Live Review: Blank Realm, Nite Fields, 100%

9 September 2015 | 12:17 pm | Kathy Pollock

"The set is fun, immersive and dazzling."

The Foundry is back open after a brief hiatus, and the massive two-level complex is already wall-to-wall with punters for the first band of tonight, 100%. Paying homage to '80s synths and evoking the cool nostalgia of Glass Candy and Desire, Chloe Baxter, Grace Stevenson and Lena Molnar are 100% fresh and atmospheric. 

Speaking of Atmosphere, next up is Nite Fields. The four-piece are reminiscent of '80s goth/post-punk a la Joy Division, New Order and The Cure. Frontman Danny Venzin nonchalantly chews gum and delivers his baritone vocals with austerity, and nary a smile is cracked between the band members. They are dark without being depressing, and reminiscent without being derivative.

And then Brisbane's resident darlings Blank Realm take the stage. Siblings Sarah, Dan and Luke Spencer and good buddy Luke Walsh have been on a veritable roller coaster of success of late, getting airplay on Double J and being touted as "the best live band in the world" in The Guardian. They are about to embark on a European tour, and the crowd is obviously pumped to catch them one last time before they depart our shores. Blank Realm never disappoint, and tonight is no exception. The set is killer, with the band playing a string of fan favourites including Go Easy, Reach You On The Phone and Falling Down The Stairs, as well as a smattering of new tunes including Flowers In Mind and Illegals In Heaven (from the album of the same name — out now!). From the very first song the crowd cuts sick: a couple of cheeky audience members crowd-surf and the front of the audience dance like maniacs. The band bust some moves as well, with Dan dancing front of stage and Sarah rocking out with keytar in tow. The new tunes are perhaps less chorus-driven, but are certainly no worse for this with catchy guitar hooks driving the captivating songs. The set is fun, immersive and dazzling. By the end, there is a sea of flushed fans; uninhibited, sweaty, and ecstatic.  

DJ Sezzo spins boogie-worthy tunes after the live magic is over and, even after the dance of a lifetime, audience members are still seen dropping it like it's hot. It's a fond (temporary) farewell and the perfect first live listen to Illegals In Heaven, which many audience members will play to death while the band are overseas.

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