I first saw Tonight Alive / heard any of their music at Soundwave Sydney 2015. I wasn’t even planning on it, I’d just happened to be early enough to catch a random band before the ones I’d scheduled to see. I was immediately taken in not so much by their music per se (even though it is very good) but by their personas, particularly Jenna McDougall’s commanding stage presence. McDougall has such a level of self-confidence but obvious gratitude as well; humbled by her audience but not one to shy away from dishing out a wonderfully energetic, confident performance. In a word, she’s cool.
The band covered a Rage Against the Machine song that day too, and that’s when it clicked. Not only did they smash the song to bits, it was clear that this band really wanted to embody a similar ethos of breaking down a system. I could vibe with that – in fact I spend a lot of my time looking for anything remotely anti-establishment. So when I heard that the band was heading into the studio immediately after Soundwave, I was already super excited for what was to become their third full-length record, Limitless. The resulting album was definitely not what I was expecting.