Devilskin delivered a thrilling performance at The Brownzy last night, captivating the fan-packed crowd with their high-energy stage presence and hardcore musical endurance, and giving a final, unified Fuck Yeah to an iconic local pub closing its doors for good.
The Brownzy is a beautifully strange bar, deceptively spacious on the inside like an old school hall, with a surprisingly relaxed atmosphere that makes you feel overdressed if you’re wearing anything colourful or just not wearing a singlet.
It has an almost perfect setup for live music; just spacious enough to make the most of the audio, and intimate enough to maintain the sense of local pub community that seems to permeate through every corner of the venue. A bar with a guard rail to the side to prevent arguments and encourage people to move throughout the rest of the space, and an outdoor smoking area that is practically begging for an outdoor BBQ.
Last night was the final, live performance for the venue before it shuts its doors for good to apparently make way for an apartment complex, and yet… despite the seedy atmosphere and perpetual grime in the air, it felt beautifully like home, like a genuine, unpretentious community just wanting to come together and have fun listening to music.
It’s one that deserves to have its moments of greatness preserved in writing, even if just for the memory of what it brought to its community, and equally deserving of the powerful, playful and energetic performances by Devilskin and East York as a final venue performance.
A massive tapestry of “East York” on the back wall dominated the stage as the band emerged into an immediate build of distortion and applause before the brilliantly clear, dominating bass of Outsiders instantly drew the crowd into the opening set alongside the catchy vocals of Tarquin Keys.
Their next song, King of Persuasion and Circus fixed a slight audio balancing and allowed the lead guitar riffs to shine through, first fighting through the solid, rolling drums of both songs, then finally tearing through super clean and sharp at the closing section of Circus, matching the bulletproof charisma and rockstar performance of lead guitarist Daz Coppins.
The delicious slimy bass from Joel Coppins on Damned Anthem and a cover of Shihad’s You Again kept the crowd wildly engaged, finally building to a swirling pit of human limbs and hair during Dead By Design before an impressive solo drum performance by Joe Brownless led into Devil You Know and the final, almost-Audio-Slave sound of To Kill The Sun to close out the set.
East York was a surprising band, or at least surprisingly in how deeply committed to the performance they were – bringing the same energy and musical quality you’d find at any half-decent gig venue to a small stage in Browns Bay, and with a fluid sense of crowd engagement that balanced the various performance personalities of the band brilliantly.
After a brief intermission and a blur of beer runs to the bar, the stage dimmed to Van Halen’s Runnin’ With The Devil to announce Devilskin, with the crowd singing along to the classic rock anthem and creating a fantastic atmosphere.
Opening with the slow hum and bass of Grave 13, the four-piece immediately humbled the eager audience with pounding drums and the guttural, beautifully brutal vocals of Jennie Skulander, demonstrating phenomenal endurance in maintaining both her clarity and power across the entire set.
Guitarist Nail Vincent and bassist Paul Martin provided a tight, driving rhythm section while also showcasing their virtuosic skills in multiple wild solos and riffs across Corrode, All Fall Down, and the emotional raw performance of Never See The Light, dedicated to a friend who took their own life and showcasing the importance of “just having each other’s back”.
Drummer Nic Martin anchored the band’s sound with precision and intensity, keeping the energy high throughout, with standout moments in Let Me Breathe (performed exclusively for the first time last night), Insects, and Do You See Birds keeping the crowd happily engaged and appreciative through consistently deep, driving drums.
The band’s chemistry was also evident in their onstage interactions, with playful banter and synchronised headbanging on stage adding to the overall experience of the performance and demonstrating a true testament to the love and dedication of the band members through their years of experience playing together.
Voices featured a haunting vocal intro by Skulander before exploding into a heavy, pounding chorus, a late standout moment in the set showcasing Devilskin’s ability to maintain their energy and to seamlessly blend heavy rock with melodic hooks, before closing numbers Start A Revolution and Little Pills provided the outlet for any remaining thrash energy within the crowd and a memorable close for the evening.
But beyond the impressive musicianship and performance, Devilskin’s live show also embodied the power of music to bring people together, an entire community of metal-loving, wonderfully grimy degenerates together in the shared experience, united by their appreciation for two bands and two hours of live music – one that I hope continues to follow both these bands and the venue, wherever the path to the future may lead them.
Click any icon to view a full gallery of each artist. Photos by David Fu.
East York Setlist
King of Persuasion
You Again (Shihad Cover)
Dead By Design
Devil You Know
To Kill The Sun
Pray / Vessel
All Fall Down
Let Me Breathe
Never See The Light
Until You Bleed
Do You See Birds
Start A Revolution
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