Live Review: Ball Park Music @ Hindley Street Music Hall, Adelaide

22 August 2023 | 3:51 pm | Austin Frape

Ball Park Music, Sunsick Daisy and The Buoys brought a tremendous collection of Australian music to entertain the Adelaidean audience.

Ball Park Music

Ball Park Music (Credit: Thomas Calder)

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Even with the Adelaide Crows and Sydney Swans playing, Adelaide knows how to pack a crowd for live music on a Saturday night. The floors and elevated arenas of Hindley Street Music Hall filled up in anticipation of the Brisbane indie pop group Ball Park Music for their one-day-only National Tour in South Australia. Before gracing the stage, the band brought along two support acts to get everyone excited for what would be an incendiary experience ahead.

The first band of the gig was an up-and-coming Adelaide group, Sunsick Daisy, as they kicked off the night strongly with Faith. The group was very clearly excited to be performing for a large audience, and we were equally engaged with Sunsick Daisy’s self-branded sounds of shoegaze and dream-pop.

It's almost a bold step for a newer band to ask a crowd at 8 pm to collectively squat and jump with a specific beat, but you must give them props for their confidence as everyone mostly took part and danced along shortly after.

Throughout their half-hour set, the band showcased newer songs like I’m Coming Home, as well as singles that had only been played live a few times, like Over and Over or Away From Me. Of course, the group played one of their more known songs, Someone Like You, which put them as finalists in Triple J’s 2022 Unearthed High competition. Between the sensational mix of vocals and guitar work from Sarah, Kane and Kev, as well as Jackson’s energetic drumming, Sunsick Daisy has a bright future ahead of them.

Following up after a bit of an intermission was the Sydney alt-rock band The Buoys, who proved that South Australia and New South Wales could have a fun time under one roof on August 19. The group immediately launched into their set with Drive Me Home, creating a rocking atmosphere from the word “go”. The four-piece band had been Ball Park Music’s Support Act for their Get The F**king Nerds Back On 2023 tour, which made its way across WA, TAS, QLD, NSW and VIC. As a last stop in SA, they clearly had a blast sharing their insanely memorable anthems.

The band mentioned taking inspiration from workplace feuds, bad dates, and Sco Mo, which brought together some new sounds from someone like myself that wasn’t too familiar with the group. The Buoys played more recent singles like I Want You and other hits like WAH, Linda, and Red Flags. It’s not often you get to see not one but TWO guitar solos in most sets, but songs like Bad Habit brought back what SHOULD be a good habit, as the creations of Zoe, Hilary, Courtney, and Tess rocked like nobody’s business.

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After yet another intermission, a blue haze filled the stage. An instrumental beat made its way through the excited venue formally known as HQ. Before we knew it, Ball Park Music made their way to the stage, playing Hands Off My Body. Despite previously seeing The Park three times at different festivals, this was my first time seeing a headlining performance from the Brisbane band. As with each time, they did not disappoint at all. If anything, they just keep getting better live.

In a way, their lack of solo performances almost seemed to coincide with the mention of BPM not performing under a closed venue in Adelaide in five years. Despite playing at Groovin the Moo back in May, the lead singer/ lead guitarist Sam Cromack shared his regrets for not being able to include SA in their 2023 for “a bunch of bullshit reasons”, so they made a one night only The National Tour just for the state. “We get to visit the one city that actually matters,” says Cromack. “It’s a beautiful place with beautiful people.”

The Park sprinkled a wide variety of newer hits, classics, and hidden gems from their seven albums throughout their fast-paced hour-and-a-half performance. The setlist had very consistent transitions between energetic rock songs and slower and moodier pieces. You know you’re with the right crowd if they can go from slow dancing and cuddling with friends and loved ones to Cherub and then almost immediately jumping and screaming with It's Nice To Be Alive. Sam, along with Jennifer on bass/ backing vocals, Paul on keyboard, Dean on rhythm/ bass, and Daniel on drums, didn’t miss a single beat throughout their set.

There’s nothing like being with an audience that has an eidetic passion for music, and Ball Park Music’s library was certainly no exception. Newer songs from their latest album, Weirder And Weirder, made their way to being highlights of the night. Stars In My Eyes (#8 in Triple J’s Hottest 100 2022) and Sunscreen (#21 in Hottest 100 ’21) were instantly recognisable as everyone danced and sang along to all the lyrics while also humming to all the specific beats and notes. Between people bringing out lighters and camcorders, surprisingly, everyone clearly loved the experience.

To no one’s surprise, once the five-piece band bid the crowd adieu, a passionate encore request brought them back on for three more songs, which included lesser-played songs like Coming Down and Struggle Street.

Overall, Ball Park Music, Sunsick Daisy and The Buoys brought a tremendous collection of Australian music to entertain the Adelaidean audience. If you have the chance to see either of three bands across the country, get your Hawaiian shirts and glasses, don’t walk, RUN to see them live.