iTunes LIVE feat. THE PRESETS - Apple Store, George St (24.10.08)

Fresh off the announcements of major spots at NeverEverLand (UK and Australia), Shore Thing and Good Vibrations... oh and then those ARIA awards as well... The Presets returned last night for a free hometown show that packed not only the Apple Store, but the streets outside as well. I think it's fair to say that 2008 is most definitely the year of The Presets. Everyone wants a piece of Julian and Kim (or at the very least, a dance), but I really think last night they were the happiest out of all of us - finally playing to a home crowd again after several months of jetting around the world.

There is, after all, no crowd that loves them more... something of which they seem humbled by, especially when, as they noted, much of us had waited for hours upon hours to get into this exclusive gig. In the end, only about 150 people made it in, if that, with hundreds more disappointed fans still waiting in the line outside.

As expected, they launched straight into Talk Like That, the latest single off their Multi-ARIA-winning LP Apocalypso. Naturally the crowd couldn't be happier. It was quite a mix of people as well - from 13 to 50, they are definitely attracting quite the range of ages these days, especially following their ARIA wins. The songs that followed were a good mix of new and old, the latter surprisingly unknown by much of the crowd, still in their school uniforms after taking a "sick day" to get a spot. But that didn't even remotely bother those who us have been following them for years, singing and dancing along to every minute of the set, naturally with Are You The One? and My People gaining the most attention. But thankfully, they didn't come on and simply play their hits (which given it was a free gig, would have been reasonably understandable), and their seminal closer, I Go Hard, I Go Home, finished the night off. Not that any of us had any interest in heading home, however.

As we all left the 50 minute free gig, I don't think you could help but feel satisfied. It had been a while since we'd had our last Presets hit - even for those who saw them at the Enmore in June - and while this time it was sans Lasers, it brought us all back to the days we saw Julian and Kim in tiny clubs around Sydney, promoting their EPs leading up to Beams. They've definitely come a long way since those days, but reigniting those memories was a fantastic feeling in its own right.

And I think it brought them back down to earth as well, walking off the stage with grins of delight, ready to conquer the summer festival season, here and abroad.