• Fri 21st November - Bloc Party, Van She [review]

    23. Nov. 2008, 5:34

    Fri 21 Nov – Bloc Party, Van She

    After scoring tickets to the gig from a terribly generous friend, I was admittedly slightly apprehensive. I had wanted to see Bloc Party live for a long time, but I was worried that with the release of A Weekend In The City, and the recently released Intimacy, they would neglect their rollickingly good tunes from one of my favourite albums of all time, Silent Alarm.

    Kele in a recent interview described Bloc Party's albums as each being one of "three childen [that] want to you to like them all as much as each other". If that is the case, I can't help but think that Intimacy is like the ugly newborn that many Bloc Party fans would gladly put up for adoption. Unfortunately it's illegal to put someone else's children up for adoption. Damn extended metaphors, I get carried away. Nevertheless, I was interested to see if the songs were more palatable live.

    So, taking the trip down to rickety old Festival Hall, in the rain and wind, I set myself up to be a little disappointed. I was a little right, and a little wrong.

    Australian electro-pop outfit Van She opened the night, and while I commend them on getting a spot supporting one of the major indie acts around today, their set was uninspiring and flat. A few songs in their set went down well, like single Changes, but generally the band seemed content to play their instruments in one place and not do a lot else. They gave very little banter between songs, though I thought drummer Tomek Archer was very good, and the synthesisers added a bit to their music, reminiscent a little of M83's recent release Saturdays = Youth.

    After Van She's set, the attendence swelled dramatically, waiting for the headliner to come out. As the crowd soon spotted, Kele, Russell, Gordon and Matt came up the stage from the side, as my excitement welled and my faithful gigmate jumped around like an overexcited swan, and the show kicked off with One Month Off, rather than the (what I was told was terrible) rendition of Mercury the previous night, which was surprisingly not present this night.

    Next was Hunting For Witches, as Kele, dressed in denim shorts, danced a little around the stage, generally reminiscent of a schoolboy if not for his chants for a 'six pack of beer'. The crowd seemed happy so far, but were still not into the swing of it, and while the following Waiting For The 7:18 was well performed, with the end cries of 'Let's drive to Brighton on the weekend' faithfully performed by both Kele and several thousand members of the crowd, Bloc Party were still working themselves into stride.

    Song For Clay (Disappear Here) followed, which brought the crowd back to hyperactivity, as the decevingly slow intro kicked into the steamrolling main riff. The band played several more tracks from Intimacy, interspersed with a great Banquet rendition which kicked the crowd up a few notches, but I couldn't help thinking that the tracks from Intimacy lacked the same energy and intensity as those from the older two albums.

    Pleasingly, the band threw in So Here We Are, a song which was not present the night before, and chased it down with crowd pleaser The Prayer. As Kele and the band settled into Sunday, you couldn't help but appreciate the little short-wearing frontman, and his soft 'I'll love you in the morning's.

    After leaving the stage shortly, the band came back a little bemused at the encore chants of 'BLOC PARTY! BLOC PARTY!', with Kele declaring this part of the night to be their 'second half of the set'. He playfully added, 'It's good! You'll like it!'.

    Like it was an understatement. Bloc Party came back with a vengence, playing Like Eating Glass, Helicopter, and Flux, all among the best tracks of the night. Flux in particular was a highlight, with the strobing green laser lights and pounding dance beats turning the rickity wooden hall into a dancefest with the crowd pulsing in time with the song.

    Leaving the stage once more, Bloc Party returned after a now appropriate bout of crowd screaming their name and clapping harder and faster. Bloc Party ended with personal favourite, This Modern Love, with the rises and falls of its twinkling guitars mimicked by the crowd at the band's feet.

