Live Review: The Jungle Giants @ The Forum, VIC

23 June 2023 | 2:48 pm | Michael Prebeg

“God, damn, it feels good to be playing back at home."

Photo Credit: Jo Duck

Photo Credit: Jo Duck (Supplied)

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The Lazy Eyes start off the show with a song called Tangerine, boasting their psych-pop tones and hazy vocal melodies. They’ve got a lot of love songs to share with us tonight, including their first single titled Cheesy Love Song

They test drive a soft piano-driven track called The One That Got Away and bust out a charming cover of The Bee Gees hit More Than A Woman to conjure up nostalgic Saturday Night Fever vibes with kaleidoscopic guitar distortion and plenty of headbanging moments. 

The Jungle Giants launch into their show with Something Between Us with their supreme energy and good time fun to get the crowd pumped up in no time on a cold Thursday night. 

“Quick survey, put your hands up if you’ve been to a Jungle Giants show?" Asks frontman, Sam Hales. Surprisingly there are a lot of newcomers tonight, so he welcomes everyone into the fold and encourages a singalong if we know the words, and if we don’t, we are encouraged to just scream.

“God, damn, it feels good to be playing back at home,” he exclaims, feeling ecstatic to be back in their home city playing at one of their favourite venues in the world. There are only 2 shows left of this national tour for them (this is number 16) before they embark on a headline North American tour. 

During this time, they’ve started a cowboy hat collection as a fun joke, and now they have about 380 cowboy hats in Hales’ bedroom, he reveals. But the reason they’ve been asking fans to bring them to the show is that, for every cowboy hat they get, they are going to pick and auction the best ones off for charity Beyond Blue. The crowd donates their hats tonight by playing horseshoe with Hales’ trying to land them on his beautiful bald head to win a prize.

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“I wish sometimes you could see how good you look,” Hales’ announces. There are a lot of smiles in the crowd, with people dancing and feeling the music. They’ve figured out a way to show us with two disposable cameras that they throw into the crowd for us to share around and take pictures of ourselves before we chuck it back to the band. They continue the party with some of their biggest hits, including Sending Me Ur Loving, Bad Dream and Feel The Way I Do, and flashes go off in the mosh pit.

The audience keeps the BPM with syncopated hand-claps as they dive into an old favourite, She’s A Riot, followed by the recently released Trippin’ Up, which is a taste of their new material and embodies their feel-good, charismatic vibe that fans have come to know and love. 

“Before we play our new song Rakata, are there any Spanish-speaking people in the crowd?” Asks Hales. He proposes to sing the song and then requests their opinion on his Spanish afterwards. The new track, which they team up with Mexican singer RENEE on the recording, celebrates the universal language of music with bilingual lyrics written in both English and Spanish. It’s a dreamy R&B groove that’s very different from any other song they’ve ever released, and their fellow Spanish audience member confirms that he did pretty well except for one word she couldn’t understand. 

The encore begins with one of the first tracks Hales ever wrote in his bedroom (You’ve Got Something). Tonight he strips it back to basics and performs an acoustic version solo. The full band re-joins, and they call on the last of the energy in our hands and feet for the final couple of tracks, Heavy Hearted and Used To Be In Love, as we pour everything we have left into the dancefloor.