Drum Media

The Living End

Author: Danielle O’Donohue


Enmore Theatre

It’s been 14 years since The Living End released their all-conquering Second Solution/Prisoner Of Society EP. Though both songs still have a special place in the band’s live set, there have been plenty of hits since. And this iconic Australian rock act knew exactly what songs their audiences wanted to hear, even if the crowd on the first night of their two Enmore shows took a little bit of warming up.

Support acts King Cannons and Hunting Grounds both played very different kinds of rock and had to work really hard to get a reaction from the subdued audience. It was all slicked back hair and Springsteen and Clash influences for King Cannons. The six-piece band, under normal circumstances, should’ve had the crowd toe-tapping. They threw everything into their working class rock, including ska, ‘50s rock’n’roll and punk.

Hunting Grounds were a much more modern take on the popular genre. Another six-piece, this band was more about layers of cinematic guitars and dreamy keys. There was instrument swapping and an anxious, nervous energy that propelled the band. They seemed to confuse the audience, but the music they made deserved a much better reaction.

It took the crowd a couple of songs to warm up to even The Living End. With the addition of Melbourne punk rock stalwart Adrian Lombardi (Blueline Medic, Mid Youth Crisis) as rhythm guitarist, Chris Cheney, Scott Owen and Andy Strachan burst out of the blocks as soon as Strachan fi red off the first count of three. But it wasn’t until Second Solution, several songs in, when first Owen jumped up on his upright bass (which, thanks to the new album imagery, has seen a return to a classic wood finish) and Cheney encouraged everyone to sing as loudly as they could that everyone seemed to finally lose their inhibitions. Every Living End set these days is a greatest hits set, but they still dropped in plenty of news songs (Heatwave, In The Morning, Song For The Lonely). It’s a mark of just how good this band is at writing songs that their set closer wasn’t one of their big hits, but rather the trusty old favourite West End Riot and by then, the crowd was truly enthralled with this incredible band.