    All things considered, I was pleasantly surprised with Bloc Party's setlist, containing a good deal off of the excellent Silent Alarm, and maybe a little too much for my liking, a decent enough showcase of Intimacy. The sound quality was great from where I was sitting, with the band's instruments each given room to breathe, however the band's performance left a little to be desired, with Kele missing lyrics here and there and the band being out of time at several points in the set. The minimal amount of banter from Kele and his compatriots could be improved on, however Kele was as charming as ever, even at one point, urging Festival Hall security let a guy who was dancing on the roof of the bar to stay and watch their show.

    Even so, even despite the lack of songs I would have liked to have heard (Blue Light, Positive Tension, Luno, I'm looking at you), Bloc Party put on a decent show. Not one that is essential to see, but one that will entertain nonetheless.

    Note: I've probably messed something up here, if I've made some sort of mistake (excluding me saying that I don't think Intimacy is very good), feel free to point it out (:
  • Sat 23rd August – Cobra Starship, The Academy Is..., Panic at the Disco [review]

    24. Aug. 2008, 2:51

    Sat 23 Aug – Panic at the Disco, The Academy Is..., Cobra Starship, the black and white

    When this show was announced, I was, admittedly, slightly annoyed. Panic at the Disco had announced their tour, bringing with them Decaydance / Fueled By Ramen labelmates Cobra Starship and The Academy Is.... With three relatively big (in the scope of FBR) band playing, it was always going to be hard to give fans of each band enough songs to tide them over until the next tour. With this on my mind, I took the trip down to Rod Laver Arena, and found myself both impressed with the bands' performances and correct in what I had thought.

    The show kicked off with Melbourne band the black and white, a band whom I assume to be relative newcomers to the music scene. With only a previously released EP Trading Hours for Seconds, their range of material was only small, but well suited for their minor support role. Their brand of rock, however, slightly reminiscent to me of The Strokes, was almost certainly not suited to the plethora of early teens that the other three bands cater to, but they managed to do a little better than previous Australian openers I've seen in the past. Might be one to watch in the future, especially for a fulllength album. The Black and White Myspace

    After a short break, out marched Cobra Starship. I must admit, I am not a huge fan of this band, but they have an entertaining onstage presence, with frontman Gabe Saporta (ex-Midtown vocalist), lead guitarist Ryland Blackinton and keytarist Vicky-T frequently interacting. Saporta seemed content to gyrate his hips and touch himself in strange ways for most of the set, a fact not lost on many of the female audience. Their set blended songs from both of their albums, interspersed with a quick rendition of Hollaback Boy. Surprisingly missing was dance favourite Kiss My Sass, though given the length of their set, was perhaps not surprising.

    When William Beckett of The Academy Is... came out to duo with Gabe for Bring It (Snakes On A Plane), as expected, the crowd seemed content.

    Next out was personal favourite The Academy Is..., a band I've followed since they released Almost Here. Their set pleasingly included a decent amount of songs from that album, as well as hits from both Santi and their recently released third album Fast Times At Barrington High. Beckett seemed happy to spend his whole set twirling and throwing his mic-stand around, flicking it up with his feet (and occasionally missing, much to the annoyance of the on-stage hands). Thankfully, as he cranked up About a Girl, his voice was much improved from the first showings of that song in June. Beckett also declared his dedication of About a Girl to "my ex-girlfriend... Australian swimmer, Stephanie Rice", which was a nice touch.
    The most impressive vocal display of the set, and perhaps, the night, came from Santi slowburner Everything We Had, with Beckett's voice soaring about the stadium whilst bathed in spotlight. The only gripe I had was the lack of less commercial Barrington High songs such as After The Last Midtown Show, and songs such as crowd favourite Attention and Almost Here closer Almost Here. Again, to be expected in such a short set, though I hope they headline a show over here sometime soon.

