Review: The Bennies

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Words by Jack Herz

 The Bennies gig in Adelaide further cemented them as one of Australia’s best live acts but technical difficulties resulted in an overall mixed gig.

Hometown hero’s Young Offenders kicked things off with the kind of music you would go and listen to in your room with the door closed when your parents pissed you off. Their set was a fusion of angst-ridden guitar pop with dashes of reggae, ska and punk thrown in for good measure. Despite some technical difficulties with the drum kit, occurring coincidentally after front man Kyle Landman announced, ‘this song’s about having a shit day’, the band managed to come through with a tight set that had heads bopping along until the very last song.

Next up were another Adelaide band: Hightime, who commanded the entire crowd to the front for one of the most high-energy sets of the night. Full of mic grabs, moshing and even a circle pit, Hightime were big on audience participation and involvement. In terms of the music, Hightime specialise in good old fashioned, heavy, punk-rock and occasionally delve into ska and reggae too.

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Before punters barely had enough time to catch their breath, it was time for American punk legends Off With Their Heads, a band who are no strangers to the world of touring, having been around since 2002. However, things started off rocky for the band, first with lead singer Ryan Young announcing he was hung-over and then technical issues with the drum kit arising once again. Due to this, most of their set was performed without a kick drum, and the lack thereof definitely made a difference. Despite this, the band still deserve a special mention for playing on despite these issues. A particular comment by Young: ‘It’s not about being good, it’s about having fun’ didn’t necessarily ring true after their questionable set.

Luckily, there was still hope for The Bennies to save the day, and save the day is exactly what they did. Arriving on stage in his signature galaxy leggings, frontman Anty Horgan psyched the crowd up announcing the bands arrival with the help of a delay pedal connected to his microphone (which resulted in some interesting sounds throughout their set). The band kicked things off with songs from their new album ‘Wisdom Machine’ before feeding the mosh-friendly crowd with fan favorite ‘Heavy Disco’. One thing you need to know before coming to a Bennies gig is, you will be covered in sweat and beer by the end of it. But like everything, you have to take the good with the bad and appreciate the party atmosphere (that the Bennies never fail to bring to every show) for what it is. While the songs themselves were great, the in-between song banter was just as smile-inducing, a pearl proclaimed by the bassist Craig on the amount of drunk punters was particularly amusing: ‘how many brain cells are dying at a university right now’. The set ended on a high note, first with a memorable performance of ‘Party Machine’, before relentless crowd chanting brought the band out for a final encore. As the band left the stage on a high and punters wiped the sweat from their faces, a particular Bennies lyric rang true in everyone’s heads, ‘don’t you wish these nights go on forever’.

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