AU ABROAD

Live Review: The Smith Street Band + Andrew Jackson Jihad + The Sidekicks + Lucy Wilson - Metropolis, Fremantle (18.09.15)

Finally back from their adventure overseas, The Smith Street Band left their trusty place at The Rosemount to play a massive show in Fremantle on Friday night. Joined with an ever interesting and spot on support line up as always, there was nothing held back. Spitting out that loveable intensity across the crowd there wasn’t a punter in the place not yelling the songs right back.

First up on stage was the lovely songbird Lucy Wilson, playing at a few select shows across the tour her set was the perfect opener as people gradually filtered into the venue, the floor already buzzing, too content to be bothered by the slow drink service and pricey plastic cups.

Next up were The Sidekicks, and going into the night knowing all of nothing about the support bands I was pretty impressed. Their sound was just a little bit of everything, solidly fine-tuned pop punk with everything you could want from the catchy powerful guitar riffs on each track to the laid back confidence and versatile vocals of the frontman. No one even worried that half the lyrics were hard to make out, it was just a moment of sitting back and enjoying some well executed rock right up until the group broke out a cover of “Kiss” from Prince that had the ladies in front losing their minds.

Arizona band Andrew Jackson Jihad reminded me of The Decemberists straight away with their folk punk sound and morbid upbeat storytelling, singing songs about stupid faces and just generally happily failing at things. It was like preaching to the choir as frontman Sean raised his arms to the spotlight, serenading us with his tales before swinging his guitar around, and it’s always great to see some strings on stage to add that extra momentous spirit to the night. With tracks like “Hate Song for Brains” and “The Michael Jordan of Drunk Driving” what’s not to love?

“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” sounded out before The Smith Street Band walked out to enormous fanfare as always, Wil Wagner throwing in a hearty hello before starting off with “Surrender” and the ever topical “Wipe That Shit-Eating Grin Off Your Punchable Face”. The mosh pit turned out to be more aggressive with the added space of Metros Freo than its predecessors, Wil calling out more than once telling a shirtless man he was a dickhead as he leapt out onto the crowd before apologising “I just want my friends to have fun, sorry for the jocks, they’re not our friends” hitting a sombre mood saying Perth seemed to be the city that always wanted to punch each other.

The over enthusiastic crowd surfers did nothing to dampen the crowd however, everyone linking arms with strangers for “Get High, See No One” and slapping each others backs as they screamed “Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams” and “Ducks Fly Together”. Everyone stuck together through the heaving front rows, a punter barely had time to hit the floor before there were a dozen arms there to heave them back up. The air was almost emotional as people sang out to “Calgary Girls” before getting handsy with their neighbours on “I Can’t Feel My Face”.

The return for encore had some laughs as Wil seemed to be stranded on stage alone asking backstage if they were doing it or not when Lucy reappeared to perform their duet on “I Scare Myself Sometimes”, given a loud scuzzy guitar boost in the live interpretation it was the new track that had everyone mesmerized. The band then returned for “Young Drunk” as the chaos ensued for the end of the set.

There was not a song that fell short, every minute of the set was pumped up with such dedicated passion and just, so, so much sweat. The American imports were absolutely great to check out live with plenty of punters picking up CDs at the merch desk. The Smith Street Band are not a tour to miss.

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Head to their official website to grab all remaining tour dates: http://thesmithstreetband.com/