    Finally, after a respite which was much too long, screams began to fill the arena. The chants of "PANIC, PANIC!" were gone, but there were the few seats at the side of the stage with a glimpse behind the curtain covering the back half. It was obvious what was about to happen. As headliner Panic at the Disco emerged, with their painted sets imitating their latest album cover Pretty. Odd.. Marking their arrival, they played Pretty. Odd. openers We're So Starving and Nine In The Afternoon before launching into a set that was well constructed, featuring top choices from both their debut A Fever You Can't Sweat Out and Pretty. Odd., with a few songs even giving the crowd bubble machine treatment, in a somewhat surreal sight; how often do you get to see a band play in a stadium, behind hand-painted sets, while bubbles float through the air?

    Lead singer Brendon Urie was in good form with his vocals, much improved from both their live DVD from their debut and various recordings I've heard. The big anticipation for me was how guitarist Ryan Ross, previously flat as a tack on vocals had improved with his new role as sometimes-lead on tracks like Behind The Sea and set closer Mad As Rabbits. It was good to hear his vocals weren't at all bad, and he has improved dramatically. All in all, their set was well thought out and executed, jazz hands and all, although I had gripes with Urie's solo acoustic performance of Time to Dance, a song that I feel would have sent the crowd crazy had it been performed with the full band. Perhaps that's what they were afraid of. Mad As Rabbits closed the set as the bubble machines were fired up again.

    The crowd slowly filed out, now filling the hallways of Rod Laver, chattering happily as the realisation hit; they just saw Panic at the Disco. Whether or not they'd admit it, is another thing entirely, but the fact remains.

    This review ends with a slight aside:
    I sat in the halls after with a few trusty companions, drained, soaked. We were pretty much the last people there, and the guards came and started yelling for us to leave. We got up, and who should walk past but Mr. Gabe Saporta. After a quick double-take, we hurried excitedly after him, and found him waiting for his elevator. Completely different from his onstage, hip-gyrating persona, Saporta was quietly-spoken and polite (and slightly taken aback that he was followed), and introduced himself to us, shaking our hands and talking briefly before getting into his elevator. A great ending to an overall great night.

    Setlists - let me know if anything is wrong in these
    The Black and White
    Everyone Is Guilty
    Where Are You Now
    Second Spin
    Unknown song

    Cobra Starship
    The City Is At War
    Bring It (Snakes On A Plane)
    Hollaback Boy (chorus)
    Smile For The Paparazzi
    Send My Love to the Dancefloor, I'll See You in Hell (Hey Mister DJ)
    The Church Of Hot Addiction
    Guilty Pleasure

    The Academy Is...
    Slow Down
    Big Mess
    About a Girl
    Summer Hair = Forever Young
    Everything We Had
    The Phrase That Pays

    Panic at the Disco
    We're So Starving
    Nine In The Afternoon
    I Constantly Thank God For Esteban
    That Green Gentleman
    She's A Handsome Woman
    Folkin' Around
    Behind the Sea
    Northern Downpour
    The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage
    Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off
    But Its Better If You Do
    There's A Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought Of It Yet
    I Write Sins Not Tragedies

    Time To Dance (Brendon solo acoustic)
    Pas de Cheval
    Mad As Rabbits
  • Best, worst, and disappointmentest albums of 2007

    29. Dez. 2007, 8:19

    Hiya guys, this is my best and worst of 2007 awards. Feel free to agree, disagree and discuss to your leisure.

    1. Menomena - Friend and Foe
    2. Said the Whale - Taking Abalonia
    3. David Ford - Songs for the Road
    4. Motion City Soundtrack - Even If It Kills Me
    5. Art Brut - It's a Bit Complicated
    6. The White Stripes - Icky Thump
    7. of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
    8. Radiohead - In Rainbows
    9. Fall Out Boy - Infinity on High
    10. Maxïmo Park - Our Earthly Pleasures
    11. Anberlin - Cities
    12. Brakes - The Beatific Visions
    13. Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip - Thou Shalt Always Kill
    14. The Deadly Syndrome - The Ortolan
    15. The Beautiful Girls - Ziggurats
    16. Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position
    17. Magic Dirt - Beast
    18. Bloc Party - A Weekend In The City
    19. Flight of the Conchords - The Distant Future
    20. LoveLikeFire - An Ocean In The Air

