Heading up to the Riverstage there was a line as long as the eye could see to enter the grounds for the huge night of live music, drinks, food and dancing! Playing loudly were the songs of Eves Karydas, Cloud Control and of course, The Wombats. Apparently some people had been waiting in line since 7am that morning, despite the fact the gates wouldn’t be opening until 5pm and it was a nearly 30 degree day in Brisbane – it’s incredible the lengths that people will go to, to see a band they love.
By 5pm when the gates opened it was still just as humid as it had been all day. The second the gates were opened though, people began running through and the line that looked like it would take hours to get through, was gone in a matter of minutes.
First up was Eves Karydas. She busted out onto the stage with her perfect vocals and cool rhythm as everyone standing up the front of the River Stage began to dance and sing along with her. The venue had a lot of people in it, but it wasn’t quite full yet and people were still making their way through the gates, some people ran down the hill to join the large group of people dancing down the front while others sat on the grass and tapped their feet – no matter where you were for Eves Karydas set, you couldn’t help but move along with the music. Eves Karydas wrapped up her set with ‘Further Than The Planes Fly’, which drew more and more people down the front to dance.
After Eves Karydas’ set was done she made her way out into the crowd to meet some of her fans; she didn’t even get five steps up the grassy hill before a crowd of excited fans wanting selfies and a chat seemingly swallowed her.
(Note: No Eves Karydas were harmed on this night).
Next up were Cloud Control – a beautiful four piece band from Sydney. The crowd had definitely grown by the time these guys made their way out onto the stage – the line between the cement up the front of the stage and the grassy hill behind it was slowly starting to disappear.
The band put on a hell of a show and it’s always impressive to see a band member playing more than one instrument at a time, so hats off to you Heidi for rocking the keyboard and the tambourine!
The set was fun and the atmosphere was pretty relaxed, people were eating and drinking all over the grassy hill while that large group of dancing fans still remained at the front of the stage. A lot of parents were attending with their young children who could be seen all through the crowd on top of their Dad’s shoulders, dancing along and having a great time.
Cloud Control gave us an incredible cover of The Cranberries’ ‘Dreams’ which had everyone in attendance singing and clapping along. No matter how old you were, Cloud Control gave a performance that had people from 5 years old to 50 years old dancing and singing.
Finally, the moment everyone was waiting for arrived – out came The Wombats singing their hit song ‘Cheetah Tongue’, as I turned around from the photographers corner to check out the crowd I couldn’t believe how packed the amphitheatre had become, there were no people sitting, every single body at that venue was jumping, dancing, singing, moving!
Tord, the bassist, keyboardist and backup vocalist in the band, was going absolutely mental as he ran around the stage, jumping in the air and spinning around with his guitar, you could see the enormous smile on his face from miles away and he truly did captivate the audience with his beaming happiness and positivity.
Tord got a bit too excited however and tripped himself up on all his amp/guitar cords which nearly saw him fall over, but he kept himself up right, had a laugh and carried on with the show.
The guys played an awesome mix of old and new songs but I believe when they came out with ‘I Never Knew I was a Techno Fan’ the crowd could not have gone more wild. The audience screamed the lyrics out along with Matthew Murphy as the band belted out the song in absolute perfection.
If there is one thing I can say about The Wombats live performance, it’s that their live sound is exactly the same as their studio sound which had me beyond impressed.
The stage presence from the band was incredible, the high energy was something I didn’t really expect from The Wombats but that night at The Riverstage, there was not one blade of grass in sight as people completely covered every inch of the amphitheatre to catch a glimpse of the guys and sing along with them. There were even people who had missed out on tickets lining the fences of The Riverstage trying to watch through the gates.
The guys had some really cool screen effects happening behind them as they performed their songs which would change for every song. During ‘I Brought a Lemon to a Knife Fight’ it looked like 3D lemons were flying out of the screen into the crowd which was my personal favourite, but who could forget the dancing, human-size wombats that came out on the stage? The performance was energetic, amusing and completely enjoyable.
Of course the boys played their massive hit ‘Lets Dance to Joy Division’ which of course had everyone in the audience coming together and dancing around, there was no judgement and no negativity in the atmosphere, every single person was there to dance and have a good time and that’s exactly what everyone did. The guys wrapped up their show with ‘Greek Tragedy’ and took a selfie on stage with the entire, MASSIVE, crowd, and their man-sized wombats.
30th November 2018 at The Riverstage truly was an incredible night and as I search through The Wombats hash tag on Instagram, it is plain as day to see that everyone there had such a fantastic night in the company of hundreds of people who are there for the same reason they are – to enjoy some live music and have a great time. Lastly, if you haven’t seen The Wombats live, it is something I would highly recommend.
Words by Tayla Sudall