Last Dinosaurs // Oxford Art Factory // 30/03/19

Last Dinosaurs are the kind of band that have consistently proved their timelessness – and just how effortlessly it comes to them. The Dinos have continued to pull huge crowds through their decade-long tenure, all the while completely selling out huge tours internationally.

In celebrating Yumeno Garden, Last Dinosaurs have embarked on a sold-out tour around the country, showing off their impressive catalogue, spanning three wildly successful albums.

Joining indie rockers Last Dinosaurs for a big ol’ galavant around the country (which, again, completely sold out), are Melbourne outfit RAT!hammock.

RAT!hammock have seen a fair bit of praise in this first part of this year. Having secured their spot at Laneway ’19, via the Triple J Unearthed contest, and introducing us to their latest single effort Ghost, the four-piece have slowly started to make a name for themselves.

Relatively new to our ears, RAT!hammock start off their set in typical fashion. The typical ‘Aussie bloke’ banter, generic riffs, and the lyrical content that has invaded Aussie Indie music for the past few years. Inevitably, the band feels as though they will drown out in the presence of better bands with similar sound and genre.

Despite this, there’s still fun to be found in the band. Their tracks are danceable, and it’s enough to get you pumping for the rest of the night. As The Rats continue through their forty minute set, the vibe starts to change. The songs begin to be of a more distinct sound/style. Eventually, the set closes out with Ghost and Dune, two of RAT!hammock’s bigger and better tracks. There’s a bit more fun to be found here than what’s showcased in the first two-thirds of their set.

A moment later, the familiar crashes of waves from intermission track Satellites echoes through The Oxford Art Factory. It’s time for Last Dinosaurs. Lasers of an abundance of colours scan across the room, and the chorus of screaming and excitement is near deafening as the opening riff to Weekend kicks in. It’s comforting to have the band open with a favourite from In A Million Years (2012), and it calls back to the band’s timelessness I mentioned earlier; EVERYONE is chanting the words back at front-man Sean Caskey.

Following on from this, the crowd is treated to lead single Dominoes from Yumeno Garden (2018), and then Andy from In A Million Years. The rest of the set sees a similar pattern in that there’s healthy mix between old and new. A lot of bands can struggle to engage with both fans of old and new, yet The Dino’s setlist has a healthy respect for their older material, and it’s really rad to hear it all unfold. The interplay between their three releases is incredibly well executed, and it keeps the crowd hyped.

Even during the more earnest Forget About, everyone waves their hands in time to the riffy track. Last Dinosaurs have this weird, specific kind of energy that maintains the hype even during the mellow moments.

The most exciting thing about a Last Dinosaurs set, is that the opening moments of each song are so distinctly memorable, that before the first second is through, the crowd knows what’s about to happen. Before heading off for their inevitable encore, Eleven bursts with excitement. It’s near impossible to keep the grin off your face throughout the hour with Last Dinosaurs.

Straight after Eleven’s conclusion, the crowd screams for that one more song, and Last Dinosaurs waste no time in re-joining the room. Caskey comes back to his mic, and giddily tells everyone to wait for a minute; He has some merch to give away.

“We’ve chosen a random ticket holder to get a merch bundle, so come on up [name]”, Caskey announces. As the lucky lady jumps up on stage, Caskey’s excitement grows as he announces a little plot twist; “There’s someone who wants to ask you something”, as the girl’s boyfriend joins the stage. It’s abundantly clear what’s about to unfold. Everyone in the crowd starts screaming as he drops to one knee. She says yes very quickly, and everyone goes nuts for it.

Straight after, Last Dinosaurs bust out into their powerhouse love track Honolulu, and there’s just a lot of love in the room for the last song. It’s a true testament to the band’s live show, and everything The Dinos have put out in the last ten years.

If you snagged yourself a ticket to any of the Yumeno Garden dates, consider yourself lucky! The boundless energy that Last Dinosaurs bring to their performance is one of the strongest in Australia. If you’ve ever the chance to see this gem of a band, TAKE IT. There might not be a proposal on-stage, but y’know, you’ll still have a wicked time.

Review – Kileab Thum