"Wright is amped-up and by the third song is jumping up to reach sky-high limits."
Cloud Control begin with their latest single Treetops and we instantly feel elevated. "How's everybody doing?" asks lead vocalist Alister Wright. "It's a rhetorical question - I just learnt that word."
It's the band's first tour with Wright's brother Doug, who plays bass tonight. After he's introduced, the audience chants his name repeatedly to welcome him into the fold. He may only be three shows deep, but it seems as if the bassist has been in this band for ages. His vocalist brother says he has "a really good feeling about this. If Han Solo said, 'I've got a bad feeling about this,' then it would be the opposite of that." Wright is amped-up and by the third song is jumping up to reach sky-high limits.
They then dive into Rainbow City from their latest record Zone. The colourful anthem has a slow-building momentum with their signature psych-infused sound swirling around our eardrums and commanding our bodies into a slow and steady groove. The audience sings the final chorus, "How would I know he's gone?/How would I carry on?" And the band look like they feel pretty humble hearing us sing their lyrics back at them.
"Panopticon is a song written about living in a surveillance state," reveals vocalist Heidi Lenffer and they sing about being observed and observing others. Wright shares a fun fact: "Walking around Melbourne today I noticed that all the cool cafes are brown, wood grain - it's cool!" He also notices that his guitar is out of tune as they begin to play Promises, but reassures us, "It will be totally sweet." And he's not wrong; the quirky tuning adds a real twangy and edgy psychedelic vibe to the song. The audience loves it, throw their arms up and start a slow sway. Wright throws a glow stick out into the crowd to hold up in the centre of the moshpit.
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Like Meditation Song #2 suggests, Cloud Control's music puts us into a trance thanks to mesmerising instrumentals and beautifully harmonised vocals. The band's cohesive set flows effortlessly from one song to the next with smooth, beat-matched transitions. Scar proves to be a crowd favourite and Wright starts to walk off to wait for an encore, but instead the band continues with Zone (This Is How It Feels). It's the perfect summation of Cloud Control's ability to draw us into their space as we soak up their energetic bliss.