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Words by James Lavel

Photography by Elizabeth Sharpe | @ummagummamumma

After almost two decades away from Australian shores, last night Mudvayne returned to Australia alongside the powerhouse that is Coal Chamber. At a time where the world seems to be re-awakening to Nu-Metal, this tour could not have come at a more important time. This was made obvious as I arrived in Fortitude Valley to a line around the block and blocked streets. 

Unfortunately, there were no opening acts last night. The struggling local scene has been hit with a mountain of international tour announcements recently, leaving punters spending their money outside of smaller venues. One can only hope we don’t see this trend continue as support slots offer a huge opportunity for local bands trying to crack the market.  

Coal Chamber took the stage to a room writhing with energy. The Halloween theme washed across the room as Dez, Meegs, Nadja and Mike took the stage to a roar of 3000 voracious punters. Dez stoked the embers winding up a frenzy from his stage riser before launching into Loco, quickly igniting the flame. From the first note it was obvious that Coal Chamber weren’t here to fuck around. They were firing on all cylinders and sounded absolutely huge with thick bass tones, huge drums, ferocious guitar and on-point vocals. It was clear they put a lot of work into this show, and they really showcased the bludgeoning sound of Coal Chamber at its peak.

“I knew it would be good!” Dez says after playing Fiend. Dez asked who had the keys before jumping into Big Truck then I.O.U Nothing. The room was alive with circle pits and crowd surfing. They began the slow start to Rowboat as the room parted before bodies collided with the same ferocity displayed on stage. The venue was electric.

After a chequered history, it was great to see the band working as a unit and sharing moments together on stage. It was clear they were just as excited as the sweat-soaked front row. Old-school nu-metal fans were treated to a host of songs from their 1997 self-titled record to the 2015 release ‘Rivals’. Before Coal Chamber played their last song for the night, the entire hall began chanting the tell-tale lyrics to Sway; if it wasn’t on the setlist, it was now. Naturally, Coal Chamber tore through a final assault with Sway, leaving a hall full of old and now new Coal Chamber fans screaming for more.

The crew worked lighting fast to reset the stage between sets. Coal Chamber had just blown the roof off, and it was wild to think we still had the mighty Mudvayne ahead of us.

At last, after 18 long years of waiting, Mudvayne return to the Australian stage. The guys are met with a huge reception as the lights dim. Matthew McDonough takes his place behind the kit before being joined by Ryan Martinie, Greg Tribbett and touring guitarist Marcus Raffert. The beginning to Not Falling kicks it off as Chad Gray takes the stage delivering his monstruous vocals. The band is no stranger to theatricality and last night was no exception with every member in full makeup. The energy on stage was palpable. Greg shuffled menacingly around stage as Ryan reminded Brisbane that he is the best bassist in the business, effortlessly launching from one side of the stage to the other while delivering some of the most complex bass lines you have ever seen.

They played Under my Skin second as Chad jumped off the stage and onto the front barrier of manic fans screaming the lyrics straight back at him. Internal Primates Forever and -1 are next from the huge ‘L.D. 50’ album. Chad took a second to address their almost two-decade hiatus from our shores, however unless you followed the band for as long as I have you wouldn’t know they stopped with just how tight they were on stage. They played Silenced before Chad told everyone to take out their phones and light up this World So Cold, the sold-out venue lit up as thousands of phone lights illuminated the hall. A New Game is next followed by Severed continuing to showcase the amazing bass work of Ryan before he blew the top off jumping into Death Blooms

Fifteen-year-old me was having a ball; I had a stupid grin on my face all night watching Chad rock back and forward on stage like an escaped mental patient. I could tell there were some onstage sound issues as Chad’s vocals seemed to fall a little flat at times, but it wasn’t enough to impact the overall performance. Regardless of any issues the whole show was a masterclass of Nu Metal. In a world that seems to be re-awakening to the genre, Mudvayne proved last night just how integral their role in the scene is. Fish out of water, Dull Boy and Prod kept up the intensity. Before continuing, Chad addressed the room and raised the importance of the metal community and the love and respect shared with one another. He really hit the nail on the head when highlighting the importance of metal as a platform to release your worries: “we are all undertaking heavy metal psycho therapy tonight”

Mudvayne rounded out the evening with a final onslaught consisting of Determined and Nothing to Gein before asking “Brisbane, can you Dig it?”. The insanity that first drew me to the band in their hit Dig quickly following up with Happy? to finish their outstanding set.

This was the first show of their tour around the country, and for the few tickets still available, they are worth every cent; do not miss out.


February 16: Hordern Pavilion, Sydney
February 17: Festival Hall, Melbourne
February 19: Hindley Street Music Hall, Adelaide
February 21: Metro City, Perth

Thanks to Maric Media

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