    The Aliens - Astronomy For Dogs
    The Basics - Stand Out/Fit In
    Ben Lee - Ripe
    Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Baby 81
    Gotye - Mixed Blood
    Hard-Fi - Once Upon A Time In The West
    Jimmy Eat World - Chase This Light
    Kaiser Chiefs - Yours Truly, Angry Mob
    Kisschasy - Hymns for the Nonbeliever
    Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future
    The Last Goodnight - Poison Kiss
    MAE - Singularity
    Magic Dirt - Roky's Room
    The Maine - The Way We Talk
    The Polyphonic Spree - The Fragile Army
    The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
    The Vasco Era - Oh We Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside

    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Some Loud Thunder
    Cobra Starship - ¡Viva La Cobra!
    Grinspoon - Alibis and Other Lies
    Linkin Park - Minutes to Midnight
    Missy Higgins - On a Clear Night
    Powerspace - The Kicks Of Passion
    Rogue Wave - Asleep At Heaven's Gate
  • Fri 28th September – Festival Hall – Jack's Mannequin, Gyroscope, Fall Out Boy…

    5. Okt. 2007, 2:57

    Fri 28 Sep – Fall Out Boy, Jack's Mannequin, Gyroscope

    Another 6 months down the line, and another Fall Out Boy concert. Back in February at Vodafone Arena, I would have doubted anyone who said they'd be back by the end of the year, and yet, here we are, watching in mild awe as the band are back.

    To tell the truth, I was about half as excited this time around, whether that be a result of my least favourite venue I've been to (Festival Hall), or perhaps my lack of ground floor tickets this time around. But as I walked through the doors into the Hall, the familiar Vodafone feeling welled up again.

    As I took my seat (mainly because those 10 year olds stole all the ground floor tickets before me), I didn't have to wait long before getting the first of two supports. Jack's Mannequin took the stage, surprisingly to me, as I thought for sure that Gyroscope, the token Aussie band would be first. Several people have told me that frontman Andrew McMahon gets drunk before shows, though I can say I was oblivious to the fact as I sat, watching this man tear up the piano. That might well have been the most impressive display on a singular instrument I've seen to date. Jack's Mannequin tore through their set, playing favourites Dark Blue, MFEO and my personal favourite Bruised, as McMahon often played one handed, ran around the stage, and generally assaulted his piano sexually.

    It was over a little too soon for me, and I'd love to see the band again. Onward but unfortunately not upward to Gyroscope. After a short technical delay, Gyroscope took the stage. Much like Jack's Mannequin, I knew very little about the band or its music, but I was open to anything really. Gyroscope's set was, frankly, disappointing to me, a non-fan, with none of their songs really sticking (note: this may be a result of the 'support curse', me anticipating the main act), however the band slightly redeemed itself by having its frontman Daniel Sanders stage dive several times and crawling around onstage. Sanders' final song dive and guitar solo from the top of the crowd was highly enjoyable.

    By now I was pumped for the main set. To the dulcet tones of Build Me Up Buttercup, Patrick Stump, Joseph Trohman, Andrew Hurley and Peter Wentz marched onto the stage. I have rarely heard a noise so piercing in all my few years (apart from the band's final act; read on) as the band kicked into its now trademark opener Thriller. Following it up was the most known of all Take This to Your Grave songs, Grand Theft Autumn. Even so, the majority of the crowd knew few to no lyrics, but tapped along all the same. An Akon cover was inserted into the set (Don't Matter, I'm not a fan) before kicking the crowd up a notch with singalong favourite Sugar, We're Goin' Down. Of All The Gin Joints was performed wonderfully, as was Hum Hallelujah, before Chicago Is So Two Years Ago got the hardcore fan crowd excited. Chicago is one of those songs you have to be lucky to hear, as the band seldom performs it, and I almost lost my voice on that song alone. The song lacked the Justin Pierre of Motion City Soundtrack finesse towards the end though.

