Luca Brasi at 170 Russell, Melbourne, June 25, 2017.

With empty bottles, full hearts and no regrets, Luca Brasi headlined a Tasmanian take-over on a cold Sunday night at 170 Russell.

Early birds at the show were treated to a double serving of up and coming Tasmanian acts. Punk quartet Speech Patterns kicked off proceedings with a short, fast and loud set to celebrate the release of their four-track EP Crosswater. Following on was the unflappable Maddy Jane. Backed by a three-piece band, Jane’s frantic, determined energy was as appreciated as her whimsical lyricism – current single No Other Way even better live than over the radio airwaves.

The proverbial meat in this Tasmanian club sandwich were moody Baltimore punks Pianos Become The Teeth. Fresh off recording the follow up to 2014’s Keep You, the post-hardcore five-piece built a wall of immense sound around the ever-growing crowd – led by pensive frontman Kyle Durfey’s sprawling stage presence

It’s at about this time through every show where I have the exact same thought: how can I become the person to DJ between sets. Honestly, I’d smash it out of the park. Moving on.

Headliners Luca Brasi emerged from a side of stage huddle, shakas raised in the air and hurdled head first into set-openers Aeroplane and Drop Out before getting to smashing new single Got To Give – frontman Tyler Richardson looking genuinely stoked with the feedback from the mosh-crazy crowd. The four piece played tracks from all three of their records, including some tracks off of 2011’s Extended Family that don’t get regular live rotation.

The biggest crowd reactions came from the hits off of the group’s latest album If This Is All We’re Going To Be; Overwhelmed//Ill-Prepared’s catchy hook bounced around the stage; Guitarist Thomas Bushby’s axe work received centre stage during The Cascade Blues (which was temporarily renamed The Melbourne Bitters by the lads behind me) and as per any Luca Brasi show Anything Near Conviction’s infectious chorus had every fist heading roofward before the band left the stage before a much-anticipated encore.

This is the part of the show before the band returns that I have unwillingly called  ‘shoey time’ – where someone will either endear or embarrass themselves in front of the whole venue. Once the beer soaked punter’s shoe had been emptied though, the band returned to the stage with support act Maddy Jane and Speech Pattern’s frontman Luke Thomas for an altered version of Isaac Bowen before ending the set with epic builder Count Me Out.

There were two main takeaways from tonight’s Tasmanian feast. Firstly, the Apple Aisle’s music scene has never been this strong or in better hands. Secondly, and overwhelmingly, was Luca Brasi’s instant, intimate likeability – four blue-collar fellas that you’d love to crack open a cold one with. Add them to my ever-growing Bucket (of beers) List of people I need to have a beer with.

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