A Wednesday evening gig that came with an extra early start, but the early birds hanging around in the venue’s corners were entertained by Sydney outfit Spookyland for a short but sweet set. Fronted by Marcus Gordon, putting all thought and feeling into wails of melancholy tales seemed to be the goal here, accompanied by equally expressive rock sounds including the super catchy Big Head.
Arriving from further afield were Day Wave, from Oakland California. Launching straight into tunes and opening with the upbeat sounds of Come Home Now was the beginning of sundrenched guitar filling the air in no time rather than intros and banter. As elusive as the presence was, it was eventually revealed that this was a first visit to Australian shores.
But as far as the main event goes, a lone guitar and vocals from frontman Dave Le’aupepe had a crowd firmly fixated on every note and word from the first moments on stage. Once the rest of the band kicked into gear the vibe was nothing short of magnetic, with energy and enthusiasm flowing freely from the band and the crowd alike during Restraint & Release and unwavering for the rest of the night. A bout of the flu and a broken guitar string didn’t stop infamous dance moves making an appearance on stage, let alone the resolute crowd chants of ‘I’m not afraid’ during Poison Drum.
Included in the set were a few new tracks, and after the tumultuous inspiration and cathartic efforts on The Positions there certainly seems to be a change in the air or a turning of pages so to speak. After travelling back to Benevolence Riots a little reverence during Kansas and Knuckles White Dry proved the admiration from the crowd for the music, before a word for word singalong to Magnolia and Dave Le’aupepe joining the people on the floor with a well-deserved encore ending on Radioface.