Parkway Drive Live @ Kawana Lake Review

Embarking on the hour and a bit drive to the sunshine coast, excitement was in the air. The chance to see Chart-toppers Parkway Drive is an opportunity that no metal head should pass on. Over the last 12 years they have had incredible success and have paved the way for many other acts both overseas and here in sunny Australia. Not bad for 5 dudes from the small town of Byron bay hey?!


Upon arriving at the Lake Kawana Community Centre, my eyes were greeted by a vast array of band merch and large grins. The line was long and I had heard that the concert had actually sold out which was spectacular, I knew that I was in for a good night. I was lucky to get into the sound check and witness Local heavyweights Aversions Crown. These guys have been killing it both in Brisbane and all around Australia, and it was simple to see why they had acquired the support slot for both Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba.
As the doors opened, a sea of teenagers rushed to the barrier to be as close as possible to their favourite band, and most likely teenage Idols. Some time went by and the lights dimmed, and that’s when the crowd was greeted by Aversions Crown. Not to everyone’s taste, Aversions Crown are heavy, they were even the heaviest band on the bill. It was an experience for new fans, and a roller-coaster for old. It is very fair to say that Aversions crown were well deserving of this spot, and they nailed their live performance, with mosh pits and walls of death for the entirety of their set.


Next up were Make Them Suffer, One of Australia’s heaviest and most brutal bands. Honestly these guys could pull a crowd on their own headline tour, so its great to see Parkway Drive teaming up with them for double the fun. Opening with Widower, the crowd was enticed, the mosh pits opened and teenagers were losing their minds. The energy from the band radiated onto the crowd, it was obvious they weren’t there for the money; they were there to have fun, which is what music should be about. 3rd track in they played a crowd favourite, “Let Me In”, a track with the right amount of heavy and clean vocals. This was a hit with the fans and I don’t know how everyone still had so much energy. The band then went on to play their new track, Ether. Lastly, the band played blood moon, encouraging the fans to split in half to create a wall of death. The countdown started, 3, 2, 1, GO!, and fans ran into each other brutally from left to right, leaving many people with sore heads. The band definitely hyped up the crowd for parkway drive and left me thinking that nobody would be able to top that performance, that’s where I was dead wrong.


Destroy, Destroy, was heard around the room. Screams and cheers filled my ears as I entered the photo pit to shoot my teenage idols, Parkway Drive. As they entered the stage with a buzz, confetti cannons shot out to the sounds of Destroyer, off of their latest album IRE. From the first song in it was obvious that although this was a rural tour, no expense had been spared and this was going to be an incredible show both visually and audibly. Whilst screaming the lyrics to Destroyer, it was evident that Winston McCall likes to perform for the cameras, and he did just that, helping the photographers get the perfect shot. Next up was another off of IRE, dying to believe, in this song, the lights were Skits! Which made the crowd also lose their minds. A wall to wall circle pit opened up and I couldn’t wait to leave the photo pit and join in on the madness. Third song in I was excited but sad, because this was the last song that I was allowed to shoot. The light shone on Jeff, and the familiar tune of ‘Carrion’ Started to play. This song was met to some of the loudest cheers and screams I heard all night as it is arguably their most famous song, and you’ve been living under a rock if you haven’t heard it. Carrion was then backed up by “Vice Grip”, arguably the most popular song from IRE. This song was met by excitement and it was evident that many of the younger audience really digged this song by jumping into the pit and crowd surfing to the front. Next up was Idols and Anchors, a song on the heavier side on the Horizons Album. The pit started to spin and at least 10 kids fell down, although they looked like they were having the absolute time of their lives.  Upon the conclusion of Idols and Anchors, the lights dimmed onto Winston. He went on to explain how grateful he is to be able to play rural shows and get such an amazing turn out. (The show was sold out). This set a fantastic tone for the next song, ‘Dedicated’, which is a song where Winston talks about how incredible it is to be able to have been making music for 12 years and still get incredible support around the world and back home. Boneyards was the next song on the set list, and the older fans were going wild, it’s a killer track both on the album and even better played live. Boneyards was followed by another heavy track, Dark Days. With the fans chanting “Hey, Hey!” I couldn’t help myself but join in; the track reminded me of my teenage years, listening to Atlas whilst in class not paying the slightest bit of attention. Following Dark Days was Karma, which produced the biggest, most violent circle pit of the night. The circle pit stretched from wall to wall, with new fans looking in awe of what was happening. The faces of the band members were enough evidence to show they were amazed by what they were seeing. Wild Eyed followed, and it just felt like Parkway couldn’t put a foot wrong with the set list, it even felt like a bit of a tease. Winston’s vocals were perfect, and it sounded almost as good as on the record which not only shows the talent of the vocalist, but also showcases the talent of the band, and all of the soundtechs involved with running the show. Next up was Bottom Feeder, a heavy track from IRE. It was actually quite sad, as Winston said it was the last track. The crowd sent Parkway off extremely well. The band left the stage and the crowd started screaming their name for an encore. They came back and finished with Crushed, and Home is for the Heartless, (A song that can never get old).


Although I had seen parkway drive twice before this show, they always leave me wanting more. Every show has a different atmosphere and a different energy and it is exciting to see so many familiar faces at each show continuing to support a band that they know and love. It is also great to see arguably Australia’s biggest hardcore band playing rural shows, I feel like its their way of thanking the people that got them this opportunity, and seeing Winston talking to fans after the show backs this up, they are grateful to be able to do what they do on the world stage.


If you haven’t taken anything from this review, listen to this. Don’t miss seeing Parkway Drive when they visit your town, they are getting bigger and bigger and its possibly your last chance to see them in small venues, don’t throw that opportunity away.


By Rowan Donohue.


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Get Tickets HERE