well-received Californian band Dayseeker. This tour is the very first-time Dayseeker has played in Australia and wow they didn’t disappoint. I have been following this band this the release of their 2019 album Sleeptalk and was very happy to be able to experience their songs live, as you could feel how these songs have affected others as the crowd was full of people singing their hearts out to every song they played.

Southern California’s Dayseeker mixes metalcore and post-hardcore with pop-infused sorcery and were a perfect fit in the evening as their songs make you want to move around yet hit you right in the feels with their powerful lyrics. Lead singer Rory Rodriguez shared with the crowd that he was feeling extra emotional during this tour as it had just been the first anniversary since losing his father to a battle with cancer. Rory shared that he would always call his dad when on tour and now he wasn’t able to, and as he dedicated a song to his father the crowd cheered. They finished their set on a high note with what I would say is their most popular song, ‘Sleeptalk’, to which there were many people up on each other’s shoulders and crowd surfers coming through the crowd.

After a very quick changeover, the lights dimmed, and Thornhill’s heavenly ‘Something Terrible Came with the Rain’ began. This set the tone for the night we were instore for a beautiful atmospheric metalcore experience. Starting with ‘The Hellfire Club’ the crowd got straight into the mood, mosh pits breaking out left right and centre. Vocalist Jacob Charlton began to show off his amazing vocal ability that has come a long way over the years; Jacob’s higher tones give off an angelic feeling. The set continued with more favourites from their newest album Heroine; ‘Leather Wings’ and ‘Hollywood’, keeping the crowd on their toes the band then threw in an older song. ‘Views From the Sun’ and ‘Lily and The Moon’ were surprising yet very much welcomed additions to this very Heroine-based setlist. The crowd at the Triffid loved that songs were being played from The Dark Pool album as well as their newer tracks. 

Talk about a band creating an experience over just putting on a show, Thornhill knows how to impress. The band’s very melodic, moody track ‘Blue Velvet’ was up next and during each chorus, the band had fake snow being sprayed over them and the crowd. This fake snow, along with the incredible light show created an experience I have yet to experience this year at any of the shows I’ve been to. ‘Blue Angel’ was very much a standout song to me for their set and the feeling in the room at the triffid was just one of the raw emotions all around. 

Following ‘Blue Angel’ a chant broke out of ‘Horny for Thorny’ which went on for around a full minute, to which Jacob responded with ‘I guess you guys are very horny’, the remark was met with laughs and cheers and the band then moved on to play one of their most popular songs, ‘Arkangel’ bringing the movement back up, only to follow up with a very slow, moody ‘Valentine’. The boys from Thornhill created a different feeling during ‘Valentine’ as Jacob sang into a prop old-style phone; this along with the amazing lighting just made a very special feeling all around.

The second half of Thornhill’s set was just as full on as the beginning. Following ‘Valentine’ with another three very upbeat tracks, ‘Raw’ and ‘Casanova’ and an older track ‘Coven’, the band then came back with a much more emotive ‘Varsity Hearts’. During ‘Varsity Hearts’ Thornhill very much achieved creating an experience as their sound, the lighting, and the addition again of fake snow all came together to create a feeling of togetherness in the crowd. Finishing off the night with the two final songs from each of their albums was very special. Both ‘Where we go when we die’ and “heroine’ are amazing in their ways but again, the addition of fake snow during ‘heroine’ made it a full experience and not just a show. 

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