Live Review: FUEL

fuel (5 of 9)



The Prince Band Room
December 09

The room was packed full of sweaty people crammed together to witness Fuel take to the stage for the anniversary tour of the iconic album ‘Sunburn’.
It’s been 20 years since the album was released and in the crowded band room Brett Scallions commands the stage with full force, grit and grunt, his voice sounding as sharp as a razors edge.
‘Like I was saying earlier, we are celebrating twenty years of the Sunburn album we’re poppin’ the cherry on the whole fuckin’ thing right here Aussie Style, you know what I am saying, its fucking crazy man – where the hell’s the time go right? Twenty years, twenty years, nineteen nighty eight man, we were making this record and then next thing you knew it took us to a level to where we were able to come to an amazing place like Australia and play for beautiful people like yourselves, looking around where there people back at the Fuel shows in nineteen nighty eight? You guys, there’s the old sons of bitches in the house right there- we just outed you! Nineteen ninety-eight, holy shit! Anybody want to go to nineteen ninety- eight? You guys wanna go to nineteen ninety- eight? “  before launching into the single that launched the band to stardom – ‘Shimmer’. There isn’t a person in the room not singing along to this timeless classic.
Lead singer Brett Scallions is engaging, jumping around the stage microphone in hand as he fist-pumps the crowd. The killer licks have always ensured the band had a distinctive sound and to hear them live is something any grunge fan should witness. Its been a long time since the band were in Australia and every single person in the room in drinking in each moment of the performance, arms raised in worship.

Throughout the show Brett makes sure everyone is having an enjoyable time, proclaiming that Melbourne has been the best audience so far. “You fucking took them all, congratulations”.  This garners some loud applause, rightfully so when the room is shoulder to shoulder with fans crammed into every spare space.
In between vocals there are moments of brilliance as Jason Womack and Brett Scallions jam together; the joy on Scallion’s face is apparent and its mesmerizing to witness. Each play their respective guitar pieces with precision and passion, without relying on the use of effects, allowing the raw sound to be heard.

Scallion’s takes a moment to congratulate Australia on passing marriage equality. This garners a round of very loud applause as Brett proclaims that “People should just marry who the fuck they want because its none of your business and if you don’t like it then walk the fuck on”.   Artists congratulating Australia on marriage equality reminding everyone that we’re all in this together

Closing what has been a fist pumping, roller coaster trip down memory lane with ‘Hemorrhage’ the band have taken everyone in the room back to our youth, back to nineteen ninety- eight and a time when music meant something. When song lyrics about surviving pain helped us with what we went through. The music is timeless, and Brett Scallions has reminded everyone how good it is to see a real rock show with all the sweat and raw emotion that is authentic talent.  These aren’t meaningless songs about horses or bullshit, the lyrics and music cut right to the heart of the listener. As the crowd leave the room, its safe to assume that everyone is collectively wishing the band return soon.

Words by Amanda Lee Starkey
Behind the lens Amanda Lee Starkey

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