I must preface this review with an admission: I was conflicted about what I was to hear on the night of this gig. I’m all for artists celebrating milestones such as this; especially independent Australian artists. However, 15 years is a long time in the Information Age, and I was worried that some of the content of Butterfingers’ debut record ‘Breakfast at Fatboys’ hadn’t aged particularly gracefully during that time.
Sporting alumni from bands as diverse as The Hot Lies and Phantoms, Sydney-based outfit Beerwolf make razor-throated and inherently nostalgic D-beat punk that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Although they’ve been stuck with a decidedly un-rock-&-roll start time of quarter past seven to kick things off, they make the most of their time on-stage by drawing in as many early arrivals as possible. Whether you’ve been following the band since their 2017 debut Post Youth Crisis or you’ve just stumbled upon them this Friday evening, their rousing choruses and chugging guitars make it easy to get invested. Get around ’em.
Set to happen not long after the Don’t Kill Live Music Rally in Sydney, the Deafheaven tour couldn’t have come at any better time. Arriving at Manning Bar, the crowd held a variety of devoted metalheads and indie-minded hipsters, with festival shirts on and tote bags in hand. It’s clear that the band’s wide appeal beyond just the metal community is still in full swing. Ultimately, the band is one of many gateways for those who’d never otherwise be exposed more than just a black metal band but not completely distanced from it either.
Indie scene legends Death Cab for Cutie at the world famous Opera House was the first concert I’ve ever been to that had no standing section, which was a bizarre sight for me. From the moment he stepped in front of the crowd, Ben Gibbard had a calm and collected, extremely composed stage presence. It was refreshing to see someone front a band who projected so much confidence in himself and fellow band members. Gibbard is a ball of energy as he opens with I Dreamt We Spoke Again from their newest album, Thank You For Today, but it takes a little while for the audience to get going.
Hot Potato Band graced UOW Unibar with a night of high energy, funked up jazz on Saturday night. With a band that can perform with up to 16 members, this acoustic group isn’t missing a beat with their New Orleans brass band sound. Joining us on the night was Simon Ghali, the leader of the group on Drums; Ben Goldstein on Vocals; James Mackay on Tenor Sax; Edward Tan on Alto Sax; Peter Orenstein on Baritone Sax; Max Mallen-Cooper on Trombone; Paul Murchison on Trumpet; Daniel Moore on Sousaphone; Marc Malliate on Percussion and Drums; and James Swanson on Bass Drum.
Hordern Pavilion was packed out for two of the hottest Australian acts of the moment, Tash Sultana and Ocean Alley. Friday night was full of anticipation for what was to come over the next three nights of sold out shows.
The days of MySpace and scene hair are long gone, but Joyce Manor’s show at Oxford Art Factory showed that deep down a lot of us are still emo kids at heart. The American rockers drew a substantial crowd for a mid-week gig, with most of the audience made up of dedicated fans who knew all the words to their songs. With support from local acts Jacob and NEIGHBOURHOOD VOID, it was a night full of emo rock singalongs.
Here’s something you learn the hard way about being a fan of They Might Be Giants – it’s not something you can do casually. Sure, you can know a couple of songs here and there. Oh, it’s that band that sings about the worm doctor! Oh, it’s the band that do the Malcolm in the Middle song! If you’re going to be a proper fan, though? That’s a whole lot of homework – and, thankfully, They Might Be Giants fans tend to be total nerds who love homework anyway. With over 30 years of music and over 20 albums full of it, the band have one of the most impressive back catalogues to work with. On their current run, which sees them performing two sets a night and drawing from two separate decades in what they call “some sort of generational chicken-fight,” the Brooklyn natives explore the farther reaches of their entire canon, from their earliest days to their most recent work.
It’s been twelve years since Australia last saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers play a headline show. So much has happened in that time: huge festivals have come and gone, lockout laws have been introduced, and the internet has completely transformed the way we behave at gigs. But at Qudos Bank Arena last night it was clear that, although time has passed, our love for the Chili Peppers hasn’t changed.
If you’ve listened to Triple J over the past few years, you’ve almost definitely heard a LANKS track. Over four years, Will Cuming has released around forty songs under the LANKS name, spanning multiple EPs and an album as well as a multitude of collaborations. Just before commencing this set of shows in support of his latest EP Inoue, however, he announced that they would be the final run of LANKS shows. As a result, Thursday’s show at Red Rattler Theatre was one filled with emotion, reflection and celebration.