Tag Archives: concert

First Aid Kit (Olympia Theatre 18/09/2014)

19 Sep

It’s crazy to think how far First Aid Kit have come over the last few years, from the teenagers we all originally saw in their cover of “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” to one of the most confident and successful folk duos in modern music. In many ways the Olympia Theatre feels like the perfect place for the band to play, big enough to accommodate their massive popularity but small enough to allow them to have some intimate moments with the audience.

20140918_200813-1Opening up for them was Jo Rose, honestly can’t say I’ve ever heard of him before tonight but his performance was pleasant enough (when it could be heard over the people talking in the crowd). Starting the gig off with a slightly awkward shout-out to Belfast he quickly recovered and got into the swing of things. His style made it a bit hard to judge how great the actual songs were but his love for playing certainly showed; definitely plan to listen to his album at some point to get a better feel for his music.

20140918_211615Coming on promptly at 9pm (feel like they deserve bonus points for this) the band dressed in suitably gold and shining outfits hit the ground running with the fantastic “Stay Gold” from their latest album. An early highlight for the crowd came in “King of the World” obviously lacking Conor Oberst vocals the song still sound great carried by Johanna and Kiara’s fantastic vocals. Honestly the whole concert could be summed up by that, what makes First Aid Kit such a great band are their vocals and harmonies and both sisters were in fine form last night. Their harmonies were beautiful, haunting and hypnotic depending on what the song required, at times it can be easy to get so caught up in the vocals that you fail to notice just how great the songs themselves actually are.
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Concert review: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, 18 February 2010, Melbourne

9 Mar

After performing a sell-out show at the East Brunswick Club on the 17th of February, The Pains played a second gig at the same venue on the 18th. In addition, they made an in-store appearance at Polyester Records the afternoon before the second show; although I did not go, there is a bootleg of the five song set you can download from here.

Unfortunately, I haven’t found a bootleg of the 18/02 gig itself (why haven’t I bought recording gear yet?), so you’re going to have to take my word for how good this show was.

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Concert review: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, 17 February 2010, Melbourne

5 Mar

Last month, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart (should that be The Pains Of Having A Shit Band Name, or perhaps just The Pains?) made their first visit to Australian shores. Opening their jaunt around the country were two concerts at the East Brunswick Club, funnily enough located in Melbourne’s inner northern suburb of East Brunswick. The first show, the subject of this review, took place on the 17th of February, with the second – to be a review subject in the near future – on the next night.

The Pains’ eponymous debut album had grown on me during 2009 and I have become pretty fond of it. Stay Alive is one of my favourite tracks from the year, and the Higher Than The Stars EP capped off a good year for the Pains. How would they go on stage?

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Concert review: The Shadows and some other guy, 13 February 2010, Melbourne

5 Mar

Last time I posted, I reviewed a gig by noise rockers A Place To Bury Strangers at Melbourne club The Corner. So, what do you think I saw the very next night?


Whatever you’re thinking, you’re wrong. Completely and utterly wrong. I saw Cliff Richard and The Shadows at Rod Laver Arena. That’s right, Cliff Richard and The Shadows. Why on earth would I subject myself to Cliff?

Two words: The Shadows. Two more specific words: Hank Marvin.

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Concert Review: Porcupine Tree live in Sydney, 6 February 2010

20 Feb

Porcupine Tree’s second of three Australian concerts for 2010 took place in Sydney on the 6th of February at the Enmore Theatre. After the Brisbane concert that I reviewed yesterday, my girlfriend and I, as well as a number of other avid Porcupine Tree fans, shot down to Sydney to see the band again.

As we sat on the pavement in Newtown waiting for doors to open, we pondered the possibilities for the gig, anticipating at least some change to the setlist. In Brisbane, we thought we heard Fadeaway soundchecked – alas, it was not to be; my favourite Porcupine Tree song (with Piano Lessons) from 1993’s Up The Downstair was simply being played from CD for purposes we don’t fully know. However, some other changes were in store …

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Concert Review: Porcupine Tree live in Brisbane, 5 February 2010

18 Feb

February, fairly unsurprisingly, is concert season down here in Australia as overseas bands flee the Northern Hemisphere for our summery shores. Since my last concert review, I’ve been to seven more gigs and some more are coming up, so I better get my arse into gear and review them, huh?

