Mar 25, 2017

Spoon @ Metro Theatre

You could easily make a strong argument that Spoon are the greatest rock band of the last two decades. Their music has achieved a consistent greatness that is committed to songs of bursting rhythm and impeccable melody. Their music has a certain swagger that is intoxicating. Their music is beautifully arranged with hooks that last for days. Thursday night was the first show after releasing their brand new ninth album in 'Hot Thoughts'. In a brief listening time I have become hooked on the new album so I was pretty excited to see them again and hear the new songs live. Plus of course a selection from their impeccable back catalogue.

Well, it a great show. Slightly briefer than their last Sydney show but packed full of all the signature Spoon moments. Jim Eno's subtle drum fills, Rob Pope's pounding bass and Alex Fischl's dramatic keyboards. Then of course there is Britt Daniel. The swaggering laconic frontman with the soulful voice and stylish moves. He is the ultimate in coolness and startling style. They played six songs off the new record. All came at us with clarity and purpose. Especially the title track and the delicate 'I Ain't the One'. But of course there was much jubilation for their many great tunes. 'The Underdog' had the whole place jumping whilst the back to back sledgehammer of 'The Beast and Dragon, Adored' and 'I Saw the Light' was untouchable. As in reality this band is. I am sure when I am long gone from this world the music of Spoon will live on. As a testament to one of the greatest bands in the history of music. No doubt.

Set List
Do I Have to Talk You Into It
Hot Thoughts
Inside Out
I Turn My Camera On
The Beast and Dragon, Adored
I Saw the Light
Don't You Evah
Rainy Taxi
First Caress
The Underdog
Can I Sit Next To You
Do You
Got Nuffin
Rent I Pay

I Ain't the One
My Mathematical Mind

Mar 11, 2017

Frightened Rabbit @ Oxford Art Factory

Frightened Rabbit are just one of those special bands that you tend to fall hard for. We have seen them several times now and each time has been a thrillingly great experience. And I'm not alone as Friday night was the first of two sold out shows at the Oxford Art Factory. Frightened Rabbit are a hearts out, emotions high sort of band. Their songs are about life lived and love lost, but they are anthemic and rich in pageantry. So even though in theory it is 'sad bastard music' it is really a joyous live experience. One that is shared equally by the devoted fans who see them live.

Frightened Rabbit were touring off the back of 2016's 'Painting of a Panic Attack', which even though I do enjoy I believe it is not their best work. But naturally the show was stacked with songs from the new album which meant that a potentially amazing show was just merely great. To be sure it was great but songs like 'Get Out' and 'Lump Street' don't stack up to their earlier work. Having said that songs like 'Little Drum' and 'I Wish I Was Sober' were fully effective live. And the crowd were fully into the new material so for most present the show never sagged. But for me it hit peak powers with cracking numbers like 'The Modern Leper' and 'Head Rolls Off'. And then that encore. New song 'Death Dream' was shattering and then there was the one two punch of 'The Woodpile' and 'The Loneliness and the Scream' to finish the night with the crowd whipped into a frenzy. By a band much loved for their passion, effort and unyielding humanity.

Set List
Get Out
The Modern Leper
Woke Up Hurting
I Wish I Was Sober
Living in Colour
Head Rolls Off
Fast Blood
Little Drum
Blood Under the Bridge
Nothing Like You
Old Old Fashioned
The Oil Slick
Lump Street

Death Dream
The Woodpile
The Loneliness and the Scream

Mar 4, 2017

Kurt Vile @ Twilight At Taronga

Kurt Vile is definitely one of my modern day heroes. For good reason, his music his complex and yet simply beautiful. And I have had the good fortune to see him quite a few times now as he has become a regular visitor to our shores. But this night didn't work out as planned. Not that any of that was the fault of Kurt.

Firstly when it was announced he was playing at Taronga Zoo as part of their 'Twilight' series I wasn't exactly thrilled. Geographically the Zoo is a little awkward to get to, plus I was a little dubious of the whole outdoor concert idea. But I plunged in and bought a ticket. But the night started badly when I kept missing transport connections and by the time I got there I had missed the first half hour or so of his show, something I never do. Then it was also raining so it was hard to get comfortable. And I had missed the chance to get a really good spot down the front, so I had to stand on the fringes of the crowd. Which meant I was stuck with so many people talking around me it was hard to concentrate on Kurt. My mood was quickly going downhill and I was feeling rather gloomy. Again not the fault of Kurt. This was actually truly Kurt in solo mode. No Violators just a few acoustics and sometimes electric. I arrived just in time to hear 'Pretty Pimpin', followed by 'Wakin On a Pretty Daze'. He sounded great as he applied his considerable skills to his wonderful songs. But I guess I just wasn't in the right mindset to receive what he was giving. I moved around a bit to get a comfortable spot. After about an hour and half set Kurt left the stage before returning to encore with 'Peeping Tomboy'. Then I caught the ferry back across Sydney Harbour with a mixed mind. Feeling sad I wasn't able to fully appreciate the greatness of Kurt Vile but knowing that one day soon I would see him again. Hopefully not in a Zoo.