Their ‘You Won’t Come Home’ Tour has taken Melbourne locals Stuck Out around Australia, hitting venues in Brisbane and Sydney while being supported by Whatever Forever. With Friday night being the final stop of the tour in their hometown of Melbourne, Stuck Out fans emerged from every corner of Melbourne for a big night of musical goodness in celebration of the You Won’t Come Home EP.
Opening up the night’s proceedings were Parkwood. A new band for me personally, they impressed me immediately. Echoing melodic guitars combined with gritty harsh vocals and heavy breakdowns to set the tone and got everyone’s blood pumping. The crowd were noticeably into it, and couldn’t help but move their hips and bop their heads to the heavy grinding guitar chugs and hard-hitting relentless drums.
To take the tone back a bit the Melbourne band played a lighter song, “Back To Me”, before launching into two unreleased songs. Both had an almighty sense of atmosphere about them, added to by the intensity of the spoken word sections in both, reflecting the emotion behind the lyrics. Casey-ish vibes were coming at me from these guys, and I was absolutely intrigued to listen to them more when I got home.
Next up was Just About Done. I had heard only good things about the Melbourne band in the past, so was intrigued to have a look for myself. As they got started I was almost alarmed by the strong The Story So Far vibe was from them. I’d not listened to them before the night, but unfortunately the impression they left upon me wasn’t great. Continuing the vibe of The Story So Far, their guitar tones sounded almost identical to early works by the Californian band, and their cover of “Out Of It” didn’t stand out from any of the other songs.
As a fresh listener of Just About Done, it was hard to get into them, and I think they still need to come into their own. They showed high energy and passion on stage, and were relatively tight instrumentally. They’re all obviously very talented musicians, and I hope they continue to grow as a band. I’m excited to see them live again soon to see how they have developed.
As the room was really starting to fill up, it was then time for Whatever, Forever. Another new act for me, they straight away got my attention with their passionate screaming vocals and their overpowering and attention-grabbing stage presence. After the first song I already knew I wanted to listen to these guys as soon as I got home (I did so – was worth it!).
Their lightly toned yet heavy as anything guitars and bass allowed for an intense focus on the vocals. The brutal scraping screams rolled through the room and put everyone on notice, and I’d be willing to put money in the fact that every eye in that room was firmly planted on the stage as Whatever, Forever tore it apart. Catchy riffs and big impacting drums made the set consistently tight instrumentally, and this combined with the power of the vocals made for a great showing from Whatever, Forever.
Finally was the main reason we were all here: Stuck Out. As the minutes ticked over before their set, more and more people poured into the floor area, clearly buzzing for a boogie. Climbing onto the stage ready to play, vocalist Josh Walker proudly announced that the show had just sold out, and says how great it is to be finishing their first headline tour in their home town of Melbourne.
Launching into “Stitch”, the insane Stuck Out energy was there from the start. Throwing themselves around the stage with big smiles on their faces, every member of the band was clearly stoked to be there. The crowd swayed back and forth with the music, trying to keep themselves afloat through the waves of music, all while doing their best to sing every word straight back at Josh. Opened up with a bang, the set carried on in similar fashion with intense energy being thrown out from the band and being given straight back by the crowd. “Headstrong” was a favourite with the crowd, and “Fragments” was a highlight of the evening with singalongs peaking.
Windmilling and air-punching their way even deeper into our hearts, songs “Empty Sheets”, “Grin”, and “Linger” all get a great reception, and at that point all I could see around me was smiles. The hot and sweaty room was made even moreso by the inevitable constant movement. And as people clambered over each other and crowd surf their way to the front, the passion from everyone in the room was easily noticeable. Shirts were coming off up on stage and sweat was dripping off them as the set was coming towards the end. Thanking us all very much for coming and thanking all the other bands for playing, “Fade Away” sent everyone home happy. A fun dose of dancing and possibly the biggest singalong of the night was the perfect way to end the evening.
[All photos courtesy of Albert Lamontagne]