    From here, Pete announced that everyone would know the lyrics to the next song they played (as no one did for Chicago). This was not entirely true, I am slightly ashamed to say I didn't. Green Day's Basket Case resounded across the venue, as Patrick's vocals easily bettered Billie Joe Armstrong's in my mind (I'm not a fan of Green Day at all).

    My least favourite song from Infinity on High followed, with I'm Like A Lawyer making most jump and sing. Sixteen Candles was amazing, and one of my favourite Fall Out Boy songs of all time. This time, Pete urged people to scream when they recognised the riff to the next song, but not to yell it out. The seat next to me wrongly identified it as Thriller, but most could hear Michael Jackson's Beat It. The cover was a real highlight of the set, even if Patrick's voice, by this point in the set, failed to adequately match Jackson's.

    Following Carpal Tunnel (another highlight) was a short interlude by the band, who played an excerpt of Panic! at the Disco's I Write Sins Not Tragedies to illustrate Australian radio's open willingness to play "Goddamn". Pete would later proclaim "fuck them" to his signees, as well as several other Fueled By Ramen labelmates. Following his point about "Goddamn"ing, the band quickly followed up by easily the most recognisable song in the set, Arms Race. There were 6 year olds singing this song, all the way up to their 40 year old parents. It was really the only song in the set to properly bridge such a gap. Thnks Fr Th Mmrs followed, either before or after their mostly obese roadie urged us to scream "Fall. Out. Boy." across the venue (as the guy I sat next to duely noted, "FUCK OFF! You're a Dirty wannabe!").

    As the band took the stage again, for what I consider an encore, though obviously as planned as ever, The Take Over graced our ears. Following was a great cover type thing (as Patrick did vocals) of Timbaland's One & Only, which few knew the words to. It was definitely a highlight for me, as I went hoping they'd play the song. Dance, Dance was the follow up, and sent most girls swooning, and the occasional guy, before the band played a quick cover of The Power of Love. It was poorly executed in my opinion. The final song in the set was long time fan favourite Saturday which all but destroyed any vocal chords I had left.

    Before they left the stage, the band thanked the audience, and Pete attempted a cultural reference with "The snake in the long grass" or something, which made no sense to me (did anyone else get this?). As I mentioned before, one 'incident' would be louder than the crowd's din as they entered, and this followed, as Wentz removed his shirt, and every girl in the venue screamed in a way that has rarely been observed since Beatlemania hit 40 years ago. I realised then that a lot of the audience paid $10 to hear the band play their set, and $60 to see Wentz remove his shirt and strut around stage. It's a sad fact that was the only negative I can find with the band's show (apart from a lack of Grenade Jumper and other TTTYG favourites, which I hear they are playing, albeit sparingly)

    All in all, it was a fantastic show, despite my dislike of the venue, and having wire ledge guards blocking the band from my view a lot of the night. The set was better composed than the Vodafone show in February, however lacking in Take This To Your Grave songs it was. Patrick's voice began as incredibly as ever, but, as it is widely known, decreased in quality as the night when on, though I doubt many would notice or care. If they didn't have their eyes on Wentz, they had their ears on the music, and were enjoying the night enough either way to be distracted.

    Thanks for getting to the end of this. I doubt you read the whole thing, but if you did, congratulations. You managed to sit through my bullshit :)

    If there's any errors, or you disagree with me on anything, feel free to post a comment below.

