Live Review: The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Raveonettes - The Hi-Fi

29 May 2012 | 5:31 pm | Jake Sun

While there is much hype surrounding the infamy of their legacy, tonight the BJM seem intent on positioning the music in the limelight.

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Upon entering The Hi-Fi it is fairly surprising to see a time sheet sans a local support slot. However The Ravonettes prove to be perfectly suited to the task of setting the stage for this fine evening. Although the Danes do take a few moments to really get into form, once they do they command an incredibly strong presence. Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo nail their dual-vocal harmonies throughout, whilst their infectious riffs and intermittent noise-scapes are complemented by a very solid live sound. More than a decade along they've evidently got things fine-tuned, but they hit their peaks by travelling back to their very beginnings with the remarkable Attack Of The Ghost Riders and a frighteningly heavy rendition of Bowels Of The Beast, both from debut 2002 EP, Whip It On, which are striking in their effect to say the least.

When The Brian Jonestown Massacre arrive on stage they are greeted by cries of fanaticism, which soon trail out as thick clouds of weed-smoke take their course. From left of stage mastermind Anton Newcombe directs the eight-piece band, with a nocturnal eagle's eye and ear, through early numbers Vacuum Boots and Got My Eye on You. While there is much hype surrounding the infamy of their legacy, tonight the BJM seem intent on positioning the music in the limelight. The melancholy Anenome is so marvellous in its execution that they almost look sure to accomplish this feat with this one song alone; however, a two-hour plus assortment of quality songs with minimal gimmickry is offered up for good measure. A little material from latest album, Aufheben, is included but for the first part the selection ignores the last decade in favour of the latter '90s period. The odd song, like This Is Why You Love Me, doesn't seem to come across as powerfully as others, yet it does work to add an extra element of dynamism and variation to the whole affair, and let's face it, with a set this long that's pretty important.  

Not quite playing up to the stereotype of the crazed maniac that precedes his reputation, Newcombe seems in good spirits and even entertains on one occasion between songs with a satirical stab at Australia's slow internet. The Hi-Fi stage lacks a certain sense of character that would better befit the personality of such a band, yet the sound accommodates them well, and when the epic closer, Straight Up And Down, reaches its mighty melodic climax, it's all extremely rewarding. Another fitting tribute to the tradition of fine rock music indeed!