The Fall of Troy defy easy classification. A three piece fitting somewhere into the spectrum that spans between post-hardcore, math rock, prog rock, they’re a band that thrives on sudden and unexpected twists and turns. For the 10 year anniversary tour of their album Doppelgänger, it was reasonable to at least expect to hear the album played in full. Anything else was fair game.
Three things I didn’t expect to see: 1. Lead singer Thomas Erak reach out and grab a fan’s hat mid guitar solo, don the cap and continue, barely missing a note. 2. An impromptu Hendrix Star Spangled Banner inspired riff on Aladdin’s Whole New World. 3. So few phones raised during the performance. The lack of light pollution transported the gig back to 2005, the year of Doppelgänger’s genesis.
The band gave it their all, enthusiasm never wavering. Like restless children they constantly traversed the stage, stationary only to deliver a blistering solo or sing into the mic. Moments of leisurely lucidity took harsh banks and shifts towards unshackled frenzy. It was an earnest, performance driven by an indomitable punk spirit. Kicking the front speakers out of the way, Erak strode into arm’s reach of the crowd, rabid hands reaching out to grab him. Bassist Tim Ward jumped directly into the mosh. When he emerged a minute or so later, he apologised in case he’d hurt anyone. Thomas took a solemn moment mid-gig to let his band mates know he had nothing but love for them, calling for the crowd to recognise their crew’s hard work.
The violent energy of the crowd seemed discordant with the sculpted surrounds of The Opera House. A heaving mosh was flanked by a ferocious circle pit. Burly dudes surfed atop the crowd, only to wash upon the stage like a steady stream of beached whales. With running leaps, they vaulted back into a crowd with arms outstretched. “Have fun out there,” announced Erak “but if anyone falls you pick ‘em back up.” The pit may have gushed with aggression, but it was lit wall to wall with a sea of grins.
Expert musicians with a visibly sincere love of their craft, The Fall of Troy delivered an unbelievably rich performance. Announcing an unexpected new post-hiatus album on the horizon Erak quipped “the last three people who ever thought The Fall of Troy would make another record are here on stage.” A fourth item to add to the list of things I didn’t expect to see. Without a doubt, I’m glad I did.