Australian Monsters of Rock
Pinjarra’s Premier Hotel in January was the perfect venue for the fourth annual outdoor event - Australian Monsters of Rock.
Starting at 4pm, bands were still playing at 11pm. The hotel was open for drinks and food (the pizza was delicious). There is an overnight free camping area across the road from the hotel.
Tribute bands for Pearl Jam and The Angels got the crowd up on their feet dancing and singing along. Western Australia’s Aria award winners End of Fashion plus the band Ashes of Autumn brought the loudest cheers from their fans in the audience. Playing at the event in 2022 all the way from Tucson, Arizona the hard rock/metal band Fall to Break.
The youngest audience member I chatted with was 21, and the oldest gent there was in his 80s. The average age was mid 40s, and wow, could these people party! Phil and Ange are locals from Pinjarra. At almost 60 years of age, these two were up dancing most of the night, putting the younger people to shame. Ange told me, “Old rockers never die!”
During their set the lead singer of the punk/rock band, Electric State, came off stage and walked amongst the crowd, passing the microphone around for the audience to join in. For those fortunate folk who shared in the fun moment it was a moment out of the ordinary for them. Here was a chance to get away from their normal predictable lives and be something special, even for a few seconds. They were a part of the event rather than an observer. Two lucky audience members enthusiastically sang and joined in the performance when they were invited onto the stage.
The Australian Angels show was a crowd favourite. The original band The Angels started in Adelaide, Australia in 1974. The songs are familiar to everyone and they sing along to the chorus with gusto. “Am I ever gunna see your face again” sings the band, and the audience joins in the chorus with gusto, “No way, get f#$%ed, f$%^ off!” It is a legendary cult song that people grew up with. Being able to be free, yet part of the crowd is the thrill. Being wild and reckless and living in a country where you can say these words without persecution and not being judged is part of the vibe of the song.
After their set I went backstage and interviewed the lead singer Rhys Howard. He was on a high after playing. “There is no better feeling”, he said smiling. “The band is a vessel for the energy of the crowd. We play what they want to hear, not solely what we want to play. That gives us a connection with the audience and gives a buzz that lasts!” Being congratulated by people afterwards he said, “…gives me an even greater buzz. We all need to live more in the moment.” AJ the drummer and Brin the guitarist said they enjoyed performing outdoors. “The power of the speakers in nature with lots of people there feels like you are in your living room but better, because you are in nature.”
Melanie Flynn is the singer/songwriter from Ashes of Autumn and proudly mentioned that their second single was launched the previous week. Only 18 months ago the band formed from local Perth musicians and play at many venues, including the Perth hotel, The Rosemount.
I am usually the person taking photos at events. For this evening a friend helped out with the photography and was able to capture me with Tim, Jason and Michael. A big shout out to Michael for the work he puts in to make this event so successful.
The evening was about letting your hair down to some awesome rock music, being present in the moment and enjoying yourself with people who share this joy. Mission accomplished.
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