I think I’d been writing for Cool Try for around eight months when I covered this show.
Looking over this now makes me feel like I took a step back.
It reads a little too much like dot points which was something I was moving away from at this point. Considering the time I wrote it, it should’ve been more fleshed out, though I say that about a lot of things I’ve written.
Some of the things I wrote in this review feel like “duh” moments. It’s rather underdone.
When I was heading off to Newcastle for the show I was listening to “Prayers/Triangles” quite a lot as Deftones had just released the song. It was kind appropriate… sort of. It had been a while since I was last in Newcastle; Australia Day 2011, to be exact. There was a point somewhere in either 2013 or 2014, but that was firmly within a contained suburban area of the Newcastle region and only overnight.
There was a period between 2008 and 2010 where I spent a fair bit of time in Newcastle and some of its surrounds. There were some good memories and some not-so-good, which I guess is something that should be expected. Being in Newcastle brought that back, but more in relation to how it seemed quieter than when I’d last spent time frequenting the place.
It was kind of odd being there. Checking out things I hadn’t seen beforehand was great, as was the Sleight of Hand gig, but seeing the place quieter was kind of off for me. It was also a place I’d left behind, so why was I returning?
The obvious answer is so that I could cover the gig, but in this instance that’s not what I mean.
I was going to write about the experience, but I never got around to doing so. Maybe I will, but in a semi-fictional form, but I digress.
Other than some spacing, this review is as it was.
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The first act of the night was Anamata.
They had a nice blend of heavy and melodic and they played well.
Their stage presence was okay enough, but it could have been stronger.
Also, the vocals, whilst nice, were unfortunately drowned out by everything else a few times.
Still, they did put in a good effort.
The second band of the night was October Rage.
Their set was fairly straightforward rock played with enthusiasm and energy.
They made good use of the stage, getting their rock moves on and having a lot of fun whilst doing it.
It paid off as the crowd that was watching reacted positively.
Clearly they’re a band that knows how to get an enthusiastic response from a crowd.
It was not long after October Rage finished that Sleight of Hand took to the stage.
They didn’t waste time getting into their set and when they kicked off, so did a larger crowd.
Despite not being a band that broke up back in 2008 and playing the occasional one-off here and there, they’ve managed to play better and tighter each time they perform.
Tonight was no exception to that.
Whilst they played hard and put a lot into nailing everything down, it came off as though they were playing with great ease, knowing everything they were doing like it was the back of their hands.
Each instrument melded into each other well with everyone ensuring their part hit when it was meant to, whilst the vocals sat in the middle, moving with ease between clean and harsh.
There was a surprise cover (“All Over You” by Live) that was handled skillfully and helped fill out their set a bit more.
There was also good stage use, with the band members moving around as much as they could, getting quite physically active, yet not losing rhythm.
Eventually Sleight of hand had to wrap up, so “Armageddon”, an excellent choice for their closer (especially considering the show was called “Countdown to Armageddon”) was the logical choice. It got a fair bit of crowd moshing as much as they could, knowing that it could be a while before the band performs again.
Even though they’re a band that plays on the odd occasion, it’s clear that Sleight of Hand still want to put on a good show and make sure they’re giving their audience as much as they can to leave them satisfied.
The Cambo should have had a lot more people there than there were.
A lot of people missed out on what was, overall, a live show that was performed exceptionally well.