Live Review: The Vines

6 October 2014 | 12:42 pm | Shane Hernandez

Nicholls ended the show in typical style amongst a semi-destroyed stage.

More The Vines More The Vines

The Vines have made their long awaited return to Sydney back as a three-piece power band. Craig Nicholls has always remained consistent and prolific in his songwriting and with his live music he’s now playing on his own terms with a free one-off show for the fans.

This one-off gig marked the first live show of the newest incarnation of The Vines with Tim John on bass and Lachlan West on the drums. The new line-up and new album is a significant rebirth for Nicholls and the band that reached dizzying international heights and has now come full circle back to their roots and playing for the real fans – the people who have stuck by them.

The packed-out car park at The Vic was all the evidence you needed that The Vines still have the pulling power to bring in a big audience of supporters. The anticipation was building after a soundcheck that seemed to last forever, then out emerged Nicholls and his bandmates to warm cheers and applause.

Straight into their set with Metal Zone and Out The Loop offered a nice one-two punch from their latest LP. The tracks from Wicked Nature made up a good chunk of the set and it did not disappoint. Picks from the new album included Truth, a real ditty with a nice ‘60s-inspired ‘sha-la-la-la-la’ chorus, Green Utopia, Anything You Say and Venus Fly Trap. Nicholls’ songs are known for being short, sharp and straight to the point but he also included two of his longest, with title track Wicked Nature and the dark and heartfelt tune Into The Fire.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

Live favourite Ms Jackson by OutKast was covered and met with an enthusiastic reception with the crowd singing along, but it was old numbers like Get Free, Outtathaway and Ride that sent the audience into a frenzy. The fans literally jumped around and crashed into each other, such is the legacy of The Vines that certain songs will send some fans into a wild mania for about two minutes. It’s quite something.

Nicholls ended the show in typical style amongst a semi-destroyed stage. He stood atop the bass drum with his guitar held high in his hands; this signalled a victory and this special one-off gig showed exactly how pure Nicholls is in his live performances – uncompromising and free and playing on one’s own terms. Craig Nicholls sums it up best though in four simple words: “Live by the music”.