Grinspoon + Philadelphia Grand Jury + Bridgemary Kiss @ The Hi-Fi Brisbane 19 September 2009
Review by: Hannah Collins
Featuring an Aussie band that’s been a part of my life for a good part of the last 15 years, I headed to Brisbane’s Hi-Fi on Saturday with a smile on my face, and recollections of all the fun had listening to old Grinspoon albums as a teen! Taking Australian audiences by the hand, the Grinners boys are out n about, representing the release of their latest album, Six minutes to midnight, for the Takes one Album launch tour.
The first band of the evening, Bridgemary Kiss, a young four piece from Sydney, really took me by surprise. Bass driven bluesy rock, a unique but growing sound will see them play in many arena. Pleasing to watch, but with melodies somewhat repetitive the vocal influence was a definite driving force for the rest of the band.
Not even realizing they were on the bill, I was totally blown away by their level of musicianship, their ability to produce such simple and effective licks, the rhythmical unity of the band members and the AMAZING vocal ability of the singer. Definitely a band to watch in years to come, they kept it tight from first to last with a very productive rock and roll set.
There was no resistance from the crowd throughout the night whatsoever, every man in his band shirt was ready to rock and roll, and roll in they did, filling the Hi Fi to capacity in a very short while.
Philadelphia Grand Jury step up as the main support. Unearthed by Triple J last year, they’re also presenting a new, but debut album; Hope Is for Hopers. As the feature album of the week, they’ve been given plenty of air play, and with their memorable 60’s rock / garage punk influences, mixed with funky piano melodies and comedial (if that’s a word) vocals, they’re a pleasure to watch live. Simply attired and highly energetic, the basic drum kit used on the night is almost totalled by the end of the set, as Joel Beeson (Bass) jumps around like a newly released mental patient in all his musical glory. Swinging his bass around his head, and jumping from left to right of stage like a rabbit on speed he moves between the keyboard and the bass with fine finesse. We hear all the album favourites. Going to the Casino sees the front rows jumping in their places, turning circles for Ready to Roll and spitting chips when the opening riff of I’m going to kill you pumps through the PA. Between songs, a pre-recorded voice over announces the upcoming tour schedule, fans taking note they’ll be back in Brisvegas in a month. Bringing out the spirit fingers to wish them luck, Philly Jay’s they leave the spotlight with intense reverb and feedback resonating from any stringed instrument left on the stage.
Make way Grinspoon!
Stepping up the tempo, the atmosphere in the room becomes more energetic, anticipative and excited than it was in previous hours. … Fans old and new push forward. The mosh area fills up as people cram in, ready to rock out to Grinspoon tunes old and new. The lighting’s become punctuated, accentuating the beat. Phil’s in his element, arms in the air, mike at his side, and guitar at the ready. They’ve played many a gig, and know how to get the crowd going. Playing new tunes like Comeback and old favourites like Pressure tested 1984, (great year btw) and Boundary, there’s not a moment throughout their set that the audience isn’t interacting in some way. Cheering, moshing and singing along with hands high the air, not a word is missed, nor a moment of the show not embedded in peoples’ minds as quite the emotional experience. Towards what all are fearing is the end of the show, in between songs, you can distinctly hear the initial bass notes of Champion as another voice box breaking scream is let out from the audience.
It’s a tour that Grinspoon are definitely proud to be on, having had previous personal issues, and musical difficulties, Phil takes his time to stop and thank listeners for their support over the last 14 years. The final song the night, highly anticipated Dead Cat x 3, moves the mosh to new heights. And then it’s over, quickly as it began. What a shame. I think everyone there could have listened to Grinners play that set ten times over, but I guess we’ll just have to catch them next time.