"You don't know where to look, who to watch — but instead of being distracting, it's absolutely enthralling."
These days, a gig can be a struggle to fill, especially when there is so much competition on. So it was good to see as many people as there were at Metropolis Fremantle for City Calm Down on Saturday night.
The place didn't start to fill up until a bit later though, which was a shame because local band The Spring Peaks put on an excellent show despite a few sound issues plaguing their set. It's always good to see a band who acts professional and still play their hearts out when the odds are stacked against them and The Spring Peaks impressed those that were there to see them.
Melbourne act Woodes (aka Elle Graham)was next up and looked stunning in an ethereal white outfit and headdress. Graham's voice is equally ethereal and blew the audience away through Hunger, Rise and The Thaw. "Just want to say thank you to City Calm Down for having us," she told the audience. "This is the first time we have played in Perth as a three-piece so this is very special for us. Thank you so much."
City Calm Down started their energetic set with Distraction/Losing Sleep, Blood and Pleasure & Consequence. Their music is dark, grungy and moody, and has tones reminiscent of The Smiths or The Cure with a more modern touch mixed in, which could explain why it was a bit of an older crowd.
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They played new song Blame (which sounds sublime live), Son, If There's A Light On and another new song, Decision Fatigue. City Calm Down are the kind of band that never stop moving on stage and they kept getting visibly lost in their own music. You don't know where to look, who to watch — but instead of being distracting, it's absolutely enthralling. Nothing gets through to an audience quicker than seeing a musician who clearly believes in their own music. It not only reinforces the integrity and feeling of the songs but sends energy back into the audience.
They also played Joan, I'm Disappearing, Kingdom and Rabbit Run. "Thanks so much, Freo!" frontman Jack Bourke said to the audience as they walked off stage before coming back for the encore. They finished the night with Your Fix, Echoes In Blue and In This Modern Land. They didn't interact too much with the audience and when they did, unfortunately, you couldn't really hear them. The whole night seemed to be plagued by sound issues but they did not let it affect them or their performance.
When you go to a show, you always hope they play all of your favourite songs rather than the new stuff that you may not have heard or know as well. City Calm Down played a lot of the new album, but they sounded so good live that the audience embraced them anyway. Judging by the smiles on everyone's faces as they left the venue, a good night was had by all.