Why didn't anyone think of this sooner? Only in it's second year, the Airlie Beach Music Festival stands in the ineffable surrounds of, well, Airlie Beach in the famed Whitsundays. Yes, that's right - a music festival in The Whitsundays. Already you're beginning to get a picture of something much different than what festival regulars are used to, and you'd be right. The festival is not only unique in atmosphere, but also structure and style; the direction the line-up points in is quite obvious when headliners includes The Screaming Jets, John Paul Young, and The Eurogliders.
Although Jimmy Eat World's Futures didn't get the same press as Bleed American, it still remains a fan favourite. Between the blistering power chords of single "Pain", the stupidly catchy chorus of title track "Futures" and the bare beauty of "Drugs or Me" it isn't much off a question as to why. So when the announcement was made that the band were touring the album in full for its 10th anniversary, fans went running at the chance to see the under-appreciated sister of Bleed American in all its glory for probably the only time in their lives. It's the only way to explain the packed floor I arrive onto less than 30 minutes after doors.
The 7th Australasian Worldwide Music Expo - featuring 58 groups performing over 4 days alongside a two day conference - kicked off with an opening party early on Thursday evening with Pete Murray, Benny Walker and a Welcome to Country ceremony.
As it seemed most of Melbourne were dressing as cats and making their way to the Katy Perry concert (#katycats), an nonetheless impressive contingent of the city's less under-16 female crowd filled up the Corner Hotel for the second of two just-about-sold-out performances from Manchester Orchestra, supported by Ballarat's Apes and Brooklyn based Kevin Devine.
Thelma Plum reminds me a lot of Emma Louise, that same gentle shy awkwardness on stage, but utterly entrancing when she lets those vocals loose, with songs that foster adoration. Thelma played the Amplifier Bar last Saturday night as part of her Monsters tour and totally wooed the Perth crowd.
The Brighton Up Bar is a curious venue for dancing, owing to the giant staircase that drops down in the middle of the dance floor. It doesn’t prevent it however, as it’s now nearing the end of Betty & Oswald’s single launch, and every single body in the bar is moving. They’re in the middle of a cover of Louis Prima’s “Just A Gigolo & I Ain’t Got Nobody”, vocalist and guitarist Pete Sotiropolous is bouncing on his toes, Claudia Schmidt skittering about behind her microphone.
There is, sometimes, certain difficulty in translating a record to a live show. Songs that sound polished and perfected in the studio can often fall completely flat on stage – and this is even more apparent when there’s a reliance on the electronic, lest it becomes a laptop only gig.
When Manchester Orchestra swing into Sydney, you know to expect the bearded masses, and by the end of the night, you know Andy Hull and his group will have hairy men embracing in sweaty excitement. All the more excited because this tour had the added bonus of Bad Books collaborator and fellow beard enthusiast Kevin Devine coming along for the ride.
If one was to walk into the Newtown Social Club early they would have been fortunate enough to witness a very relaxed Kirin J Callinan and Donny Bennet dancing away to the house music. Their jovial mood reflected the excitement The Dreamlanders had about performing songs from Jack Ladder's excellent new album Playmates. The sold out show, to follow up their sold-out show at the Northcote Social Club is just rewards to a talented artist who has consistently been praised by critics but flirted on the outside of any wider popularity.
Under the Brisbane G20's iron curtain of security, three of Australia and New Zealand's finest post-rock acts rocked out at the Beetle Bar in Brisbane. Matthew Evans was there to capture the night.
It may be easy to forget of Sean Paul's dominance in pop music seeing as the once ubiquitous dancehall mastermind hasn't really been the limelight since hits like "Get Busy" and "Temperature" broke charts the world over. You may even be forgiven in heading along to his Sydney headline concert with some very low expectations, expecting to see a man clinging to relevance with a backing track and hype man; I must admit, I've become pretty cynical about these types of shows. My expectations were completely flipped on the night, the headline act bringing with him a perfectly balanced band and gave us over an hour of exciting, boundless energy, and of course, dutty rock. Along for the ride was another star who hasn't been too prolific in recent years, but has a far few hits stored away from the early 2000s. Mya, equipped with two new independently released EPs, came to remind us not to count her out of the scene just yet.
The Preatures arrived at The Gov in Adelaide as part of a national tour promoting their debut album Blue Planet Eyes. The Sydney five-piece were welcomed by a sold out crowd packed wall-to-wall, illustrating the impressive following they've developed since first forming as "The Preachers" in 2010.
The emotional urgency in Tori Amos' powerful voice hasn't faded one bit, as evidenced by her brilliant trip down memory lane on that world renowned platform that is the Concert Hall in the Sydney Opera House. At the first of two performances in Sydney for her current word tour, the 51 year old singer-songwriter sat calmly at her long grand piano and flexed her vocal prowess throughout a set which spanned her greatest hits, and surprisingly neglected her latest album Unrepentant Geraldines. This was one of eighty performances around the world to promote the album, and she didn't even perform one single song off of it. Not that we were complaining though; and as good as her 14th album is, we were given such a breathtaking journey through her catalogue that it would have been hard to walk out of that room with even an inch of disappointment.
The first thought that pops into most people’s heads when they hear the term ‘futures’ is Future Music Festival. You know, that summer festival where everyone parades around their ‘shredded’ physique and seems unduly ‘amped’ about seeing Avicii? Yeah, that one. There’s a small group of people however, that upon hearing this phrase straight away thinks of the classic Jimmy Eat World album - an album that provided many with that sublime blend of vulnerability, angst and passion that every teenager looks for in an album. Celebrating the 10-year anniversary of this record, Jimmy Eat World treated its Adelaide fan base to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, playing an action-packed set that included all of Futures, and a whole lot more.
Wading through the dense crowd, it was hard not to notice the presence of luscious curled hair and complimentary black ensembles peppered throughout the foyer, reminiscent of Joe Satriani in his youth. The rockstars of the suburbs poured into their seats with a wide-eyed buzz, aware their all-knowing and all-powerful master was mere hours away.