Live Review: You Am I, The Delta Riggs

12 November 2015 | 1:32 pm | Staff Writer

"The biggest cheer of the night came not from the music, but from Rogers shutting a heckler down."

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If ever you needed proof that a frontman can save a gig, this was it. On this night, punters were pulled from their shell not once, but twice. Gold Coast-via-Melbourne rockers The Delta Riggs opened the night to a quickly filling room. The riffs came thick and fast while the rhythm section solidly held together their British-soaked classic rock sound. Despite the band's enthusiasm, the crowd opted to politely observe rather than join in with frontman Elliott Hammond's sweaty antics. Hammond, clearly frustrated, even acknowledged this, before mumbling, "That's just rock 'n' roll." Where others might have faltered, he pushed the crowd even harder to show some emotion through his manic stage antics and call-and-response games. Closing with Supersonic Casualties, the band walked off having turned the situation completely around. There was no mistaking the ocean of noise coming from the crowd, or the compliments being thrown down in the post-gig loo trip.

Perhaps it was due to the initial state of the crowd that You Am I frontman Tim Rogers began the set exclaiming "rock music is dance music". Regardless, the band launched straight into a blistering rendition of their newest single Good Advices from their tenth album Porridge & Hotsauce and seemed to relish the new material. The monstrous guitar sound coming from Davey Lane for No, A Minor Blue was an excursion in unabashed noise-pop, potentially a nod to Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth notoriety, the producer of their now two decade-old debut album. Yet despite the sold out show, it seemed that even with the noise on stage the band were struggling to get the audience moving. The biggest cheer of the night came not from the music, but from Rogers shutting a heckler down, joking, "I'm fucking Tim Rogers," to rapturous applause. Indeed, it was his magnetic presence that held the show together at times when it seemed the crowd only wanted to hear the old favourites.

Maybe it was the gradual roll-out of the old classics, or the gradual draining of Rogers' wine bottle, but the end result was electrifying. You could finally feel the energy of the crowd during singalong moments such as Heavy Heart and the song people had waited all night for, Berlin Chair. Despite their two-decade-plus career You Am I were as invigorating as ever, but it begs the question, will they ever escape their old material?