LIVE REVIEW: TITLE FIGHT – THE REVERENCE HOTEL, MELBOURNE [16/03/13]

Title Fight-27

Reviewed by Julia Lay

Even with the Melbourne rain pissing down indecisively, a sold-out crowd packed into the band room of The Reverence Hotel in Footscray as Tasmanian band,Luca Brasi, set down their instruments having successfully raised the temperature of the enclosure in line with the tropics.

This was the penultimate show of Title Fight’s Australian tour supporting their well-received long player entitled ‘Floral Green’. The Pennsylvanian hardcore band brought their raucous show, with the crowd turning into a consistent double-decker field of bodies and this provided the setting for the entire night.

From the get-go a ruckus was kicked up as soon as the opener “Numb, But I Still Feel It” began. There were people crawling on people, feet in faces, and stage monitors being upturned. Eventually, the fans would merge as one with the stage and the madness continued to grow throughout the whole set. It was a dedicated crowd in the house tonight as they yelled along to Floral Green songs, “Leaf” and “Like a Ritual” like they had been songs around for much longer. The pace was only slightly slowed down during “Lefty” for a quick breather, if only briefly, until “Youreyeah” was unleashed to cause a tidal surge of fans towards the stage once more.

This was my first time seeing the band so it was highly entertaining to watch the fans let loose in rhythm with the music. If they managed to jump from the stage, the reward was a pat on the back from fellow front row punters even if they had landed a kick directly in their faces. I totally dig the mutual understanding.

I was also impressed by the band’s shout-out to travelling fans, most notably to a guy who travelled all the way from Singapore for a number of shows (possibly all of the shows). As someone who has taken many flights to catch my favourite bands all over the world, it hit close to home. It’s always good to see acknowledgement given to the people who support the music, so kudos to them.

Towards the latter end of the gig an Aussie corked hat placed on Ned Russin’s head (with the tag still attached) and he embraced the silliness of it by keeping it slung around his neck for a full song. At one point the fan from Singapore launched himself onstage and towards the microphone, Russin nodded at him in approval as the Singaporean fan burst into a perfect recital of their lyrics before sharing the mic with the front row.

A constant stream of stage divers left, right and centre piled onto the compact stage as the familiar intro of “Shed” began to play. They knew it was reaching the end of the set and there was a limited window of time to commit to the stage diving rite of passage. When the final song, “27,” was done and dusted, a few fans scrambled onto the stage but only to salvage the handwritten set lists as mementos of their rowdy Saturday night out.

Title Fight is a well-loved band and their fans aren’t afraid to let them know. The main spectacle of the show is with the crowd going mental to the heavy tunes, with the band focussing on getting the job done and inciting a mini riot during the process.

As the crowd spilled out of ‘The Rev’ everyone greeted the Melbourne downpour with a sense of relief and recovered their oxygen supplies that had been sucked dry during the show. I exited the newly created sauna bathed in foreign testosterone, which I suspect had been the reason I felt like climbing a council tree my car was parked next to.

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