The astronomical rise and rise of Germany’s electrocore kings, Electric Callboy, beggars belief; they defy expectations and genre conventions at every turn and really are laughing all the way to the bank doing it. Their popularity down under is pretty self-explanatory when you consider that this is their debut headlining tour in Australia, it’s only their second time touring here, and each date on this particular tour sold out almost straight away, with many locations requiring venue upgrades. Tonight is the Brisbane leg of that tour, and it being December, the heat and humidity is downright oppressive. Though not even the torrential rain can derail this Tekkno train from its tracks. If the Germans were looking for an authentically hot, sweaty, batshit crazy Aussie summer party experience, that’s exactly what they, and us, are in for tonight at a completely sold out Eatons Hill Ballroom.
Fresh off European festival appearances and the release of their debut album, Melbourne’s Future Static get the party started for us. Initially, the levels in their live mix are a little out of whack, but this is soon corrected, and the band quickly warms into what turns out to be a red-hot set. Each member is performing with seemingly limitless energy, buzzing around like spinning tops to their unique brand of high-octane popcore. The breakdowns and chaotic drums hit hard live, particularly in numbers such as Venenosa and Chemical Lobotomy, the latter of which features a captivating vocal duet between frontwoman Amariah Cook and bassist Kira Neil.
Their cathartically crushing cover of Gasolina really gets the crowd moving – it’s such a bop. But it’s during one of the band’s heavier recent singles Roach Queen that the excitement in the room shoots right into the stratosphere as Cook asks for a wall of death during the breakdown. She is rewarded with a literal floor-wide rush that descends into a continuous circle pit, and apparently this was the biggest wall of death of the tour. Never let Brisbane humidity get in the way of the commitment to mosh. It’s a stellar set from the Melburnians tonight.
A pulsating industrial intro track announces the arrival of Swedish sensations Self Deception, who emerge in an assortment of wild outfits (ostentatious zebra print and fluorescent features extensively) and they collectively look like they’re dressed for a Halloween sleepover. They launch into what can only be described as dynamic, balls-to-the-wall glam rockcore that blends swaggering rock riffs and catchy choruses with a distinctly Euro flair – think Breaking Benjamin goes Eurovision. They’re the perfect supporting act to Electric Callboy – they instantly pump up the vibe in the room and soon have the crowd eating out of their hands with bangers like Scandinavian Dream and Intoxicated Haze, the latter of which evokes Amaranthe meets Motley Crue.
All members of this band are excellent showmen, radiating rock god energy as they kick the dance party in the pit up another few gears. An unexpected cover of The Look by Roxette is met with joyous cheers and singalongs from the crowd, and during hard-hitting banger Psycho, the band throws giant balloons into the crowd so we can live out our summer pool party dreams. Finally the band closes out with Fight Fire With Gasoline, inviting Cook on stage to belt out a powerful guest vocal duet with frontman Andreas Olsson. They said it was a dream come true to tour in Australia, and Self Deception have made the most of this opportunity with a set that went from strength to strength with every number.
The room is packed wall to wall with sweaty bodies, and we’re all as drenched as we are excited to see Electric Callboy burst out on stage. Everyone immediately jumps aboard the Tekkno hype train, and to say the pit erupts into complete anarchy is a monumental understatement – it’s more like an instantaneous wild and vicious rave where everyone and everything becomes just a blur of fluoro. The band are one man down tonight with vocalist Sebastian Biesler having been called away, but Nico Sallach is doing a fine job juggling both vocal parts tonight. The whole crowd seems to know all the words, so it’s like karaoke night on steroids. They’ve barely made headway through the second track before a wall of death explodes of its own accord. Flinging out banger after banger like Spaceman and Hate/Love, supported by a futuristic video backdrop, Electric Callboy have facilitated no ordinary show – it’s more like a movement of tekknophiles all gathered here to party like they never left Schoolies.
Their high-octane cover of Everytime We Touch whips up what I would call an epic rave fight pit, with strobe lights glittering like the beams of a thousand spaceships. Sallach announces they will perform one of their older singles The Scene, but once again, whether old or new, whether in English or in German, everyone knows the lyrics, and they sing along ecstatically as they jump around in the mosh. The band absolutely nails the fun juxtaposition between candy pink pop dance vibes and colossal breakdowns, and it translates live so well. Sallach takes a moment to compliment the diversity in the audience, remarking how great it is to see fans of literally all ages and from all walks of life. Though it’s not difficult to understand why this music unites generations of music fans – I haven’t had this much fun in a mosh in a very long time. It’s silly, chaotic and unpretentious, just a bunch of metal devotees largely ditching the black uniform in favour of raving in their best Christmas Hawaiian shirts.
Cannon explosions and truly deafening singalongs punctuate the infectiously catchy Arrow of Love, and then there is a ridiculously impressive drum solo from David Friedrich to the soundtrack of Darude’s ‘Sandstorm’, in a showy, hyper-EDM musicianship flex. But all hell breaks loose during Hypa Hypa, with mullets and armwarmers flying akimbo in the mosh that has completely dissolved into chaos. Parasite’s crisp disco beats somehow get a row pit going, and then we get a brief reprieve with an unexpected acoustic cover of Backstreet Boys’ I Want It That Way. MC Thunder rounds out this rave-fuelled musical odyssey, until the boys return for three encore numbers. Considering we’re all basically moshing in a swamp at this point, it’s a testament to the adoration felt by the crowd towards this band that the energy continues to peak right at the business end of the set. Pump It and Mindreader get massive circle pits going and growing, but the unrelenting and unprompted chants of “da – da-da-da-da – da – da-da-da-da” all night have been building up to this point. Closing with We Got The Moves, it’s the party mosh to end all party moshes.
Only a few years ago, if you’d asked me whether EDM metal would inspire this kind of response in the legions of Australian heavy music fans, I would have been skeptical to say the least. But Electric Callboy have created a cult that is too irresistible to ignore – a cult of party, a cult of fun, and most of all, a cult of pure joy. Judging by the uncontrollably positive energy in the room tonight, there’ll be twice as many ecstatic, fluoro fans right at the front row when Electric Callboy return to our sweaty, sunny shores once more.
Thanks to Dallas Does PR