A week into a massive two-month endeavour across the country, on March 24th, The Smith Street Band graced a sold out Enmore Theatre for the second time in two years. Playing to a fully crowded Enmore is no mean feat, and after watching The Smith Street Band, along with support from Press Club & Bec Sandridge it is undeniably clear why this massive tour across the nation is seeing sold out shows in just about every state.
Indie punk rockers Press Club opened the party, and it was instantly clear to those in attendance why the band is slated across the entire tour. Having just released their debut album ‘Late Teens’, Press Club jammed in the best parts from the album in what felt like a short half an hour set. Through the entirety of their set, it shows that frontwoman Natalie Foster is beyond excited to be playing to the crowd. Bringing an instant boost in energy, lead single ‘Suburbia’ began to make the crowd jump around, matching the energy of the band themselves. Relatively new to stages of this calibre, Press Club’s signature energy translates flawlessly from the small stage to The Enmore, and punters who arrived early enough were blessed with a high-octane set. Keep your eyes on Press Club as the year progresses, and they’ll quickly become one of your new favourite acts.
As soon as Bec Sandridge steps upon The Enmore’s stage, it is near impossible to not be captivated by her incredible stage presence. Opening her set with ‘High Tide’, it feels as though you’re entering a dream. Sandridge is an immensely powerful singer and story teller, and as the crowd began to shuffle in towards the stage more, looking around it was clear to see that near everyone had their eyes glued to her performance. On keys, Lewis Moody provides an infectious energy, and gets the crowd clapping instantly when appropriate. Drummer Francesca Adeline is incredibly fun to watch, pulling off some incredible fills flawlessly and without effort. Rounding out her set with most popular songs ‘You’re A Fucking Joke’ and ‘’l’ll Never Want a Boyfriend’ the crowd can be heard yelling the lyrics straight towards the stage, and the excitement of which is not lost on Sandridge, or her bandmates.
As Journey’s iconic track ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ played, our beloved Smithies took the stage, and the crowd roared, louder than I’ve ever heard at The Enmore. It is obvious that there is an intense love for this band. Opening track ‘It Kills Me to Have To Be Alive’, showcases frontman Wil Wagner’s impressive vocals and his iconic, emotionally charged lyrics. Blending a healthy mix of the band’s latest release ‘More Scared of You Than You Are of Me’ and some older classics, The Smith Street Band’s set was filled with intense, raw emotional energy. New to the band, Jess Locke and Lucy Wilson are perfect additions to TSSB and the female presence is undeniably welcome. Wilson harmonises flawlessly with Wagner during ‘Belly of Your Bedroom’, and the change of pace in the set is a nice reset in what is an intensely energetic set. To the detriment of the crowd, during tracks such as ‘Young Drunk’ the crowd breaks out into uncontrollable moshes which are mostly unpleasant to watch. As time progresses, and as TSSB grows, so too will the crowds, and it is near inevitable that there will be the unsavoury kind amongst them. Between songs, Wagner takes the time to callout people amongst the crowd.
“You realise when you take your shirt off and start circle pits you look like a dickhead”
A fair and true statement that is met with incredible applause from the crowd. Unfortunately, Wagner’s words don’t stop the crowd from going overboard. During ‘Death to The Lads’, the mosh becomes immensely more dangerous, which is a mark of irony. Unfortunately, shouting “Death to the lads” isn’t enough to make the lads in the mosh calm down.
Closing out their set with ‘I Love Life’ is the perfect ending to what is an ultimately fantastic set from the band. The song encapsulates the love everyone shares for The Smith Street Band in the room, with their boundless energy reflecting straight back from the crowd. All in all, it is impossible to deny the success that this band will continue to see for as long as they see fit. The Smith Street Band have always been one of Australia’s best and most fun live acts. With intense emotion and high energy, The Smith Street Band will always be incredible performers. It is completely easy to understand why the band is able to sell out The Enmore as easily as they do.
Review – Kileab Thum
Photos – Zach Janus