I asked a friend what another friend – a hardcore fan - thought about John Maus. He got back to me saying this other friend had said this: “I see it as an art performance for him. He drains and punishes himself for us the viewer. We are paying him to give us his soul. If he doesn’t feel like he’s giving enough he does laps [of the stage] or hits himself. We are exposed to his mind.”
As expected, the Tivoli is jam-packed. People are crawling over one another just in hope of catching a glimpse of the irresistible creative genius that is Angus Stone under alias Dope Lemon. There is no space to fill. People huddle together, others are dancing. Couples are cuddling up and the smell of dope is lingering in the air.
Pumped with adrenalin a diverse crowd of adolescents and elderly-rockers floods The Brightside. After the recent release of latest album Bent, Stonefield have embarked on their own East Coast tour before leaving the country to support King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard in the United States. With word going round that Melbourne and Sydney attendees still hadn't picked their jaws up off the gorund, I enter The Brightside with little doubt that tonight Brisbane is in for a treat.
Lights reflect off crystal chandeliers as Tia Gostelow hits the stage. She wears a pink suit jacket and pants that match. Her band wear all white. “This song I wrote about an ex-boyfriend, which a lot of people seem to relate to. It’s about cheating, but I turned it into a song you’d like to hear on the radio” she shares before cutting into ‘That’s What You Get’. Her set comes studded with special guests. First is Busby Marou who join her for an impromptu rendition of Violent Soho’s ‘Fur Eyes’. She later brings out another up-and-coming female talent, Thelma Plum for ‘Around Here’. The set closes with a version of ‘Strangers’ featuring Ball Park Music’s Sam Cromack.
“Everything not saved will be lost.”
Whenever the Splendour in the Grass sideshows roll around there’s always at least one act on that list I want to see. This year it was Local Natives. Why? Well, this was an indie rock band familiar to me from my high school days. In fact, their debut album Gorilla Manor was the first vinyl I ever brought. I still own it, it’s a nice piece of memorabilia. And I can still remember making mix tapes for my friends always incorporating a song from the band. It was necessary.
Kevin Parker has nothing to prove to tonight’s crowd. Of the 35,000 attending Australia’s premier mass celebration of youth culture close to all of them will be here singing along to his songs, roaring in applause and dancing to his music no matter what. Yet the pressure sits heavy upon his shoulders. It’s the same feeling every time he goes on stage. He’s not content to rest upon past achievements. He’s going to give everything he has to prove himself once more. He's a perfectionist, he doesn’t do anything in half measure.
My eyes adjust to the dimly lit room. From the murk shoots beams of red. This light creates an unsettling effect but fuels the atmosphere. Through it I make out the faces of others. The King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s audience is forever growing, and the crowd tonight reflects this. They range from the late teens to the middle-aged.
The first time I saw Ball Park Music was three years ago. It was their Every Night the Same Dream Tour. Now, two or so years later, I’m back at my favourite venue with my favourite band. I can’t wait to see how much better thier live show has gotten.
I’m a mixture of nervousness and excitement. This year’s line-up didn’t grab me the way last years did, however, there were still enough big names and a few I hadn’t seen before. (Female representation always a huge tick in my box!).
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