Monday night saw Adelaide’s Fowlers Live become the home of hardcore, as a small but enthusiastic crowd welcomed the formidable pairing of international heavyweights Stray from the Path (US) and Counterparts (CAN). Two of the genres most dynamic bands of the modern era, this promised to be a sonic assault and certainly lived up to expectation.

Kicking off proceedings were Adelaide quartet 23/19. Huge downtuned riffs, seriously impressive vocals complimented by a well balanced mix had the band sounding on point.

Another local Adelaide outfit followed, five piece hardcore act Reactions. The lads had visibly warmed up by their third track , as had the crowd as the floor opened up to make way for the standard array of spinning high kicks and flailing limbs associated with the hardcore crowd.

New York Natives Stray From The Path then launched what can only be described as an all-out attack, starting with the aptly-titled The Opening Move. Leaning heavily on their cracking 2017 album Only Death is Real, the four piece tore through their set, songs changing pace and direction at breakneck speed. Guitarist Thomas Williams is some kind of riff wizard, and this band sure know how to bring it live. Front man Andrew “Drew York” Dijorio spits and barks their politically charged lyrics in machine-gun fashion, and the energy from the crowd reaches new heights. Mixing older classics like Badge With A Bullet and First World Problem Child with new favourites Loudest In The Room and Goodnight Alt-right, Stray From the Path are an awesome live act to witness.

Not to be outdone, Counterparts storm the stage and deliver the knockout punch with their own brand of melodic hardcore. With their latest offering You’re Not You Anymore earning excellent reviews, the new look line-up begins their set with new single Bouquet. There is no denying this bands work ethic, having released five albums in seven years amidst a gruelling tour schedule. The band tears through their set with an awesome display of the soaring chorus’ and crushing breakdowns they have built their reputation on. Newer tunes Rope, A Memory Misread, and Swim Beneath My Skin are clearly resonating with fans and mix perfectly with older favourites such as Only Anchors and Compass. Founding member and front man Brendan Murphy delivers an incredible vocal performance of raw power which clearly connects with both his lyrics and his fans. Lead guitarist Blake Hardman is equally as exciting to watch, and new drummer Kyle Brownlee was exceptional. There may have been a few personnel changes during the bands history, however the current line up delivers an outstanding performance tonight and promises an exciting future for Counterparts.

Live Review by Samuel Phillips