Review and photos by Meghan Player
Hot on the heels of a sell-out show in Wollongong the night before, it was bound to be all guns blazing for the Newcastle leg of the ‘Chemical Hearts’ tour.
We all understand the importance of good opening acts, and tonight hits the nail on the head of a very diverse and eclectic mix of bands.
Newcastle locals The Gooch Palms are well on their way to becoming my new favourite band with their infectious and fuzzy tunes. They not only play their set with enough energy to power a village [and enjoy every minute of it], but they get straight to the point; no mucking around, no bullshit, no fluff – just straight-up, honest indie pop. Praise be.
Melodic punks The Hard Aches do their absolute best to keep the sizable crowd dancing, with the band churning out some seriously sweet guitar licks. It’s bands like this that remind us of the excellent local music scene we have in Australia; with a sound and style that isn’t easy to find or replicate in overseas acts.
A perfect example of the definitive Australian act is Grinspoon. Forged on the back of an excellent time for Australian music (shout out to the Recovery era kids), the band have been a staple on the scene since the 90s.
Tonight they’re heavy. Loud. Unrelenting. Crunching guitars, a killer bass line and tight-as-fuck drums manage to rip through whatever is left of my dwindling hearing. Phil Jamieson’s vocals tear through the melodies; from 1999s ‘Better Off Dead’ to 2002s ‘Chemical Heart’.
The band power their way through a predominately older song set list, which only seems to fuel the crowds ferocity; and make most of us pretend we’re 15 again, jamming along in our bedrooms.
Certainly, tonight was a triumph in every sense of the word – with the entire lineup showcasing just how much we love and respect the bands that paved the way in Australian music, but also the ones that are keeping it alive and kicking into the future.