The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus @ Corner Hotel, Melbourne 30th Oct 2018

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are an interesting band, and this show didn’t break from that description of them.

Whether by accident or design, vocalist Ronnie Winter was all over the shop with his delivery. Ahead of time, behind time, chopping up time – Winter did it all in a slightly disjointed evening.

And if he’s had to change his style is unknown, but the manner in which he warbled through the set like a Mariah Carey tribute act didn’t really fit with the intensity or genre of his band. The crowd felt it too. They were silent, and it was either going to be the calm before the storm or the graveyard shift at the Corner Hotel.

But then, something clicked. Whether Winter taking his earplugs out had an impact is hard to tell, but the crowd were suddenly behind the Florida natives and a noticeably atmosphere developed.

And maybe it had something to do with the lead singer opening up and becoming more accessible to the audience. He shed the jacket after the first song In Fate’s Hand (which deserved a much bigger reaction from the crowd), and the bizarre shades half way through. 

Whatever it was, it worked. As The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus mixed the best of their heavy back catalogue with their poignant slower material. This included the tear jerking Your Guardian Angel, dedicated to 
Toyah Cordingley – who loved the band, that song and who was murdered while walking her dog on the beach in Cairns.

And of course Face Down banged in the way it always does, it’s a unique song that’ll stand the test of time.

In between it all was long-time fan Josh Burke, recruited as lead guitarist after a chance meeting with the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, keeping it all together with his ridiculously good riffing.

This band will also be best known for their debut record, and even though they have a new album out most of the songs were from In Fate’s Hands. It wouldn’t have worked any other way.

It was a bit of a head scratching night. Was the start RJA back to their old ways of poor live performances, or a band finding their feet? Thankfully, it appeared to be the latter.