Written by Daniel McDonald
Sponsored by Christian Metal-Bro Alliance
I first came across GIDEON when I grabbed hold of a Facedown Records sampler way back when I expanding my knowledge of the bands on Facedown Records and other area’s I had not yet explored. I remember playing through the track over and over – which thinking back was “Virtue” from their debut album, Costs. It wasn’t long until I was convinced to invest in the full album and discovered the as yet unexplored joys of GIDEON’s Alabama hardcore. Costs has been a very vocal guest in my car for the years I have owned it. Evidently, I have been following GIDEON very closely since then and also got stuck into the sophomore album, Milestone.
When I came across the announcement that the boys from Alabama were heading out my way, I immediately jumped online and grabbed my ticket. Unfortunately, this time I would be attending solo. My neighbouring metal-bros tried to get out but just couldn’t do it. They were there in spirit and they’re awesome.
The gig itself was to be at a new venue for me – a place called The Wall at a pub called The Bald Faced Stag in Leichhardt. Just up the road from the once mighty Annandale Hotel where I saw OH, SLEEPER (may the Annandale rest in peace). In typical fashion, I was too late to catch the first support act, PERSPECTIVES play. I walked in as they were packing away *sadface*. I killed the time until the next support act by completing my obligatory merch purch. The tee I really wanted wasn’t there – the black tee with the large camo “G” on the front – so I went simple. I selected a black tee with “GIDEON” in red on the front and again on the back in white block letters with Facedown Records underneath. I was thrilled to buy my t-short from the hands of frontman Dan McWhorter’s hands direct. For the record, he’s a cool dude.
After I grabbed a Coke, it was time for VICES to get setup do their thing. VICES have been popping up un the local scene here and there, but I have never taken the time to listen to their stuff. As you’re aware my tastes extend to only Christian music when it comes to metal. Why? Because it is so much better to enjoy metal and enjoy God in the same experience. VICES’ set was okay and there was some riffs that had be bouncing along. The set was a little disorganised with an equipment failure and too much time between songs as they got organised. Still, they warmed up the crowd and got the select phew into the hardcore dancing mood.
WARNING: You’re about to read my regular hardcore dancing rant.
Something I don’t think I’ll ever understand: Hardcore dancing. Call me old fashioned, but I like my mosh pit to be shoulder to shoulder and going up and down. I don’t get how hardcore dancing has even caught on. I mean, 90% of the crowd had to stand right back beyond the floor just to watch the show without fear of getting a rogue kick to the head. When GIDEON took to the stage, you could tell that they were wanting everyone front and centre, but the kung-fu wannabes just keeps them back. I’m sorry to those that enjoy the act of attacking invisible ninjas in public, but it seems they practically ruin the show’s experience for everyone else. Having said that; I wasn’t going to be stopped from being face to face with the band – you get better face-meltage when you’re up close. That and the fact I’m big and ugly enough to fend off the stray arm or leg with a hearty shove. Rant over.
You may continue with reading the blog undisturbed.
After VICES had finished their set, I returned to the bar for another refreshing cola beverage. I was stoked that when I was returning the stage, I ran into some super cool dudes who recognised the t-shirt I was wearing (with my youth group’s logo) and attend to my old church in Menai NSW. It was great taking the moment to chat with these metal-bros-to-be and share a passionate discussion about our metal likes and hopes. I’m pleased to welcome these guys to Metal-Bro HQ. As we were chatting, we heard the feedback which signalled GIDEON’s taking the stage. Needless to say, we took to the floor without hesitation. I took up residence near the front, but to the left of the stage until I was able to gauge the craziness of the hardcore dancers.
Try as I might, I cannot find a copy of the set list and I failed to make notes at the time – caught up in the moment as I was. Of the songs that were played, I could tell you that they are primarily from Milestone. I distinctly remember “Prodigal Son”, “Bad Blood” and “Still Alive”. I also know that they played on of my personal favourites from Costs, being “Kingdom Minded”. It’s a terrible confession from someone who knew they were going write about the event, but there you go. If I ever get my hands on the setlist, I’ll be sure to let y’all know. I couldn’t in all honesty tell what the encore song was!
As the set opened, I immediately had to reassess my position on the side of floor and move in. It was worth the risk of becoming a hardcore dancer’s collateral damage to be front and centre. Dan and bassist, Timmy Naugher, were the focus of my attention, having spoken to them and even taken a selfie (below) with them. Plus they were on my side of the stage.
The energy put forth by the GIDEON team was magnetic, for me. I was drawn ever closer to the lip of the stage with every passing second. It was unfortunate that the main crowd had to hang back to avoid a flying kick from hardcore flailers. Dan and Timmy both continued to beckon the crowd closer, but nothing eventuated. Because of this, GIDEON was unable to initiate a circle pit due to lack of interest. From my observations of the metal crowds in Sydney, this just seems to be the thing – non-participation. Their loss.
Throughout the set, Dan kept allowing diehard opportunities to grab the mike and have a yell. I love that part of metal. The band is never separated from their fans; they’re up and into it. I did notice that Dan appeared to rip his shorts through the set, which gave me a chuckle, but it wasn’t fatal and onwards they ploughed. The set was very much like a GIDEON album, full pelt intense and over too quickly for those who can’t get enough of the heavy hardcore goodness they supply. There was little to no down time between songs and even the encore was underway and then over before I knew it. Time really does fly when you’re having fun.
I did also note that there was no pause to proclaim the band’s faith in Christ to – hopefully – drive home the messages that can be found in their lyrics. I won’t critique GIDEON on this, as it really is a matter for the band to choose on whether their songs speak for themselves or add the proclamation. Nothing could have made me have a bad night, I was in my element and I also got to fellowship with some new dudes, which was a definite highlight of the night.
Overall the night was, of course, utterly fantastic. As a fan if US Christian metal and hardcore, I will never take for granted the effort and cost a band has to go through to make it out here so we can fulfil our wishes of a live set. My only low point for the night was the very noticeable absence of my all-time favourite GIDEON song, “Gutcheck”. I would have given anything to see that smashed out live. Maybe next time, hey?
So, that’s it. GIDEON came, they saw and they kicked our arse! And we loved it! Let’s hope they return in the near future. In the meantime, I look forward to hearing new material which I believe is marked for release some time this year. If not, I will still look forward to it next year!
God bless, Bros and Brodettes!
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