Rosemount Hotel, 14 June
Another Friday night at the Rosemount hotel and another local band attempting to take the next step in the main room. That was the equation on this wintery Friday, with the band in question being Atlas Chasers.
Arriving late, but not fashionably so, the first thing I clocked was the audience. There were plenty of people in the room and, by all reports, pre-sales had been strong. Not unheard of, but not the norm, either, in the fickle Perth market where punters will queue around the corner to get in to to see interstate and overseas bands but often snub the local product, even when they’re objectively far better. Maybe that’s an opinion piece (rant) for another day, let’s not get off track here.
There was definitely something in the air at the Rosie tonight.
And that was confirmed when some tech savvy music exec pressed play on Atlas Chasers’ video for their new single, ‘Fade Away’, just before the band came on stage. The cheers that greeted this little illumination show confirmed the band would be playing to their faithful, and there sure were a lot of them!
When the five members of Atlas Chasers stepped on stage right after the video, the crowd erupted, but stayed just a bit shy of the stage. It didn’t matter, vocalist, Matt Evans soon drew them in close.
What happened next was 60 minutes of some of the best sounding commercial rock this reviewer has ever witnessed. And I use the term commercial as a compliment. Too often bands shy away from anything that might be considered mainstream and then wonder why they disappear up their own hipster orifices without ever having come close to achieving the success they so obviously crave.
Not Atlas Chasers. This band knows how to rock, how to craft a melody and a chorus that will stay with punters long after the gig is over (I’m still singing the chorus to ‘Fade Away’ in my head as I’m writing this), and how to deliver it live on stage.
Atlas Chasers’ vocalist, Matt Evans has the charisma of an Eddie Vedder, the universal appeal of a Chris Martin (maybe it’s the keyboard?) and the vocal chops of an Ian Gillan. Yes, he is that good. Maybe even better, only time will tell. It’s early days for this band, yet, so best to save the real hyperbole for when they’re playing stadiums.
And the band as a whole? They sit right in the pocket with Evans, creating a soundscape that drives along the vocals and provides just the right amount of light and shade. They’re tight and showy without being too smartarse about it. Essentially, they’re nice boys (men, of course) who know how to rock. And don’t their audience love them for it!
If Atlas Chasers took a misstep on the night it was the inclusion of a cover of the INXS classic, ‘Never Tear Us Apart’. Not because they didn’t do it justice, not because the audience didn’t love it — they did — but because it was completely superfluous. The band’s originals already give them all the room they need to showcase who they are and what they’re about. Thankfully, this cover was followed by the Chasers’ new single ‘Fade Away’, a song equally as good the one they played before it.
Expect to hear Atlas Chasers played on a commercial FM radio station sometime, hopefully soon. They’re that good.