Who: Dead Letter Circus
From:Â Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Where:Â Ritual NightclubÂ
When: November 15th, 2013
Dead Letter Circus
Twelve Foot Ninja
Colour Me Crimson
Dead Letter Circus
Well, another show at Ritual Nightclub in Ottawa, and since my face had just healed from when Protest the Hero met the same stage the week before; I was more than ready for Periphery. In my preparation for Periphery to take Ottawa to the next level, however, I completely forgot to mentally prepare for opening band Dead Letter Circus of Brisbane, Australia.Â
I was pretty surprised to hear that these guys were playing with headliners Periphery and fellow Australians Twelve Foot Ninja, as their style was on a different page. I was curious to see how the crowd would accept the more â€œpoppyâ€ vibe that DLC brought to the table.
As soon as the set started I could tell these guys would be tight as fuck. Guitarist Clint Vincent rocked a beautiful Telecaster, bringing a whole new dynamic to a metal show. You may have thought that the constant use of a delay pedal would get old, but his sound was surprisingly refreshing and complemented Kim Benzieâ€™s clean cut vocals nicely.
Drummer Luke Williams had no shortage of confidence on the stage in front of a potentially biased crowd who had largely come to see Periphery. He tossed his shirt before the set even started, and his percussion performance was off-the-goddamn-walls perfect through all of DLCâ€™s dynamically varying songs. The band certainly had no problem portraying themselves as a metal band, from bassist Stewart Hillâ€™s beard to Benzieâ€™s AFI-style haircut and sick tattoos. It wasnâ€™t hard to see why at least half the abnormally large amount of girls ended up crowding the front of the stage barrier.
At the start of his performance, I was a little worried about Kim Benzie. The range of his vocals throughout Dead Letter Circusâ€™s albums is fucking nuts, and his voice showed some signs of strain at the beginning of the first song. All was relieved, after about two minutes, when Benzie started slaying the vocals, making it pretty much impossible to tell what was falsetto and what wasnâ€™t. I was particularly impressed by bassist Stewart Hill (and not just because of the beard). Not only was his bass tone absolutely gorgeous, but he nailed each part of every song whether it was loud, loud, quiet, or one of DLCâ€™s skin-tingling build-ups. The band as a whole, to say the least, was tight as fuck.
Listening to Dead Letter Circusâ€™s recently released album â€œThe Catalyst Fireâ€, you find a fairly generic alternative rock sound, and might not expect much originality in their live performance. Although this assumption isnâ€™t particularly far off, some aspects of their set were worth special attention, such as how drummer Luke Williams had his own mic to sing back up while rhythm guitarist Tom Skerlj rocked some keys to add to the bandâ€™s already amazing dynamics.
Dead Letter Circus followed Twelve Foot Ninja, and opened for metal gods Periphery. Considering how heavy the two surrounding bands are, I was not expecting a responsive crowd for DLC. I can admittedly say I fucked up on this presumption, because when Kim Benzie asked the crowd to jump, they said â€œhow fucking highâ€. The first song was pretty chill other than some cheering, but it didnâ€™t take long for the folks on the floor to cause some damage to each other. Dead Letter Circusâ€™s style doesnâ€™t exactly shout â€œMOSH!â€ to me, but that really didnâ€™t matter to the crowd. Not only was I impressed by the vocalistâ€™s ability to get a reaction, I was about ready to shit when he dived off the stage onto the 20 by 30 foot dance floor in Ritual Nightclub, putting a cherry on top of sick fucking performance.
Although they may not have been the band I paid to see, there was nothing short of a good impression for Dead Letter Circus in my mind, and would recommend them to anybody who wants a mosh-tastic time, or who just wants to listen to some solid and well-performed tunes.
Reviewed and written by Bryan Little
Photos by Matthew Clark
About Griffin Elliot
I enjoy dogs and long walks on the beach. My interests include Lord of the Rings and black coffee. Currently completing a double major in Journalism and Greek and Roman Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa, I plan on spending my life seeing the world, writing and playing music with my friends.