Almanac Music: Gig Review – The Living End at The Forum, 23/06/16

The Living End burst into my consciousness in 1997 with the cracking double-A side “Prisoner of Society/Second Solution”. I was 18 at the time. Immediately hooked. They’ve been a huge part of the soundtrack to my adult life ever since.

The boys are straight into action with the rockin’ track “Monkey” from the new album “Shift”. Melbourne’s Forum Theatre is packed. I’m with a mate, Jamie, and we squeeze onto the floor in front of the stage amongst a crowd of mainly over 30’s. Where else would you rather be on a Thursday night?

“Monkey” leads straight into the classic “Roll On”. The crowd are lapping it up right from the start. There’s a nice mix of songs both old and new. Songs from the new album, “Death”, the single “Keep On Running”, “Staring Down the Barrel” and “With Enemies Like That” are well received, and well sung along with by a crowd full of hardcore fans.
There are frequent calls from a section of the crowd for the fan favourite “Uncle Harry”. For a while there’s a bit of Farnsey-like banter about playing ‘Sadie’, “we haven’t rehearsed it/played it in ages”. Of course it got played, and of course the crowd went beserk.
The playlist went into overdrive with “Second Solution”, the anthemic, yet somehow still fresh sounding “Prisoner of Society” and the more recent (2008!) TLE classic “White Noise” winding out a cracking set.
The encore started with “How Do We Know” from the “White Noise” album, and finished with the great “West End Riot” which apparently featured a part of “Born to be Wild” in the guitar solo. I say apparently as it was 11.59pm and Jamie and I had a 12.15am train to catch to Geelong, back to my car. We made it with a good minute to spare.
For me, this show enhanced The Living End’s reputation as an exceptional live act. Three extraordinarily talented musicians. Andy Strachan’s drumming is powerful and tight. The band has been all the better for his joining (way back!) in 2002. Scott Owen on the upright bass is worth the admission price alone. Chris Cheney could lead guitar in any band in the world he’s that good. Vocally, Cheney is singing as well as ever. Australia’s current pre-eminent rock band putting on a performance that few worldwide could match.
Do yourself a favour and buy the new album “Shift”. Chris Cheney’s most personal writing, but still a cracking rock album. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better rock album in 2016.
By the time I left Waurn Ponds station in Geelong, dropped Jamie off in Colac and got home it was 3AM. Well worth it to see this great Aussie rock band in peak form.

The Living End at The Forum 23/06/16 Setlist:
Roll On
Hold Up
All Torn Down
Killing the Right
Keep On Running
Moment In The Sun
What’s On Your Radio?
Staring Down The Barrel
Uncle Harry
Second Solution
With Enemies Like That
Pictures In The Mirror
Prisoner Of Society
White Noise

How Do We Know
West End Riot

About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. Rulebook says

    Love the passion you have for music,Luke love to hear more about just getting the train,did the panic set in with the what are we going to do if we miss it ?

  2. Just more talent you have Luke

  3. Andrew Fithall says

    Have never been into The Living End but enjoyed your write-up. I love the Forum with the various viewing options available through general admission.


  4. Luke Reynolds says

    G’day Rulebook, was reasonably well orchestrated that we’d make it just in time, however if we were to miss the train, the options would have been perhaps the Casino until the first morning train, or a very expensive cab ride back to Geelong!

    Thanks Lizzie!

    Cheers Andrew, the Forum is a fantastic place to see a band, barely a bad vantage point in the place.
    Such easy access being over the road from Flinders St Station too.

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