Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rock The Bay 2011 @ Esplanade Hotel (2011-03-12)

Another great day out at the Espy, thanks to Crutey and Saltar Hype for delivering the goods once again. Now in its third year, Rock the Bay has provided us with some great up-and-coming local acts taking to the three stages in the Espy, at a very reasonable price. I hope to see this return next year; the event certainly looked like a success from a punter's point of view.

I'll admit I was a little more focused on just making sure I had a good day and not recording everything I saw. I think this is always going to be a bit of an issue with me, sorry Chris :) Nevertheless, I have a full set of Anna Salen, most of The Khyber Belt's awesome first performance ever, about half of Engine Three Seven and of course a full Sydonia set!

Anna SalenI've repeatedly sung the praises of this excellent young prog-math-heavy-rock (a little verbose on the genre but I feel that's the only accurate way to describe them) trio and this performance was just as great as the others. I'm a little bit disappointed that they've skipped over my personal favourite song Vacuous in recent sets, but it was bass player Paul Risso's birthday on the night and therefore he got to pick the setlist. Most of the usual favourites are in there and some of the band's newer material gets an airing as well. They certainly seem to be getting a bit heavier. Thanks to drummer Shaun Scott for helping out me out with the names of the new songs, and for giving me "official" permission to put this set online :)
How to Be a Man
Dinner's On

The Khyber BeltThis was the first ever performance from this new Melbourne five-piece, and the band hadn't released any studio material prior to this gig, yet the Gershwin Room was pretty damn full. The reason for such a large turn-out? The lineup of the band is ex-Rook vocalist Forbes McKail and guitarist Tyson Fish, ex-Sleep Parade bassist James Livesy, and ex-Bushido guitarist Guy Shenfield and drummer Alex Dinic. Well! There was certainly a lot of expectation in the room with fans of the members' previous bands curious to hear what the mixed bunch would sound like. Well, there were really no surprises in store for us; The Khyber Belt sound pretty much like you'd expect them to. There were some unfortunate technical difficulties which meant that Shenfield's guitar was non-existent for a large part of the set. You'll hear them trying to fix it after Seed; I was going to removed this bit but then I thought I'd leave it in for authenticity. Other than that, for the most part, it was a really impressive debut performance from the band. They've obviously rehearsed quite a bit and the chemistry between them was good. It's also great to hear McKail singing in a band again. That voice should not be left unused. I left toward the end of the set because I wanted to make sure I didn't miss any of Tim McMillan, who was playing in the front bar. Oh, and there's a bit of mic crackle in this.
(intro on recording)
Plant the Seed
Don't Look to the Sky


Engine Three SevenHaven't really got a lot to say about this one; I've seen them a fair bit over the past year or so and their set isn't really changing all that much. That's not to say I didn't enjoy them; they're a bloody talented kit and there was quite a lot of appreciation in the room. Frontman Casey Dean introduces the first song by saying "Feel free to sing along at any point - or at all points", which you can certainly hear throughout the majority of the recording. The ever-present Melbournian muso extraordinaire Ezekiel Ox got onstage to help out with Have it All too, which was pretty cool. Again, I leave a bit early to go and catch the next front bar band. (THE BEARDS! Wish I had've recorded them but Shaun and I were just too drunk and having way too good a time by that point!)
(intro on recording)
Have it All (
with Ezekiel Ox)
Hysterical Hysteria (extended intro version, woo!)
(and here the recording dies at the end, I think the rest of the setlist was a few older tunes)

SydoniaWell, what can I say about Sydonia that I haven't said already? They've rapidly become one of my favourite Melbourne bands, actually, make that favourite bands of any country, and they put on another good set this time around, but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as their recent East Brunswick show, or the previous Espy gig before that. I'm going to chalk that up to a solid day of awesome bands resulting in me being pretty exhausted by the time they got onstage, and also this setlist wasn't as enjoyable as the last few times. It's disappointing that Adornment came back and then got dropped again so quickly. But then again, it was nice to hear Sorry. Seems like it's been a while since that got an airing. On another note, from memory this is the only Sydonia gig I've been to that they didn't play Incoming. I can imagine that is a pretty rare occasion.
1. Ocean of Storms
2. 3 Tongues

3. (unknown) (I initially thought this was a song called Nobodies, as it was on a setlist at a show prior to this one so I thought it would be logical for them to play that song again, and a friend of mine agreed. However, I've since heard (and recorded) that song, and it isn't this one. So I have no idea what this song is called.)4. Here
5. Bateria (guest drummers Zack Murray and Rod Whitfield) (with a Happy Birthday to Zack at the end)
7. No Woman's Land
8. Elbow
9. Sorry
Download MP3 here

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