FOMO is real and if you weren’t at El Grande Festival on Friday night, you missed out. Bringing together 11 of Australia’s best underground rock and metal acts, El Grande was the Disneyland of playgrounds for Brisbane’s heavy music community.
As lovers of the local music scene, we were looking forward to seeing all six of the Queensland bands on the line-up, starting with Brisbane alt-rock quintet Kodiak Empire who opened the night. These guys easily impressed, playing songs from their latest EP Urashima along with a few newbies. If you like cool drums and clever keys listen to their back catalogue and keep an eye out for their new EP.
Magenta Voyeur kept the good times rolling, teaming slamming guitars with a symphony of synths to create a driving electric surf rock vibe that buzzed through every molecule. If that’s what they can do live, the kaleidoscope of sounds they produce on their next recording will be divine.
Taking a turn back to the heavier end of the music spectrum was Gladstone lads Red In Tooth. With guttural vocals and strong bass lines that permeated the entire room, this was not a band to sit down to. Brisbane rockers MofoIsDead then slayed the stage, with Paul Galagher’s ethereal and emotive vocals cementing the trio as a standout act of the night.
Energy levels continued to soar when Brisbanites Balloons Kill Babies and Bayharbour performed. Balloons Kill Babies were in full instrumental party mode, making their drummer Francis’ last show with the band one for the records. As always Bayharbour’s vigour on stage was unmatched – they served up metalcore on a platter, and their audience eagerly cleaned the plate.
All in all, El Grande Festival was a splendid celebration of the underground heavy music scene. Anyone who says heavy music is dead in Brisbane is lying – all of the artists on the bill were a cut above the rest!