This was a show I had been looking forward to for a long while. Body Count’s last record Manslaughter and their new one Bloodlust (read my review here) were, in my opinion, shining examples of political protest records that don’t fuck around and say what needs to be said, while being fresh (the messages on both records are timeless and deal with the NOW, not the past), hard-out and unrelentless.
Preface to this review: The show took place on a slightly rainy Saturday night in VIVID-cloaked Sydney – a night that would have put off a lot of punters in my hometown Brisbane (we are a bit shit like that). One trip on the ferry across the lights-adorned bay, taking in the Opera House and it’s projections, as well as the story of Bennelong on the Harbour Bridge and looking back on the city, the entire CBD’s buildings, and we were at Luna Park and damn near cried as the woman managing the guest said she couldn’t find me on the list (she misheard my name) and then we were in the Big Top! Great venue – this is what I wish the Marquee at RNA showgrounds in Brisbane was used for more often…. what happened to that? Also, on the ferry over and then entering the show and heading straight to the front, we noted that there was a lot of utterly MUNTED people there already – there was obviously a lot of pre-drinks happening ahead of this show. Didn’t affect the show really, just a lot of really big dudes giving not one fuck about smashing through the crowd with all their weight to get to the front. We get it, you’re a big fan. Props to the woman in front of us, who gave it straight back to a few of the dudes who managed to barge head and shoulders first into her.
I was very stoked to see A B Original on the lineup when that was announced and thought that Void of Vision was an odd choice at first, but was willing to go along on the ride and see how it fit into the overall night. Turns out it was a great decision – their live set veering way closer to Body Count’s hardcore elements than I had figured on, which was cool. Though I only caught the back half of VoV’s set due to them starting way earlier than the post in the facebook event told me, it was a cracking set, super balls-to-the-wall and stirring up the early punters nicely. Some die-hard fans gathered at the front at the barrier and managed some singalongs and really got behind the band. Props to the guys, they sounded huge in the venue and set the tone really well.
A B Original (Briggs, Trials and DJ Total Eclipse from X-Cutioners) took the stage. Was very interested to see how they would be received by the crowd – to me, the message and the vibe was bang on and matched the brief of Body Count support, but looking at the crowd on this particular night, it could go either way – will people be stoked to have a band with a great message and one that is similar to Body Count’s, regardless of genre – or will they be pissed that a hip-hop band got to support a thrash/punk/metal band with hip-hop influences? They RULED the stage and really got the crowd whipped into a frenzy – and it was glorious to watch. They belted every song out and bigged up the Koori/Murri people in the audience. Unfortunately, it was a bit disheartening to hear some people yelling shit out during January 26 that was contrary to the message – but I guess Briggs and Trials are used to that by now – and A B Original weren’t there to pander to white people’s prejudices and have a civil debate about it. Their song rendered any bullshit bigoted view about the truth of Australia’s history with indigenous people moot anyway – effectively saying “Shut the Fuck up, how would you feel if we danced on your Nana’s grave on her birthday”.
A Very short intermission later and Body Count came on, with Coco and Chanel watching side of stage (no headphones for the baby!? Yikes!) and… their show is like a howling whirlwind. Take no Prisoners, lightning fast, destroy all expectations, we-don’t-give-a-fuck for your sensibilities, show me some action! (To quote Ice T – who dropped that last one A LOT!)
Yeah, look, the dudes on the stage are OLD. But they and their message are not by any means aged. They weren’t there to fuck around – and opening with a Slayer cover is one way to just decimate the room straight up.
It’s a relevant, to the point, no fucking around, get out of the way, you’re holding the rest of us back if you disagree kinda show. Ice T gave us an introduction to the new-look Body Count before hitting the track Manslaughter, and then rapid-fired a bunch of songs at us, with virtually no banter in between – what banter was given segued us into the next track.
The three-punch combo of Manslaughter, There goes the Neighbourhood and No Lives Matter was amazing and really took it up about 10 notches. The poignancy of Black Hoodie hits right in the gut and then by the time they hit the three-track run to the end of the set proper – The Ski Mask Way, Talk Shit, Get Shot and Cop Killer – the crowd was in a deadset frenzy.
There was just no letting up, and it made for a heap of songs, it made for exciting watching, it meant that the pit just didn’t slow down (also a tonne of old dudes in there as well!). We took a step back to the back of the room straight after Talk Shit, Get Shot and retired to get a beer, and observed the rest of the show from the safety of the back of the room.
When all was said and done, the still-gloomy outside world of Sydney seemed alien. Definitely calmer than the frenzy that was inside. All I know is… I am not getting shot, as I am definitely not talking shit on that show.
Raining Blood / Postmortem (Slayer cover)
Bowels of the Devil
There Goes the Neighborhood
No Lives Matter
The Ski Mask Way
Talk Shit, Get Shot
Disorder (The Exploited cover)
This Is Why We Ride