Live Review: The Drums, The Upskirts

2 December 2014 | 9:40 am | Hattie O’Donnell

The Drums' gig in Sydney was a great way to start the summer.

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Kicking off the night were Sydney barefoot boys The Upskirts.

They were a great opening act that got the crowd in the right mood with a whole lot of energy and awesome vocals, despite some lighting equipment trying to take out a guitarist and the drummer at one point. Powering through with pretty good presence for a couple of guys who seemed pretty spaced-out, Where was a memorable number, made all the better by their outstanding drummer.

It’s been a while since The Drums have been on Australian soil, but man are we glad they’re back. Returning after almost three years, they brought an enormous sound to a very receptive and rowdy crowd. Everyone was up and dancing from the get-go, with a good ratio of old favourites to new material.

Starting off with Bell Laboratories from their most recent album, Encyclopedia, the ethereal synth coupled with loads of smoke and some clever lighting made for a mysterious start. The new album is a bit darker than their older, more surfy-sounding upbeat tracks, but it further explores that tangent of deeper emotions that seems their special interest, with a greater emphasis on production. This came across well in the performance, if slightly grittier live.

Hits such as Days, Money and Best Friend had people crowd-surfing, dancing and generally just revelling in the music. The Drums dropped in Wild Geese from their new album, and its poetry and swelling synth had the rowdy punters suddenly more contemplative. Kiss Me Again harked back to sounds of Portamento and their self-titled debut, which went down well.

Jonny Pierce, ever the quintessential frontman, brought the persona to a new level, playing the crowd and strutting across the stage. Jacob Graham was blissing out and pulling some serious shapes to the left of the stage among his high-tech equipment.

As the band finished off their set with Down By The Water, the crowd was singing and swaying along in a cacophonous unison. Altogether a great gig to start the summer – definitely see them if you get the chance.