All photography and content © John Raptis Photography 2020

Fear Factory Live @ The Palace, Melbourne

With news this week that Melbourne’s iconic Palace venue was being threatened to be redeveloped into apartments, I was more than delighted that tonight’s Fear Factory gig would be at this venue…

The Palace is probably Melbourne’s finest mid-sized venues. I have totally lost count of the number of bands I have seen and photographed here but there have been many. It caters to a wide selection of musical genres and it does so like no other venue I have had the pleasure of being in. It is a building dripping with history, culture and some of the finest rock n roll moments ever. It would indeed be a tragedy if this venue was shut down and I know that Melbourne’s people will not let this happen without an almighty fight.

So before we get into the nitty gritty, make sure you visit the Save The Palace page over at Facebook and do whatever you can to help keep this venue alive!

I love shooting at this venue and simply adore the vibe I get whenever I walk through the doors and take my place in the photo pit. As mentioned, the amount of classic gigs I have experienced here as a punter and/or photographer are vast and it was with a warm smile on my face that I assumed the position in the photo pit and shared a good old chinwag with a slew of my fellow photographers. I love this place!

So this would be the third time I have shot Fear Factory and I was very much looking forward to this gig as the band would be playing their magnificent Demanufacture opus from start to finish. Insane!

Opening proceedings were local band Twelve Foot Ninja. I hadn’t crossed paths with this lot over this photographic journey that I am on and I gotta say, I thought they were great! They reminded me a lot of Faith No More in places or a heavier Incubus and they received tremendous response from what was largely a Metal crowd. I thoroughly enjoyed them and am hopeful I will see them again soon. Do check them out.

The crew got the stage ready for Fear Factory soon after the Ninja’s set. It’s the first time I have seen the Palace’s stage so sparse as there was no holdbacks on the stage and everything was kept nice and open.

Now… we all know what a masterpiece the Demanufacture album is. But seriously, you have not experienced this record until you hear it played live like it was tonight. The band sounded superb and you could literally feel your brain go into a concussive state with each and every precision-like kick of the bass drums. The entire band were in superb form and this was clearly one of the best gigs I had seen of Fear Factory.

Totally and utterly they took ownership of the Palace and proceeded to pummel her into mechanical, industrial oblivion. The only thing that would have made this night even more special is if the original line-up of Demanufacture was intact – I do miss Christian Olde Wolbers and Raymond Herrera but newbies Matt DeVries and drummer Mike Heller did an amazing job nonetheless.

You couldn’t wipe the grins off the faces of both the band and the crowded throng – let alone this fanboy photographer. Just a fabulous night all round!

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