Consider this. The closest thing we’ve got to original jam bands in our modern day is the unparalleled combination of experimental garage and psych. Lucky for us Gold Coast folk, that’s exactly what washed over us when Oh Sees (formerly Thee Oh Sees) took to the stage at Miami Marketta on a faithful Friday evening.
There was no better-suited opener than Australia’s own psych three-piece ORB. The band masterfully dished us some cosmic space-food accentuated by their stellar musicianship. They were oh-so-concentrated on their instruments of choice throughout the set, which certainly paid off. I was blown away by the tones they created and the way their rhythms work together.
ORB's familiar singles were guaranteed to get the crowd on their feet, however, the longer, jammier, and drawn-out tunes seemed to create a lull. I overheard one drunk patron ask, “What are we all standing around for?” Despite this, the band delivered a mouth-wateringly tasty show for the Marketta crowd. ORB dutifully warmed up the crowd for the main event.
Oh Sees swept onto the stage with over twenty years’ experience under their belts. They released five albums worth of material since the last they toured in 2016. God only knew what they would whip out for the Gold Coast leg of the 2019 tour.
While most traditional jam bands get your feet moving, the energy for Oh Sees was different, akin to no other. From the second the guys walked onstage, the first few rows threw their bodies into a circle pit. The only way to avoid a fist to the face or being knocked off of your feet every three minutes was to stand idly at the back and miss out on the full experience.
Besides a plethora of frantic vocal effects, mystical lyrics and wild stage presence, the Oh Sees are renowned for their stylsitic diversity album to album. The Oh See's discography takes you on a journey, but it’s nothing compared to experiencing the adventure live. This set brought us heavy garage tunes mixed in with varying degrees of psychedelic goodness.
Oh Sees were one of the tightest rock bands I’d ever seen live. They had an interesting rhythm, one which would usually throw a listener off, but this time the intricacies had the opposite effect. They kept you guessing and wanting more.
The drummer was locked in time with his bandmates for the longest of jams and managed to stay effortlessly consistent the whole way through. Some of the songs were drawn out to crazy lengths, but the moshers and idle spectators didn’t even notice. The tasty jams held our attention for the full hour.
Words by Anna Leathem
Photo: Supplied/Thomas Girard