    Fall Out Boy Setlist
    - Thriller
    - Grand Theft Autumn
    - Don't Matter (Akon cover)
    - Sugar
    - Our Lawyer
    - Of All The Gin Joints
    - Hum Hallelujah
    - I slept With Someone
    - Chicago
    - Basket Case (Green Day cover)
    - I'm Like a Lawyer
    - Sixteen Candles
    - Beat It (Michael Jackson cover)
    - Carpal Tunnel
    - I Write Sins (P!ATD cover)
    - Arms Race
    - Thnks Fr Th Mmrs
    ==Encore type thing==
    - The Take Over
    - One & Only (Timbaland cover)
    - Dance Dance
    - Power of Love (cover)
    - Saturday
  • You know, just talking to the kids

    13. Jul. 2007, 12:30

  • Wish I could go....

    23. Jun. 2007, 7:24

    Motion City Soundtrack are touring the US on a small club tour with The Higher

    Click ze le link above. You should be so lucky.
  • Shuffle game... these suck =)

    11. Apr. 2007, 5:47

    How does the world see me?

    Will I have a happy life?
    Fakin' It

    What do my friends really think of me?

    Do people secretly lust after me?
    I Do

    How can I make myself happy?

    What should I do with my life?
    Say What You're Gonna Say

    Will I ever have children?
    Son Of A Bitch

    What is some good advice for me?
    Somewhere a Clock Is Ticking

    How will I be remembered?
    Tiny Vessels

    What is my signature dancing song?
    I Like Chinese

    What do I think my current theme song is?
    You Have Aids

    What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
    Beatific Visions

    What song will play at my funeral?
    High & Dry

    What type of men/women do you like?

    What is my day going to be like?
    The Big Fight
  • Most anticipated album of 2007? Yessum.

    15. Mär. 2007, 6:22

    Artist: Motion City Soundtrack
    Album: Even If It Kills Me
    Release: 17th July 2007

    It's gonna be one hell of an album... I'm a little scared to be honest, given the amazingness of I Am the Movie and Commit This to Memory. But I have faith in the guys, and from the little I've heard off the webisodes, it's going to be incredible.

    Even If It Kills Me Webisodes
  • Shuffleness...

    30. Nov. 2006, 1:42

    1. Put your music player on shuffle.
    2. Press forward for each question.
    3. Use the song title as the answer to the question.

    No cheating! (unless it don't make sense)

    What does next year have in store for me?
    This Place Is A Prison - The Postal Service

    What's my love life like?
    Communist Daughter - Neutral Milk Hotel

    What do I say when life gets hard?
    Holiday Song - Pixies

    What do you think of on waking up?
    I Know We Could Be So Happy Baby (If We Wanted To) - Jeff Buckley

    What song will I dance to at my wedding?
    College Kids - Relient K

    What do you want as a career?
    Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy - Queen

    Your favourite saying?
    Why Are You Looking Grave? - Mew

    Favourite place?
    End of the World - Smile Empty Soul

    What do you think of your parents?
    Kiss It - Grinspoon

    What's your Pornstar name?
    Give Me One Good Reason - blink-182

    Drug of choice?
    Everybody's Changing - Keane

    Describe yourself:
    Battled - A.F.I.

    What is the thing i like doing most?
    Uno - Muse

    The song that best describes my school principal?
    Emergency Room Romantic - JamisonParker

    What is my state of mind like at the moment?
    The Celibate Life - The Shins

    How will I die?
    Sweet Payne - The Hold Steady

    Where will I die?
    Indian Holiday Disaster - Matt Tilley

    What will happen tomorrow?
    Elephantoplasy - Monty Python
  • Good times.

    2. Sep. 2006, 1:10

    Oh wow. I'm excited. I just found out that Muse are coming to Australia! They're playing at Festival Hall in Melbourne on January 10th or something, and me and a couple of friends are gonna go.

    Seeing as how [album]Black Holes and Revelations[/album] is so awesome, the show is gonna be great. They're meant to be fantastic live.

    And my birthday is coming up on the 22nd.

    Oh, and I'm going to see U2 in November. I'm not a huge fan, but it should be great.