"Such an impressive and steadfast performance along with consistently quality output needs to be applauded."
The ripples of energy are tangible even before you set foot in the Triffid tonight. Fresh merch tees are the chosen attire by the looks of the foyer prior to kick off, and inside the cylindrical theatre itself, it’s even more so. The odd flannel is dotted around the room just to break things up, likely in an unconscious nod to the era when tonight’s headliners reigned. It’s a sold out affair, and it certainly feels like it by the time the first support takes the stage.
Sydney’s The Dead Love have already amassed a decent crowd to win over when they make their humble entrance. Luckily the grunge threesome have the dials turned up to full party mode; once the upbeat tones of Ordinary ring out there’s no stopping them. Even with a bit of an overblown mix riddling their first few songs, the vibe is high and infectious.
Brisbane heavy rock kids Young Lions get a rapturous welcome as they settle in. Single launches and chaotic live shows have kept the four-piece busy for much of the year, so it’s clear tonight is all about letting their hair down with their home crowd. Vocalist Zach Britt is a natural frontman, nailing the tricky highs and prowling the stage and the pit in his enigmatic fashion in Non-Believer and Burn The Money. There’s always a risk that covering a massive hit – written by an iconic band from your own hometown, no less – will overshadow their own creations. But (Baby I’ve Got You) On My Mind by Brisbane staple Powderfinger is done with intensity and a commanding respect for its maker.
The lights go down and an acoustic intro rings out to herald New Zealand’s most loved alternative hard rock export Shihad. Led by ever-reliable frontman Jon Toogood, there is much love for the band that swiftly rose through the ranks of their fellow ‘90s genre mates, sustaining popularity for 30 years without deviating from their savage sound. Tonight’s show marks their three decades in existence, and after busting out faultless newbies Think You’re So Free and FVEY they begin the countdown from now to then with a song from every album. Sleepeater, One Will Hear The Other, Alive, Comfort Me, and Run all tick down to a smattering of hits from their flagship The General Electric. The title track, Wait And See, Pacifier, My Mind’s Sedate and Home Again put things at fever pitch in the crowd while Toogood can’t help but punch the air and whip things up even further.
What the countdown from new material right back to their first album in 1993 reveals is that this band has not changed a bit. Not in sound, ferocity nor precision. Such an impressive and steadfast performance along with consistently quality output needs to be applauded, and this sweaty crowd do that and a whole lot more.