Live Review: Regurgitator - Festival 18

9 April 2018 | 3:52 pm | Velvet Winter

"The last 20 minutes of the set devolves into a bit of a mess - but what a beautiful mess it is."

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Festival 18, the arts counterpart to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, is in full swing with Brisbane's Southbank getting to share in its glory with three marvellous stages set up to deliver free live music to everyone.

While the trains might be wack due to extra Gold Coast lines being implemented, the one good thing that came from it was getting to the river 40 minutes early to catch local theatre company Zen Zen Zo's Alchemy project that ran throughout the day. Deliberate and beautiful, the half-hour performance combined music and movement with beguiling success.

After being calmed down, it was time to get revved up again by iconic Queensland trio Regurgitator. Earlier in the week, the band articulated some concerns over performing at the Commonwealth Games and its link to colonisation. Before starting their Saturday afternoon show, a Traditional Owner of the South Bank area joined the band on stage for an acknowledgement before their set. This is met with an almighty roar from the crowd.

The hell-raising trio emerge on stage clad in Comms Game T-shirts and proceed to play one single guitar chord that vibrated so loudly that it possibly created ripples in the adjacent river. Kicking off with I'm Just A Sucker Like You, the group prove they're still in fine form after over 20 years playing together.

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The crowd are classic Brisbane - a 70/30 mix of Gen X's reclaiming their youth (often with the help of their adorable toddlers) and Millennials that are showing off their ability to like music from before they were born. No matter the age, everyone is living for the sunny afternoon show. As bassist Ben Ely shouts, "This is the best city in the universe!", followed by an ear shattering yell of agreement and a slight scowl from lead vocalist Quan Yeomans, who reveals he now resides in Melbourne.

They get their cruder tracks out of the way first, slamming through raucous versions of I Will Lick Your Asshole and I Sucked A Lot Of Cock To Get Where I Am before dissolving into a glorious rendition of Black Bugs. Ely, profusely sweating by this point, dedicates the track to all the girls whose boyfriends are addicted to video games and sails through the track, which ends up a mini-cover of Guns N' Roses' Sweet Child O' Mine.

Polyester Girl gets the crowd singing along to the oh-so-recognisable tune with Yeomans offering the mic so frantic fans can sing louder. Whether it's 'cause of the punishing sun or the surprise at pulling such a massive crowd, the last 20 minutes of the set devolves into a bit of a mess - but what a beautiful mess it is.

After trying to launch into slower, lesser known track Virtual Life, Ely decides about 30 seconds in that he's not feeling it and pulls the band round to the more lively Bongzilla.

Rounding the whole thing off with ! (The Song Formerly Known As), there's not a still foot in the place as every single person gets way down. The band thanks the absolutely massive audience and slinks off stage - safely cemented as Queensland rock music royalty.