Red Riders are a band who have suffered their fair share of trials and tribulations. Though with 2009 heralding the band’s sophomore release Drown In Colour, and the Vines’ Brad Heald taking up the extra guitar duties left behind by an exiting member 2 years ago, it is now time for this Sydney quartet to show just how far they can spread their wings.
Supporting was Brisbane’s The Boat People. The first couple of songs in their set were somewhat reserved and a bit of a non-event, though from third song “Unsettle My Heart”, the moral and energy of the audience picked up a bit. Amongst their set of acoustically-driven pop songs was the Triple J endorsed “Awkward Orchid Orchard”; a moment for all to sing along. While I wasn’t completely inspired by the Boat People and their pop rock numbers, they were engaging performers; a little bit dorky but very endearing.
Then of course was Red Riders opening with “Slide In Next To Me” - that sly, creeping bassline instantly recognisable and immediately re-energising. Played from the new LP was ‘Tomorrow/Today’ second song in, as well as the debut single “You’ve Got A Lot Of Nerve”, an angry song. Our entertaining frontman claimed not to know why it happened to be so angry, however. "Feels Like Grace”, “All Mine” and the most recent one making it way around the radio traps; “Ordinary” also made it into their set.
Halfway through, Robin from the Boat People lent his keyboard-playing talents over for a song, before the four continued on with older number “C’mon” - its soaring opening loud and exciting. The boys finished their set with the bold “My Love is Stronger Than Your Love”, thundering around the small venue - though they returned to stage for one more my personal favourite from Drowned In Colour, “Over Again”, with its prominent bassline and metallic guitar riffs facing each other off.
The songs were often joined by jokes and anecdotes, both Alex Grigg and his New Zealand bass-playing counterpart Matt Chapman creating a light-hearted and relaxed atmosphere. The band appeared genuinely excited by being on stage and playing their songs; them and the audience feeding off of each others energy, keeping the night going with enthusiasm, with not even one person left standing still.