Drowning Pool haven’t been to Australia in almost 15 years and while the musical landscape has changed a lot in that time, the one thing that didn’t change for the fans in Perth tonight was their love for the band that captivated heavy rock fans in the early millenium. With a few different singers during that time and a slide in popularity of the nu-metal genre over the years, it seems now that Drowning Pool are back with a vengeance in support of their latest album “Hellelujah” as we saw on the last show of the Australian tour.
Make Way For Man opened the night and as we last saw them at Fear Factory last month, they brought another A game to show what the Perth metal scene is capable of. It may be different to the main act but it’s the diversity that keeps things interesting for the crowd who by now were slowly pouring in to the venue to catch the sinners!
Local rising stars Tempest Rising seemed like a logical choice as openers for Drowning Pool as they hit the stage next to warm the crowd up fron the winter weather outside, their melodic heavy rock sound by now well tuned and honed in as the band have been gaining some momentum with key supporting roles in recent times. The crowd enjoyed the set just as much as the band had the pleasure of sharing the stage with the main act.
The Texans rocked up following a strong supporting lineup and this is what the crowd had been waiting for after so many years. It may appear to many that Drowning Pool may have had their day in the sun all those years ago but their performance tonight contrasted those views easily, a tight show combined with a great and relaxed vibe from the quartet meant that the band never really went away. Instead putting a ton of energy into what matters the most these days – the live show, and they did. Despite what you may think of their style musically, there is no denying their live show and they brought it down hard on this final show of the tour.
Kicking off with the now classic “Sinner” off their debut album which has become so synonymous with the band now that they have recently been playing the entire album on tour, it never seemed like they lost any of their magic. The grooves and tight tempos was what always made this band a successful one and the title track captures the band brilliantly. The follow up album “Desensitized” gets some attention early on as the band hammer out some older material to draw the small but eager crowd in who were right into it from the beginning.
Singer Jason Moreno handles the stage like a pro despite being in the band for only 4 years now, he fits like a glove in Drowning Pool so it’s a logical decision to have him in the band. If you didn’t know any better judging by his performance alone, you would think he had been in the band from the start as he has the crowd eating from his hand and makes sure that they get involved as much as possible. One of the cool things about Drowning Pool’s live show is their open welcome to the crowd to be part of the show including stage diving, hand shakes and even the odd camera pose here and there! It’s an old school approach which given the security measures taken these days due to some horrific incidences in recent history at metal shows, is a breathe of fresh air and a sight to really appreciate more than ever.
Drowning Pool kill it on every song tonight including the new material off their latest effort “Hellelujah” which harks back to the earlier albums and so which fits nicely alongside the older tracks. But despite both the band and the crowd losing a little steam towards the end, the old school hits of “Pity” and the staple track “Bodies” brings the energy back where it belongs as the band invite the fans on stage for the set closer. I was never a huge fan of the nu-metal genre but what I have come to realize as the show ended was that a lot of the bands that came out of the 90’s and early 2000’s that started the modern hybrid metal stuff that have been coming through Australia in recent times seem to be truly appreciative and completely open to their fans which I feel that, despite the internet being an instigator in breaking those walls that seperate the fans from the bands on some level, is something that is almost lacking in other genres at the live show. It’s this willingness to be part of the crowd and vice versa that makes these band’s live show the stand out thing and something that I can definitely appreciate about them.
Photos by Linda Dunjey Photography