Review: Caskets @ Lion Arts Factory (Adelaide)

Kayla is a music/ travel journo with a love for all things heavy and rowdy. You can find her either on a plane, in a mosh pit or at a cafe sipping lattes.

When Caskets came to Australia to support Windwaker last year, the buzz around their set was loud.

That is why it's no surprise they, along with Seattle's The Home Team, managed to sell out the vast majority of their shows across the country. Saturday nights tend to be a guaranteed big crowd in Adelaide but gazing around the line (11 May), it was easy to see this show would have sold out any night of the week.

Bad/Love from Melbourne was the first to grace the stage, the air buzzing with anticipation. Many of the sold-out audience chose to head in early, giving the love to the openers they thoroughly deserved.

Opening their set with the funky but almost prog-metal-infused track 'Feel Good', Bad/Love quickly won over the audience with frontman Landon Kirk giving lessons in charisma to aspiring singers out there as his voice oozes over the sultry basslines.

As their set went on, the heaviness built. Their trademark melodic metalcore thundered through the sound system, enticing punters to bang their heads. By the time they hit the fan favourite 'Dead Weight', the lads from Naarm successfully achieved their job at warming up the Lion Arts Factory.

Bursting onstage in a vintage AFI The Art of Drowning t-shirt, singer Brock Conroy led Stepson into battle. Kicking off with 2022's 'Erasure', this set felt like it was straight out of 2005. The t-shirt should have given it away.

The energy erupted. The old heads were itching to jump into the pit, eager to teach the younger generation how to two-step. It was the old-school sounding breakdowns, but surprisingly this was a gateway into Stepson's more recent music.

Their latest single 'Discover Lonely' even led to a wall of death, but once that was out of the system and the room was moving the band slipped back into their more pop-punk origins.

Spurred on by the Skittles given to him by a young girl in the crowd, Conroy urged the crowd to keep the energy high. He was rewarded for his efforts and by the time the Brisbane band exited the stage, there was no doubt punters were chomping at the bit for the two international acts.

After what was described as a disastrous first taste of Australia for The Home Team, having only arrived in the country three hours before their Perth show, it seemed that debacle was long forgotten.

I'm going to be honest, I had previously not been able to get into The Home Team. Their brand of heavy pop just did not hit the mark for me – until now. Experiencing them live among a sea of dedicated fans turned me from indifferent to a fan.

From the moment they busted into their set opener 'Watching All Your Friends Get Rich', nobody in the venue was still. As charismatic and charming frontman Brian Butcher is, he does not overshadow his bandmates. Bass player Ryne Olson is a little bit of a show stealer. His infectious grooves and funky rhythms are a standout.

Asking the crowd if anybody was a fan of their earlier work, Butcher was surprised to see how many people responded. As they busted into 'She's Quiet', a throwback to 2018, the response was almost as wild as when they play their latest, popular tracks.

After lamenting over the trainwreck, Butcher's words, of the night before, the band was happy to be able to treat the Adelaide crowd to the live debut of their latest single 'Overtime', which just added to what was already a memorable set from these unique Seattle rockers. I'm sure it won't be long till we see them back with their own headline tour.

The Home Team would have been a hard act to follow, but there was no doubt who the real stars of the show were. It was almost impossible to squeeze into the band room, with the turnout for the UK post-hardcore groovers Caskets.

From the second the chorus of their opening track 'Drowned In Emotion' kicked in, the crowd was belting along. Matt Flood's vocals are spine-tingling and saturated with his intense emotion, only amplified by the heavy breakdowns of the rest of Caskets.

Being a part of this crowd felt like being enveloped by a sea of bodies but yet, so strangely intimate. The connection between the band and fans was intense, an exchange of energy so pure it would convince even the most disinterested attendee of this band's power.

Switching from an older track, into the opening track of the 'Reflections' album, 'Believe', there was no missing a beat from the audience when it came to singing with them.

As they powered through this emotionally driven and carefully thought-out set, Flood continuously asked the crowd to join him in "creating core memories". He expressed just how much this tour meant to them as a band, and unlike the typical "we love yous" often expressed by frontmen, you could tell he meant every word.

So by the time they played 'Glass Heart', any sort of restraint anybody watching had was gone. Caskets did not perform the song to the audience, they performed it with them. This included a young child, who would not have been more than six, who spent the set upon his father's shoulders, singing along with every word.

Finishing the show with 'Better Way Out', there would not have been many dry eyes in the 500-strong crowd. Flood was moved to tears, and the rest of the band was not far behind him.

It was one of the most wholesome experiences I have ever witnessed at a heavy music show, amplified even more by guitarist Craig Robinson reaching out to the young boy previously mentioned and giving him his guitar pick.

Not just that young boy, but I think I can speak for everybody when I say Flood got his wish. Core memories certainly were created in Adelaide last Saturday.

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