LIVE REVIEW: Northlane, Invent Animate, Thornhill, Windwaker in Boston, MA (07.10)

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LIVE REVIEW: Northlane, Invent Animate, Thornhill, Windwaker in Boston, MA (07.10)

Last night, I headed out to the beloved Paradise Rock Club to get a little Aussie metal in my life (with a US representative in Texas’s Invent Animate sandwiched in). A tour that several years ago, it felt like maybe we would never see again. As the live touring industry has rebounded, the final piece is international bands returning to the States. Last night’s show served as Sydney’s Northlane’s first show in Boston since pre-pandemic; the previous show was just down the street at the smaller sister club of the Dise, Brighton Music Hall. And it was a much-needed moment for all in attendance. The band’s cultivated tour consisted of the Invent  Animate boys, but there were also two Melbourne bands in tow, Thornhill and Windwaker! I also sat down with the latter in a chat with Liam Guinane and Indey Salvestro. Whose North American debut is going down on this tour, with that interview going live tomorrow. 

But before I get ahead of myself, the murmuring and energy of the very close-to-sold-out room was electric, and one that is only typically found about an hour south of the city in Worcester at The Palladium. It was a bad call for any late-comers to the room last night, even thirty minutes before Windwaker kicked off the night; it was already a packed crowd. The crowd excitedly hissed as the lights went low just before 7:00 pm. Being the first Windwaker set in Boston, the band’s set was kicked off in a slightly surprising but iconic walk out to “One Last Breath,” circa Creed, and from the moment the band walked on stage, there was no stopping them. 

Kicking it off with “Get Out,” the title track of the impressive slab of tracks the band released last month, as an assumingly cliff notes to set up the energy for the night. With their sophomore album dropping tomorrow (HYPERVIOLENCE; 7/12), the EP gave fans new and old six songs to come on the album. The crowd did their homework, going off for the band and even some singing the words involved the second the band kicked into the lead-off track of their set. 

The crowd’s energy was evenly matched by a vocal performance that ranged from rap to deep guttural screams to clean vocals without hesitation from the recently returned Guinane to the band. Guinane’s banter with the crowd was on point, along with crushing vocals supplemented by the other four musicians on stage. Including a sweet shout-out to headliner Northlane near the culmination of their set, with Guinane saying, “My homies really made my dreams come true by bringing us to your country.” This before swiftly transitioning into the incredibly catchy, super synth-driven (assisted by DJ Connor Robins, of course) “Break the Rules.” The very Enter Shikari, Erra-esque track lit the room on fire, the fire that exploded as the band wrapped up their set with “Sirens.” Before the band exited the stage, Guinane quipped, “Thank you so much for partying with us; we’ve been Windwaker.” 


After such an explosive start, it was unclear how Windwaker’s set would be followed up, but if anyone were up for the challenge, it would be fellow Melbourne band Thornhill. From the beginning, frontman Jacob Charlton understood the assignment and continued for the quickest jam-packed half-hour set that had the room falling under their spell. While most of the set gave major The Plot in You and Amity Affliction energy, it didn’t take long before it quickly transitioned into a successful series of pits. The tone changed from this point on in the evening as a slow burn set up for the extensive Northlane set just an hour or so away. The band finished with a bang, with Charlton saying, “You know what to do,” while seemingly pointing to the ringleader in the pit as the band careened into one of their biggest hits so far, “Where We Go When We Die.” 

As the penultimate band of the night took the stage with Invent Animate, there was a clear shift of energy as the band came on stage in a completely white look, with the pit destroyed by crowd surfers. Invent Animate is no stranger to the New England area, and it showed. The band’s last appearance in Boston was only last January, but that didn’t damper the turnout for the band. The band’s performance also seemingly fell in line with Northlane’s performance that night, where it was about 95 percent music and five percent banter, which was, as cheesy as it may sound, the music to the crowds’ ears. Invent Animate’s audience was hooked. For me, my favorite fan, in particular, was a boy who couldn’t be older than seven or eight in a Thornhill hat and a band shirt down to his ankles constantly being lifted on the shoulders of his, I’m sure, father and merry crew of men that surrounded him. Singing every word to both Invent Animate and Northlane’s set, it was a magical thing to see. 

After a sweeping set from IA, the lights went low just before 9:30 as vocalist Marcus Bridge and the men of Northlane stepped onto the stage. Last night’s performance marked Northlane’s first show in Boston, as mentioned earlier, since before the pandemic. It was a surely long-anticipated tour for the band, considering how closed down Australia was during the pandemic, and if touring was uncertain again in general, multiply that by ten when it came to whether international touring would ever be a thing again for many bands. With a warm, receptive crowd, it’s clear it was worth the work put on to make their return back to the States.  

While the band played classics like “Bloodline,” a vast bulk of the set were tracks off of the band’s latest EP, Mirror Image (4/24), and if the crowd was any indication of the success of the EP, it’s only going to propel the band more and more. With Bridge’s interactions mostly limited to introducing newer songs like the fiery “Dante” and “Kraft,” the crowd was not bothered by it. When you’ve been a band for as long as Northlane has been a band, the dedicated fanbase in the Paradise last night clearly was there for the non-stop music coming out of the band last night. 

The tour was perfectly curated, and while I’ll forever be a sucker for The Palladium’s multi-level rooms and the journalist workout of climbing up and down the four staircases worth of green rooms, if you know, you know, It’s great to be able to experience the energy of a show like Northlane’s and the bands in tow in a Boston setting. The tour package finds themselves in Philadelphia tonight at another iconic venue, the TLA, with the tour continuing until July 27th. Wrapping it up in Sacramento, fans can find limited tickets to all remaining dates here!

About Author


Colleen has been writing about music since 2009. Interviewing bands since the glory days of Warped and has continued to do so for now over fourteen years. As well as doing freelance for other publications, the love for everything rock continues today.