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Borders by Henry Naylor: An Intensely Compelling Look From Two Sides Of War – Adelaide Fringe Review
Governor Hindmarsh Hotel, Sun 3 Dec.
This tour is a commemoration of Fuel’s debut full-length album Sunburn released in 1998. It’s also the Californian band’s first Australian tour since 2000, when they released their second full-length album Something Like Human. Witnessing Sunburn performed in its entirety was like time warping back to 1998, though lead singer Brett Scallions is the group’s only remaining founding member.
These days, the drummer is Shannon Boone, who plays tightly and powerfully, while Jason Womack is, to quote Scallions, “a man who lives and breathes guitar” and he played like it. Robbie Gennet fill-in on bass for Phil Buckman.
Scallions is in better shape than ever and is hitting those notes with power in that dramatic way that he does. He contributes to the harmonic backdrop by playing guitar however, he appeared to have some technical difficulties (possibly some faulty hire equipment). Nevertheless, he pushed through and his band held their ground supporting him to their fullest. Womack, playing through a trusty old valve Marshall, kicked enough guts to fill the room and playing those lines written by Carl Bell with finesse (possibly better).
Boone had a conservative approach to setting the tempo of each song. Particularly with songs like Untitled and Mary Pretends as the nature of those songs would normally drive the band to push the tempo as seen in previous tours. However, Boone was solid as a rock throughout giving their Scalli-wag of a front man plenty of room to articulate his lines without losing the feel. Even in slower songs like Hideaway the shift in the air from the kick and the shimmering clash of the cymbals were veritably present and grooved nicely.
After performing the album from start to finish Fuel played an encore of Bad Day and Haemorrhage from Something Like Human and the title track of their new album Puppet Strings which featured The Doors’ guitarist Robby Krieger on the recording. After paying homage to Malcolm Young and a brief heart to heart with the audience it was time to call it a day.
Even in the encore, the main theme of the show surrounded Fuel’s earlier stages of their career. The set list is one that any early Fuel fans would have loved, and the perfect way to introduce the band to a new audience.
Image courtesy of Bián Hickman