A collection of reviews and photography by Madeleine O'Gorman
Published in Inpress/TheMusic.com.au 23.05.12
The great Forum Theatre is in all its glory tonight, with the mounted Romanesque statues shining bright for all to see. Tin Sparrows open with a rustic, acoustic-driven set complete with whistles and foot-tapping tunes. The crowd remains still but enthralled nonetheless. “I never thought I’d be playing in a place like this. It’s like Caesar’s Palace!” Sam Miles of Jungle Giantssqueals. He’s right, you know. Brisbane four-piece Jungle Giants seem hell-bent on firing up the sizable crowd, a feat they achieve through resounding beats and infectious tunes. Not to mention the springy bass player who cavorts around the stage.
The suspense intensifies amid the swelling murmur of the sell-out crowd. Five-piece Boy & Bear have had a hugely successful two years, seemingly crossing over from indie to commercial radio with ease (though spare a thought for the devout folk fans who may still be licking their wounds over some heavy remixes). Tonight however is all about raw energy and the striking, vintage-patterned backdrop. The band open with Rabbit Song before going straight into Lordy May, a tune with thrilling keys that compel the crowd to move closer and closer. The group looks considerably more relaxed than during their last Melbourne show (on the eve of the ARIAs, mind you), joking, “We’re Sydneysiders, don’t hold it against us!” The blistering arrangement of Milk & Sticks explodes onstage and sees a myriad hands in the air, most memorably a front-rower whose fingers paint the tune.
Although the Forum has a 1,700-odd capacity, the gig is one of intimacy, with friendly rapport between band and crowd. Sandwiched between tracks off their award-winning LP, Moonfire,are a few newbies, the standout being the tale of a scheming lover in Three Headed Woman. The essence of their famed live set is Dave Hosking’s impossibly beautiful and resonating vocals, which peak during their cover of Crowded House track, Fall At Your Feet. While the lyrics may not belong to them, Hosking’s vocal conviction has us believing every word. Equally well received is Feeding Line, the 2011 smash hit that has the crowd ravished and stomping in elation.
Boycotting the conventional encore routine, they announce, “We’re going to do the first encore!” A fan jokes and screams, “Encore! Encore!” to which Mexican Mavis and Golden Jubilee cap off the night.The sea of darkness is speckled with phone-light as fans capture the last moment, one that ends all too quickly.