The sold out signs have been put up, while the headline band hastily arrange an extra 20 tickets for sale on the door. The queue is snaking its way around the block with the chattering and excitable audience waiting for entry. This is Fowlers on a chilly Tuesday evening in Adelaide. This is the return of American’s Escape The Fate.

A near full Fowlers greets opening band Between The Kings. The Brisbane four-piece start with first single The Escape, a good pop-punk tune that lets the audience know what they are in for. The set list gets more up tempo as the space becomes more confined in the venue. The crowd appreciative of the different styles the band incorporates from song to song. These boys will be a name to watch in the future.

2018 has been an roller coaster year for Awaken I Am, changing vocalists as the album was released right before an American tour; to the more recent tragic passing this month of guitarist Connor Verner-Oakley. The fact these guys can get back up and have a room eating from their hands after all this, is testament to their character and drive. The band finishes with Blind Love and Walk My Way, with vocalist Jimmy Alexander leading the audience in hand waving antics, to rapturous applause from the crowd. You did good boys, you did real good.

Ten years ago Escape The Fate themselves were reeling from some changes when they released second album This War Is Ours. It didn’t prepare them for the take off of their careers at that point though. Tonight they’re back celebrating that album by playing it in full, with a dash and a sprinkle of a few other classics.

Opening with We Won’t Back Down, it’s clear the crowd are going to match vocalist Craig Mabbitt word for word tonight. In fact they may even be louder as each and every line is sung with gusto, hands raised to the heavens by band and fans alike.

The songs keep coming, On To The Next One, Ashley, Something, the set list stays true to the track order of the album and no one is complaining. You Are So Beautiful gets the security working over time as a mosh pit breaks out. Naturally it all goes up another level during This War Is Ours (Guillotine 2) before everyone gets emotional and teary-eyed during Harder You Know.

The encore was full of newer songs with a beautiful performance of new album title track I Am Human, with the band lit up by the lights of the fans mobile phones, finishing a triumphant ninety minute blast of emo throwback.

Escape The Fate tonight had fans fainting down front, singing all the way to the back, moshing and crying their hearts out in between. While many may have seen the band before, for those that were watching for the first time, their expression on their faces best sums it up. Wide eyes, beaming smiles, the excitement in a face that the realisation of what they are watching is a dream come true. It’s as beautiful as it is magical. That’s what Escape The Fate gave everyone at Fowlers tonight. Magic.

Live Review by Iain McCallum