SUNSET RIOT 'UPRISING' EP LAUNCH
w/ Virginia Killstyxx and The Lockhearts
NOTES, NEWTOWN SYDNEY
SATURDAY, 3RD MARCH 2012
Setlist- Red Ferrari, Trash vs Class, Save Me From L.A., Red Leather, Something’s Gotta Give, Moonshine, Mama Said, New Day/Times Like These (Acoustic Mash Up), Mean Bone, Bourbon St Crime, Stir Crazy, Thriller, Watch This Del (Band Instrumental/solos), Evie, Meds, Gethsemane, Rebel Yell, Rattlesnake, Fist Up.
Sunset Riot is undoubtedly one of the hardest working bands in Australia, constantly touring around the country and making a name for themselves overseas as one of Australia’s premier upcoming bands. Friends, fans and general music lovers crowded into the popular Sydney venue “Notes” to witness Sunset Riot’s EP launch for their new record “Uprising.”
With the room filling nicely and a buzz in the air, the first opening act “The Lockhearts” walk onto the stage to a nice round of applause. Immediately the crowd are on their feet, grooving along to catchy melodies and sing along choruses as well as enjoying a cover of the Guns ‘N’ Roses classic “My Michelle.” The Lockhearts play with good energy, and reel off a short set playing mostly songs of their recently released EP. A warm response is given to these guys as they leave the stage after playing a good set. It is fair to say the crowd is now quite warmed up and amped for more!
The next band before the headline act is Virginia Killstyxx. These guys immediately make an impression with the singer walking onstage in a white mask and a “Fuck Me “sign on the back of his shirt pointing to his butt. The Killstyxx play loud and fast belting out a cover of Motley Crue’s “Shout at the Devil” and a bunch of punky/death metal originals. Perhaps not as well received as the opening act, the Killstyxx are probably better off suited playing to a different audience, but none the less they delivered a set full of guitar, drums and screaming vocals which is could be appealing to fans of Skid Row through to harder edged Death Metal bands.
The room is electric with about 200+ people eagerly waiting for Sunset Riot to take the stage. It is clear that these guys have made a lot of fans and friends along the way on their musical endeavours so far and it seems a large portion of them are at this venue to celebrate all the hard work these guys have put in for just the 2 ½ years they have been together. As the lights dim and a backing track filled with Ferrari noises begin, we see drummer Resh sit eagerly behind his kit. As the intro comes to an end, he starts pounding away when suddenly, like a burst of energy, the band run onto the stage, head banging and jumping around as they start to play the opening track off their new EP- Red Ferrari. Vocalist Del Rio leaps onstage full of class dressed in animal fur and wearing sunglasses (That only last 2 head bangs before falling off) as he starts pumping out the words to the bands energetic song. The band truly are a professional act with rhythm guitarist Ziggy Scott providing tasty guitar licks and solid rhythms whilst his co-axeman JP reels off intricate guitar solos and melodies at absolute ease. Bass player Simo makes the band as tight as can be and the best they have ever sounded bringing forward solid bass lines and pure, raw aggression.
After playing songs from their debut EP and their newly released record “Uprising” the boys turn the tempo down a notch when they bring bar stools and acoustic guitars onstage. It’s a nice surprise to see Resh stepping away from the drums to play in the triple acoustic guitar attack as well as Jackson Perry from Chi Chi and the Go Go’s to play bass on the blistering New Day/Times Like These acoustic medley. Jackson helped the boys out on some of their touring dates in the past couple of months, and it was a great joy to watch the band acknowledge everyone that has helped them along the way on their ever growing journey. This mash up was truly a joy to watch with both Ziggy and JP providing excellent harmonies to Del’s incredible voice.
Sunset Riot are full of surprises as they launch from the acoustics straight into the Slash’s Snakepit cover “Mean Bone” as well as a brand new song and Stir Crazy, a crowd favourite off Uprising. A cover of Michael Jackson’s classic “Thriller” is a chance to introduce the band and give each member a chance to shine. The instrumental that followed was nothing more than spectacular and then a cover of The Writes “Evie” makes an older fisherman dressed man next to me go insane whilst having the time of his life. (See Video below) It’s great to see Sunset Riot touch fans of all generations, proving that you are never too old to rock! It is also awesome to see Lucia from Chi Chi and the Go Go’s get up to sing alongside Del on a pitch perfect rendition of the much loved song.
After playing a few more tracks and their debut single “Rattlesnake” off of their first EP, the band leaves the stage. After a few minutes and the crowd obviously wanting more, they return for an encore of “Fist Up,” one of the earliest songs the band wrote and a fan favourite if you have ever seen the band live due to its anthemic nature and fist pumping attributes. During this song we see members of the Lockhearts and Neon Heart run up onstage unannounced to sing with them which is really a cool sight for the crowd. With smiles on the faces of both band and crowd everyone has given their all at this show. JP, Zig, Simo, Del and the Resh Train together make something incredible to listen to and watch providing pure energy and giving their absolute all onstage.
After playing the set of their lives, the band comes out to the crowd to sign autographs and say Hello to everyone that has supported them along the way. Sunset Riot truly is a class act, and definitely will go places in this world. It sure is clear that these guys are constantly improving from constant touring and hard work, with one of the strongest rhythm sections in Australia, one of my personal favourite guitarists in the world in Josh Paul, Sunset Riot is set for big things. Vocalist Del is the front man any band could want, controlling the crowd in the palm of his hand and rhythm guitarist Zig has to ability to become Australia’s best co-axeman if he keeps going the way he is. I felt privileged to have attended this show and would recommend to any music fan around the world to check these guys out. WOW!
By Will Hollands | Images by Like Clements