Flying high and far, all the way over from the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Sunday night at the Gov saw FUEL return to Australian soil to come and celebrate twenty years since the release of their first studio album “Sunburn”, supported by local superstars “Terminal Zero” and “Indiago” opening for them. FUEL performed all of their timeless classics such as “Haemmorage (In my Hands)”, “Bad Day” “Sunburn” and of course everybody’s favourite, “Shimmer,” which the crowd seemed to really get into… after selling nearly four million records across the world not many of the original members remain apart from the original lead singer Brett Scallions, who has returned to the group with his iconic voice which seems to have only got better with age and absolutely rocked the crowd.
This amazingly talented man seems to have saved this old band from merely becoming a piece of rock history, instead like a phoenix emerging from the ashes and bringing the sound new life. Accompanied by Jason Womack on lead guitar and backing vocals, ex-Filter bassist Phil Buckman who also assisted with backing vocals and ex-Puddle of Mudd drummer Shannon Boone also helping out. The band was aesthetically pleasing and all players appeared to be happy and in good health.
The opening acts “Indiago” and “Terminal Zero” were well received by all in the crowd, with everyone seemingly intrigued by the sound of both. I was particularly impressed with the stage presence of Terminal Zero, who really seemed to gel together well on stage, as well as their overall vibe with their incorporation of electronic samples and controlled lights in their music. They have a huge new age sound for a four piece act and a cover song thrown in the mix was well played, although it didn’t seem like too many people could recognize Bring Me The Horizon’s “Can You Feel My Heart” apart from their originals.
It was great to see such a vibrant crowd on a Sunday night, there were so many people reciting the lyrics back to the rock gods before them, and if they weren’t doing that they were at least genuinely enjoying the grungy alternative rock their ears were taking in.
The bands instruments of choice were impressive. The bass player performed on a beautiful Fender brand name Bass Guitar, while the front man we all know and love played on a Gibson Les Paul (for some but not all of their songs that required a second guitarist) while the lead guitarist played on a very attractive LTD guitar in a telecaster / thunderbird fusion style body design, sunburst in color and played through a Marshall quad amplifier. The bass player appeared to be playing through both an eight speaker cab and a four speaker cab, which produced a huge sound and absolutely blew everybody away.
The greatest part of FUEL’S set was how pumped the crowd got when “Shimmer” come on, the singer even stopped singing and let the crowd take over… There were also some blues-esque rocking solos in place of any intermission performed by lead guitarist Jason Womack on his unique look LTD guitar which were really impressive time fillers..
The set seemed over too soon but it was okay as they played a couple of songs as encores off of the later album “Puppet Strings” released in 2014. They sounded a lot heavier and gave a nice impression of what might be coming next… They do have another album release planned after all. I wonder what the future will bring for FUEL and can’t wait to hear the new album, which I anticipate will be a heavier release.
If you missed them this time round, be sure you don’t miss them when they tour here next, FUEL are an energy filled band that ROCK!
Review by Jonathan Matthews
Images by Lisa Vincent