Immediately upon arriving at The Brunswick Town Hall for the Moreland Heat of the FReeZA Push Start Series 2018, the excitement in the air was palpable from all present parties, with both the contending bands and the Moreland FReeZA committee ready to put on a great show and the audience prepared to see one. With a lot of hard work put in prior to the show by the Moreland FReeZA committee, known as the Amped Up Productions Crew, to organise and put on the event and by the competing bands to not only rehearse their songs but write and compose them, as 80% of the material performed in the Push Start Series is required to be original material, a great show is exactly what the audience saw.
The show began with first competitors French Weather, who describe their sound as an amalgam of different guitar music over the years. This is an accurate description as the guitar was definitely the focus of their music as they rocked their way through their setlist of 5 dynamic songs. Alongside the strong guitar came clearly well-rehearsed harmonies and rhythmic changes which combined to create a solid sense of style and tone that captivated both the audience and judges alike.
Following up such a strong act is always a challenge, and yet next contenders The Vibes definitely rose to the occasion. At only 3 weeks old they were the newest of the competing bands, however that would definitely not be obvious from their performance as they managed to have the audience captivated from the minute they stepped on stage with catchy tunes and quality audience engagement. A highlight of their set was their slower piece ‘Starry Night’, which worked to add variety to their set and showcase another side to the group than the hard rock style which was displayed throughout the rest of their setlist. With such a solid performance after only 3 weeks, The Vibes are a band to watch as further time together can only elevate what is already clearly a talented band.
Final competitors Wake The Blind then took the stage and added another dynamic to the night’s sound with their metal rock style. With the use of samples for their intros and strong instrumentals all round, they created a captivating and dramatic sound that showed immense skill from all band members. Their enjoyment in the performance was clear as they showed considerable stage presence and interacted with the crowd, proving to be a strong end to a night of strong contenders.
While the judges deliberated, it was time for headliner Sarahj. to take the stage. As winners of last year’s Northern Metro Final, Sarahj. are no strangers to a Push Start Series stage and this was clear through the ease with which they approached their performance. Their 40-minute set included a range of original pop punk material including single ‘Invincible’ for which they released their first music video for last month, as well as their own renditions of well-known tracks such as Australian rock pop band 5SOS’ chart topping hit ‘Youngblood’. With polished instrumentals and an insanely powerful lead vocalist, Sarahj. entranced their audience and put on a high-quality show.
After much discussion between the judges, the results for the series came in extremely close with French Weather as the winners by a small margin and Wake The Blind taking out the runner up position. The Vibes did not miss out however as they brought in the most people to the gig and won the door prize of a recording session at Amped Up Production’s studio. With winners all round it was the perfect ending to an incredibly enjoyable night which ran extremely smoothly thanks to not only the well organised Amped Up Productions team, but the cooperation from all the bands and assistance of other Moreland council volunteers and staff.
Want to follow the competition into the next round? Head over to the Amped Up Productions Facebook page on www.facebook.com/ampedupfreeza and give it a like to keep updated on details for the upcoming Northern Metro Final that they will be organising later in the year, featuring Moreland FReeZA Push Start competition winners French Weather.
By Jessica Donoghue – Amped Up Productions (Moreland FReeZA)