Live Review: Southbound Fire Fundraiser

11 January 2016 | 5:35 pm | Karen Lowe

"To see so many people coming together in a way that Aussies do best in the face of tragedy is why this country is one of the lucky countries."

It was almost 10pm on Thursday that Southbound announced that they had to cancel the show due to the fire in Yarloop. Conditions had worsened and the only route down south was compromised.

While we understood the reasons that this was the only sensible outcome, it is human nature to feel bitterly disappointed over something that most people had been waiting for for months.

It wasn't long before people were asking if we could either donate part (or all) of our ticket refund to assist those affected or if a charity concert could be put on, seeing as the bands would be in Perth anyway.

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Logistically, putting on a concert before the bands flew home seemed out of the question; however, the brilliant staff at Southbound managed to pull out a miracle from their hats and organised a massive sell-out show in one-and-a-half days with help from several organisations including VenuesWest, Concert and Corporate Lighting, Audio Technic, Lounge Backline, St Johns Ambulance & Ultimo Catering, Radlink, Coca-Cola Amatil, Direct Brand Distributors, Perth Ice Works & Sea Containers Perth.

Koi Child opened the night with their unique-sounding jazz/funk/hip hop as people were starting to arrive. While they were relatively unknown to a large proportion of people there, the Fremantle locals definitely acquired a new fan base. The Jump/Climb DJs also helped to get the party started with hits like Uptown Funk and Missy Elliott's Work It.

It wasn't until San Cisco (pictured left) started, however, that the energy really started to build. With songs like Awkward, Magic, Too Much Time Together and Fred Astaire, the crowd couldn't help but dance around.

By the time Birds Of Tokyo (pictured right) came on, it really did feel that we were at Southbound.

The room was hot and steamy, there were many drunk people, the surreptitious smell of sneaky smokes and sweat in the air, people jumping from the seats into the arena — with some being caught and evicted — but, most importantly, everyone was having fun. An Ode To Death, Broken Bones & Silhouettic got everyone dancing on the floor and dancing in seats.

Their song Plans mixed in with Eye Of The Tiger is a moment of pure brilliance. 

Lead singer Ian Kenny dedicated Wild At Heart to all the firies and all the servicemen and women and then finished with Lanterns with pictures of the fires on the screens behind. It was a beautiful moment and reminded us all of the reason that we were there.

After the Django Django DJ set (and a very entertaining “half-time” show from the "Dancing Accountant"), Bloc Party (pictured below) came out to a packed house. They opened with The Good News, Octopus & Hunting For Witches. For someone who has seen Bloc Party many times… once again, they were on point. Banquet had everyone screaming out the lyrics and anyone watching from above would have seen the floor as one moving, dancing, writhing mass.

They are a class act, with Kele Okereke asking, “Do you like bangerz?” before launching into Ratchet and Helicopter. Okereke took the chance to thank the promoters for organising the last-minute gig and said “Disclosure ... will just have to wait," before kicking off ender This Modern Love.

While a fair few people preferred to leave after seeing the perfect set from Bloc Party, those who were missing the Coconut Club stayed back to watch Disclosure (pictured below) rip up the dance floor. With more room to move, the dancing really ramped up. Disclosure blew the top off of HBF Stadium and many minds as the night drew to a close.

It may not have been exactly Southbound; however, given the reasons behind the cancellation, the show and the last-minute concert, everyone who was there left with a great feeling of satisfaction. Satisfaction over the acts, satisfaction knowing that the money raised was going to help out those affected by the fire.

Every single act on stage paid tribute to those affected by the fire, and Southbound themselves had previously stated that “our hearts go out to the local communities and families”. Most people in the stadium (if not all) also felt the same way. To see so many people coming together in a way that Aussies do best in the face of tragedy is why this country is one of the lucky countries.

And from all the punters to Southbound — we thank you from the bottoms of our hearts for the momentous effort that it required to put on such a professional show. To all the people affected by this, please know that our hearts go out to you and to all of the firefighters, volunteers and everyone helping to get donations of clothing, food and water to those who need it — you are the unsung heroes. We can never thank you enough.