So after the 999 shows that came before, The Cat Empire celebrated its 1000th show in the heart of Melbourne, at Federation Square on Friday Night…for free. It was the ultimate thank you for all the support to date. Apparently a few people had heard about it and were keen to check it out.
Every inch of space in front of the stage and every possible vantage point, right to the very depths of corners was filled with a body. The truly dedicate came adorned with their cat whiskers and cat empire symbols on faces.
Toes were trampled; elbows were dug into neighbouring rib cages amongst other knocks, but not in malice. This was simply a large group of people brought together by music and anyone who has ever seen The Cat Empire live will understand why.
The party started with ‘Brigher than Gold’, but the real fun kicked in with ‘How to Explain?’ and its mind blowing horn jams, delivered in a seemingly endless cycle around a mic stand with the trio barely faltering or missing a beat.
Cramming in the new as well as the old meant a trip back in time to ‘Days Like These’, and one that was well remembered by the crowd judging by the number of people singing along.
A simple call out to Melbourne during ‘Steal the Light’ lifted a sea of arms accompanied by many dancing feet jumping around, reminiscent of all the fun from the video clip shot just over the road at White Night the year before.
The band played on, and the solos continued during ‘In My Pocket’, highlighting not only the diversity but pure skill of the musicians on stage. Leaving everyone mesmerised, the applause and cheering lifted again in appreciation.
‘Sly’, with everyone singing, cheering and dancing along was the perfect preparation for ‘Hello’ – the song that moved the band from the underground to the overground and still has an unbelievably infectious effect.
Everybody in the crowd formed one swaying wave along to ‘The Wine Song’ before shouting choruses and embracing the multicultural backgrounds of the city, a simple invitation to embrace strangers and dance in circles was met with the desired response. It just proves that people can actually get along…
The sincere thanks shared was nothing short of humble and grateful, and the crowd gave its thanks with the fervent shouts of the chorus to ‘The Chariot’ but shouted for more as the band left the stage. The crowd received its request for more with ‘All Night Loud’.
And we only have to wait until October for the next tour.