Live Review: The Medics, Glass Towers, Fairchild Republic at The Zoo

25 April 2012 | 1:15 pm | Benny Doyle

With the room already abuzz with energy, clinking bottles and laughter intertwining with the noise of pool balls colliding, the six members of Fairchild Republic take the stage and provide the perfect soundtrack to the social Saturday night vibe. Their bold, assured sound is cohesive, but every player in the sextet is dancing to their own beat, immersed in their individual parts and fucking nailing it, Villages especially epic.

Sydney quartet Glass Towers are another exciting rock band with age on their side and a slew of quality tunes in their pocket. Tipping their cap to the thicker end of UK indie, a northern vibe wafts through their songs, driven by the sharp guitar playing of Sam Speck. The biggest response of the set is saved for Triple J fave Jumanji, but it's the heavier elements in their sound which are more intriguing and engaging, Daniel Muszynski especially enjoyable to watch as he throws himself across his kit like a rubber-limbed metronome.

But this is The Medics' night and theirs only. The energy is intense, the musicianship flawless, the performance utterly consuming. Only weeks out from the release of their debut album, the band are on form from the outset, Kahl Wallace dripping his heart into every note vocalised across his pair of microphones. Beggars is an early treat that sees the first hands-in-the-air epiphany for many in the crowd, while Golden Bear proves to really encompass everything this band are about: chilling harmonies, unpredictable rhythms and frantic climatic moments. But the real power of The Medics comes from their ability to connect with the audience on a deeper level. Watching this band play live is more than a set; it's an experience, a visual feast that befriends your every senses. The You Built Wallstour was only ever going to conclude in one way, however, it's delivered in a form surprising to even the most avid followers of the band. The punchy, abrasive Joseph becomes a sprawling journey, the song moving in parts that seamlessly shout with, at and for you. Over the final 15 minutes of the set, bearded drummer Jhindu Lawrie can be found having an exorcism from atop the speaker stack; Charles Thomas and Andrew Thomson both take turns ripping riffs while crowd surfing the pit while Wallace creates a variety of sounds and effects grounded at the centre of the stage. By the time symbols and guitars are being triumphantly raised, acknowledging the roaring room, there is no denying it; The Medics don't simply make music – they move people. And it's this vital point of difference that will take these boys a hell of a long way.