First up, my favourite band: the one and only Porcupine Tree visited Australia for the second time in their history. Back in 2008, they hit Melbourne, then Sydney and finally Brisbane. This time around, they played exactly the same venues, but in reverse, and like last time, I was at all three. The 2008 visit was a bit of a foray to gauge demand, and given the strong response the band received, I was a bit disappointed they did not expand into other markets such as Adelaide, Perth, and New Zealand, but beggars can’t be choosers.

The pick of the 2008 concerts was probably the Brisbane show at the Tivoli Theatre. Melbourne was the most consistent, but Brisbane reached the highest peaks, especially during the face-melting second part of Anesthetize and the sole Australian performance to date of Even Less. Could 2010 compare?

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Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief – A Review

25 Jan

Let me preface this by saying that I fully support what George Clooney did by putting this telethon together. Haiti needed all the help they could get before the earthquake and now that need is exponentially higher. Please, give what you can to http://www.hopeforhaitinow.org.

That said, this is a music-reviewing blog, and music was played during the telethon. And I am a smartass. So let’s get rolling with the review.

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Concert Review: Cynic live in Melbourne, 3 January 2010

13 Jan

If I were writing in 2006, I would be telling you about how Cynic released the definitive technical death metal album, Focus, in 1993 and then disbanded. Along with Atheist and Death, Cynic were one of the most outstanding members of the late 1980s/early 1990s death metal scene in Florida, and pushed the limits of metal more than any. Focus incorporated compositional techniques drawn from genres well beyond metal, primarily jazz, and thematically it was a positive, uplifting, and humble album, lyrically infused philosophic meditations and spiritual mysticism.

Moreover, out of all the wildly technical metal bands going around, I would consider Cynic to be easily one of the most listenable, possessing a fluid style led by astonishingly complex guitars woven together into a vivid fabric, buttressed by Sean Malone’s warm and full bass, and resting on Sean Reinert’s skilful drumming. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget how all the clean vocals of Paul Masvidal were processed through a vocoder, giving the band a distinctively synthesised and robotic sound.

That is everything I would have told you in 2006. Cynic were done, leaving just one album and a collection of demos as their deeply influential legacy.

Cynic - Focus cover

However, this is 2010.

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Catching up on Concert Reviews III: The Church live in Melbourne, 5 December 2009

12 Jan

The third concert I’ve been slack about reviewing was The Church, supported by The Kicks and Astreetlightsong, at the Corner Hotel in Richmond on 5 December 2009. I have one more review up my sleeve, but it’s for a concert sufficiently recent that I can pass it off without claiming to be catching up (phew!).

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Catching up on Concert Reviews II: Mono and Laura live in Melbourne, 4 December 2009

11 Jan

2007 was a terrible year for me and concerts. At the start of the year, I had just moved to Melbourne and was bleeding money, so live music was out of the question – consequently, I missed the last gig ever by Arcturus. Later in the year, I had nobody to accompany me to a couple of concerts and in a bout of shyness convinced myself they really didn’t matter that much when they did. Luckily, some of the bands I missed due to poverty and irrational shyness have decided to return to Australian shores. Isis are coming in February this year, and Mono returned in December 2009. Now all I need is for Pelican to come back.

Mono are Japan’s finest post-rock export. I actually don’t listen to them with any tremendous frequency; I need to be in the right mood for their pretty, wandering compositions. However, I think they’re very good at what they do, and when I heard they were returning, I was all for rectifying one of my 2007 mistakes, especially as Mono have quite the live reputation. Then I discovered that support would come from none other than Laura, Melbourne’s finest post-rock band. I would call them Australia’s finest post-rock band, but Sydney’s Sleepmakeswaves are just as worthy of that distinction. So as it happened, as much as I wanted to see Mono, I was going even more for Laura.

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