HOUSE OF PAIN @ The Hi-Fi Bar, Brisbane – 02 May 2011 – Live Review

By: Jamie Cook

  It was the first week of May way back in 1996 which saw a triple header called the “Cool Naughty Pain” tour featuring Coolio and Naughty by Nature hit our fine shores. Almost fifteen years on to the exact day, the other band on that bill, reformed American Hip Hop legends House of Pain finally return Down Under to let loose some of their fine malt lyrics on the Brisbanites who have made the trek to the Hi-Fi on this Labour Day public holiday evening.

As the night gets off to an early start, front man Everlast armed with a guitar and a three piece backing band consisting of keyboards, drums and bass take the stage and open proceedings with an instrumental type jam reminiscent of something that could pass off as being written by Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger of The Doors.

Without further ado, it’s now time for the real deal. As the first notes of “Danny Boy, Danny Boy” ring out, a greeting of “make some noise motherfuckers” is heard and fellow House of Painer, Danny Boy himself joins the rest of his crew to take the Brisbane crowd on a journey back in time for some old school classic Hip Hop.

Belting through a set list concentrating heavily on their first two albums, House of Pain deliver fan favourites like “Put Your Head Out”, “Who’s the Man”, “Same as it Ever Was”, “Put On Your Shit Kickers” and a more guitar influenced version of their second single “Shamrocks and Shenanigans” which in my opinion didn’t do the song justice.

These days Everlast looks more like the guy you’d see singing the Blues in some smoky bar, rather than fronting a Hip Hop band, which leads the crowd into the next segment of the set, ditching the rapping for a moment, and demonstrating his talent on a completely different genre by showcasing three tracks from his solo material. “Ends”, “What It’s Like” and a fairly faithful cover of “Folsom Prison Blues” were all delivered nicely, and were also well received.

With no encore in sight, the moment arrived that most were here to see, it was time to get up and pack it in and take a trip back to 1992 where it all began, as House of Pain’s biggest hit “Jump Around” certainly made the fans do just that.

Twenty years on, House of Pain are nowhere near as good as they used to be, but these Irish-American hooligans can leave the venue knowing that all in attendance had got their money’s worth, and with the prices of concerts these days, you can’t ask for much more than that. Top O’ the evening to ya fellas!

Venue: The Hi-Fi Bar, Brisbane, Australia
Date: 2nd May, 2011

By: Jamie Cook


Fri 29 Apr. Prince of Wales. Melbourne, VIC.
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Mon 02 May. Hi Fi Bar. Brisbane, QLD.
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Thu 05 May. Coolangatta Hotel. Gold Coast, QLD.
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Fri 06 May. Manning Bar. Sydney, NSW.
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Wed 11 May. Uni Bars. Adelaide, SA.
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Thu 12 May. Capitol Theatre. Perth, WA.
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Tickets on sale Monday February 21, 2011
Also appearing nationally on Groovin’ The Moo Festival … Festival Details and Tickets here