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Our Last Night’s first show in Cape Town was one of the most anticipated shows in recent memory. They were brought here for a good cause, raising awareness with Rocking for Rhinos. With all this in mind the event was completely sold out and its Facebook page was filled for weeks with desperate pleas for tickets so by the time that the night had arrived everyone had already worked themselves up into a frenzy.
We arrive at Mercury at nine having apparently missed openers Set for the Sky. Since there are no lineup times anywhere in sight it’s a bit of Russian roulette figuring out who is playing when, but we’re in time for OneDaySky who combine a fair pinch of progressive, melodic and even a bit of djent for a well rounded overall sound. They are followed by a more aggressive Facing the Gallows whose palpable energy onstage kicks things into higher gear. The vocals are sheer microphone annihilation- a sound man’s nightmare perhaps, but a metalhead’s dream come true. It’s one breakdown after another until the crowd is sufficiently pleased.
We manage to find seating in the small Mercury courtyard for some fresh air before the next band. Over the next 20 minutes a young woman in the proverbial little black dress proceeds to stumble drunkenly down the stairs, and then back up. And then down again, looking a little more inebriated each time. Imagine making all that effort to see Our Last Night and then passing out before they even start… we shake our heads at the thought. We rejoin the crowd watching Climate Control as things take a more melodic turn. Most of their material has the feel of those hard ballads usually found at the end of an album and while less aggressive than the previous act the audience is every bit as pleased with them as the bands before.
After what feels like an eternity of 30 minutes the boys from Our Last Night take the stage, greeted with an uproar that does not let up for a second over the next hour. Their set is a diverse mix of tunes from all over their body of work including White Tiger’, ‘Fate’ and ‘Dark Storms’, all of which are met with boundless enthusiasm. Aside from their original repertoire, heavy cover versions of pop tunes are a vital component to Our Last Night’s following and they hit us with a few of their best, including Imagine Dragons’ ‘Radioactive’ and Katy Perry’s ‘Dark Horse’. Drummer Timothy Molloy takes heavy liberties in arranging the hits in new and interesting ways that breathes new life into them regardless of how familiar they are.
Somewhere after ‘Dark Horse’ the girl in the black dress materializes like the knight in shining armour that reappears from out of nowhere in the third act in an epic tale. Slightly more sober and all the more grateful for being able to see the band, she screams, “I’m so happy!”
The highlight of the evening is bassist Alex ‘Woody’ Woodrow’s journey of a lifetime wherein he manages to travel all the way from the Mercury stage to the bar, get a mouthful of Jagermeister and get back on stage- all without once touching the floor. He crowd surfs all the way there and all the way back thanks to the crowd’s boundless enthusiasm. The cheer that erupts when he arrives back onstage wiping Jager from his beard drowns out even the drummer for a moment.
Everyone present is holding up their phones as lighters as ‘Sunrise’ begins. They promise that we’ll see them again next year and who can blame them? It was the kind of show that an audience as well as a band hopes for their entire lives. Pure participation from both sides in one massive post-hardcore party for a good cause. See you next year.
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