Amyl and the Sniffers — Newport Music Hall
If you’re a fan of rock n roll in any of its genres, subgenres, and incarnations – you want to see an Amyl and The Sniffers show.
That voice. Those riffs. Those grooves. Those beats.
Thunder and lightning. Poetry and energy.
Fun lovin,’ hard charging, Punk AF but subverting the genre altogether.
These Aussies are doing it right and showing the entire world how it’s done.
In 2023 alone, the Melbourne group played club shows and festivals, stadiums, and stages way more modest and they’ve torn up every one as both supporting acts and headliners.
How do they do it? What makes Amyl and The Sniffers so amazing?
First off, there’s Amy.
Dancing like a maniac, wailing like a banshee, spitting venom, and proclaiming truths – Amy Taylor, the lead voice and stage commander for Amyl and The Sniffers is the most unique personality and electrifying performer in rock n roll in years.
Shimmying, shaking, bobbing and bouncing, voguing and vamping, roaring and soaring,
Taylor is the cool little super loud musical wind up toy that scares old people, annoys parents, and delights the kids.
And then there’s The Sniffers
Armed with a Flying V and classic rock vibes, guitarist Declan Martens looks like he could play rugby for The Wallabies, but he seriously shreds and makes the awesome sounding 70’s/80’s rock-inspired riffs and leads he busts out look effortless.
The audience rousing and band interplay from Gus Romer adds almost as much to the show as his meaty and memorable basslines, deft backing vocals and Oi Oi Oi’s!
Loud and fast pummeling punk drumming from Bryce Wilson sets the pace and predicts what you’re in for before sending it all crashing down with equal precision and intensity.
Call it a banger or a rocker, mission statement or credo, album intro and single “Guided By Angels” off 2021’s incredible Comfort to Me sums it up best:
“Energy, good energy and bad energy/ I’ve got plenty of energy/
It’s my currency I spend/ Protect my energy, currency”
That energy is boundless and every drop of sweat and saliva that falls on the Newport stage floor during this Amyl and The Sniffers show is a testament to the physicality of the performance.
It’s not all style, either. (Though, Taylor is a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race: Australia Edition) Taylor scream/shout/sings about Equality, Identity, Injustice, Exploitation, Empowerment, and yeah, there are even a couple of love songs, but love that doesn’t fit neatly or define itself.
Freaks to the Front
Dancing, pogo-ing, skanking, moonstomping, moshing, crowd surfing, and just plain ‘having a really good time.’
If you truly wanted to check the barometer at this show, all you had to do was look at the pit at any moment. A fanned mohawk zig zagging frantically, Doc Martens crowd surfing, and the whole thing just erupting in a frenzy when that chorus hit.
“This isn’t how it normally is. Shows aren’t usually like this.” – Harry Acosta, Photographer, on just how lucky we were to see this dumbfoundingly excellent performance
There is no other show like it because there is no other band like Amyl and The Sniffers.
Having given the rest of the world ample time and multiple opportunities to experience them live, on a brisk Fall Sunday evening at The Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Ohio, this crowd finally got its chance to, too.
When an opening band really brings it and wins you over with its ferocity and intensity, you’re smitten. And why shouldn’t you be? Sometimes you might get lucky and see an opener match the energy of the headliner, but when the warm-up act does just that and is as interesting or exciting as the headliner, forget about it.
Die Spitz are this opening band. They are raucous and righteous noisemakers from Austin, Texas who did more than just warm up the crowd – they set the whole place ablaze with their punk-adjacent/metal-adjacent grungy goodness.
With a handful of songs from their 2023 mini album, Teeth, and the 2022 EP, The Revenge of Evangeline the young, talented Austinites had the pit raging and the whole venue mesmerized by it all. Whipping red hair, snarling guitars, thumping bass and drums and a blood-curdling, guttural howls, Ava Schrobligen, Chloe Andrews, Ellie “Boogeyman” Livingston, and Kate Halter delivered a punishing pulverizing display of hard rock n roll fury that I doubt most were expecting but few will forget.
“I saw Ramones, Misfits, The Cramps, and Pixies, even!” – Cian Bowers, Contributing Writer, on a few of the bands sighted on crowd t-shirts while people watching between sets.
Guided by Angels and driven by Dad, this budding journalist and music-obsessed 15 year-old shares some observations on why this first live show may have topped the list.
Amy had just so much energy and the band was truly amazing.
They embodied the rock genre and brought it to life.
You could tell that they played with power, passion, and love with each song.
They really gave it their all to entertain and bring joy to the audience.
Die Spitz had an epic, grungy sound and the singer’s voice reminded me of Joan Jett and [Kim Shattuck], the singer of The Muffs.
Both bands were full of surprises like overlapping songs, guitar solos, jumping, hair-flips, quirky dances, and even push-ups for some reason.
This was my favorite night ever!
Words by Casey and Cian Bowers with images by Harry Acosta
DIE SPITZ GALLERY
AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS
NEWPORT MUSIC HALL
Harry Acosta is a professional photographer who started out shooting concerts. He is an avid concertgoer and loves to capture his favorite musicians and unseen moments we take for granted in everyday life.