Review: Hot Mulligan @ The Corner Hotel (Melbourne)

Hot Mulligan played The Corner Hotel (Melbourne) on 3 March, 2024 - image © Harrison Innes
Now based in Melbourne/ Naarm, Harrison is a passionate advocate for live music in Australia and enjoys both shooting/ reviewing the best live shows.

Finally making their Australian debut, Hot Mulligan came to conquer.

A night filled with twinkly guitars and voice-breaking screams, Hot Mulligan, Free Throw and Bad Neighbour created a safe haven for pop-punk and emo lovers to come and be together (3 March).

Recently announced for the Brisbane leg of New Bloom Festival and receiving a triple j premiere of their latest single, Bad Neighbour have been on a clear-cut winning streak.

The band brought their homegrown emo-punk fusion to the stage in an explosive way, opening with a new track, 'Millions'. Announcing they had recently completed recording an upcoming album, the crowd roared excitedly.

Slipping in some of their hits, songs like 'Paul Avery' and 'Slip Away' had those familiar with Bad Neighbour with raised arms in an already packed crowd.

Bad Neighbour
Bad Neighbour - image © Harrison Innes

There are few other local bands who could've set the mood like Bad Neighbour did – receiving applause and praise from both the crowd and fellow touring bands.

Also making their own Australian debut were Nashville legends Free Throw. Refining their own emo sound since 2012, the powerhouse band brought the sought after American energy to the stage.

Through a mix of screams and guitar tapping came an emotionally vulnerable and devastating performance. Being on Australian shores for the first time, the band made sure to touch on every corner of their discography.

A special feature from Hot Mulligan's singer Tades saw the screams on the tail end of 'A Part Is Better Than Zero' enacted in real life. Speaking about their love for their friends Hot Mulligan, Free Throw were more than happy to roll out the red carpet for the band: "Hot Mulligan are literally my favourite band – are you excited for Hot Mulligan?!"

Free Throw
Free Throw - image © Harrison Innes

Finishing with two-track combo of 'Randy, I Am The Liquor' and 'Two Beers In', the deafening roar of the crowd made Free Throw singer Corey's voice redundant, overpowered by the voices behind the barricade. As the track faded out, the band left the stage with grins lining their faces.

The anticipation filling the room came to a climax with the entrance of the headliner, Hot Mulligan. The energy from the get-go was electric, with opening track 'Drink Milk And Run' setting the perfect tone in the room.

Punters surged forward, arms raised, voices louder than the band in front of them. The band spun around onstage, Tades' head thrashing around in a ball of sweat and hair. The show was a high-octane action adventure, overflowing with sing-along after sing-along.

The band made sure to keep things mixed up, jumping around from their latest acclaimed album 'Why Would I Watch' back to deep cuts off of their 2016 album, 'Opportunities'.

Hot Mulligan.2
Hot Mulligan - image © Harrison Innes

It's not normal you have an entire crowd so up to date with an act's discography, but it would be hard to say the audience didn't know every single word to Hot Mulligan's set. It was like being in a room of Swifties, if Swifties were into second-wave emo. The energy was something only found in certain shows and Hot Mulligan wielded that energy like a magical spell.

Making sure to combat the depressing tone of their songs, lead singer Tades knew how to keep things light in the set's short intervals. Some of the best monologues would include the noting of how many more "piss troughs" Australia has: "Why piss alone when you can piss with friends," Tades joked to an overly enthusiastic audience.

That was followed closely by an equally hysterical inciting of a chant for The Corner Hotel's famous pillar, which stands proudly in the middle of the venue: "Give it up for pillar! Pillar! Pillar! Pillar!"

Lastly, an admirable refusal after unrelenting chants for a shoey – which some audience members couldn't seem to let go. These moments were fleeting however, as each song sent the room into a new surge of chaotic screaming.

Hot Mulligan.3
Hot Mulligan - image © Harrison Innes

After the first hour of the set and pulling some fan favourites includinf 'Dary' and / 'Featuring Mark Hoppus', the room stunk of sweat and spit. Bodies in the audience were kept barely alive by overhead aircon and anticipation for what was next.

The incredible night came to a close with 'How Do You Know It's Not Armadillo Shells?' performed as an encore, arguably the sweetest way to close the night. The crowd once again surged forward, with a brave few jumping to surf atop the raucous crowd.

For those waiting years to see the #1 hot new band, it was more than just worth the wait. A night that won't be soon forgotten, Hot Mulligan know they have a new, adoring home on the other side of the world.

More photos from the show.

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