The time has come for Brisbane rock trio Columbus to call it a day after a decade. Before announcing the breakup on their socials, the band released their latest EP Driving in the Dark on 24 March – featuring singles “Pain is a Mirror”, “Temporary Summer” and “Full Heart”.
The beloved punks played the second show of their five-date farewell tour at The Brightside in Brisbane on Friday 14 April, supported by Reside and Wifecult.
Sunshine Coast rock trio Wifecult (with drummer Brad Vander Lugt from La Dispute, no less!) opened the night. A briefcase sat propped on stage with the words ‘We is Wifecult thanks!’ written on it in yellow tape. Frontman Jarith Hughes donned an old school mechanic outfit as he came from work at a designer store. His dreamy guitar and passionately strained vocals enchanted with haunting harmonies from animated bassist Joseph Keating of Tired Eyes and Sunbleached. Their moody grooves and humorous banter won the crowd over and everyone left a fan.
Next up, Melbourne alt-rock quintet Reside stormed the stage – the bassist with COVID replaced by backing tracks. Frontman Liam Guinane’s Eraserhead hair and bronze eyeshadow with the keyboardist’s wallet chains around his neck contrasted their otherwise gloomy aesthetic. Busy drums and resonant riffs melded with gurgling synths and phased effects for an immersive set. Clean-cut vocals and searing screams kept all eyes on Liam’s catlike moves, while frequently joining fans on the floor. They played two unreleased tracks, one with the heaviest (and only) breakdown of the night, and their energy rubbed off on everyone in the room.
Passionate fans cheered when Columbus emerged – frontman Alex Moses in a Weezer shirt – and quickly set up before jumping into “Daffodil”. They moved into big singalong “Replace Me” and had the crowd moving to their signature punk ballads in no time. The band jokingly threw shade on the first show of the tour in Sydney, getting the crowd to chant ‘Fuck Sydney’, then showed love to their hometown before playing “Full Heart”. Alex and bassist Lauren Guerrera debated whether they might cry or not throughout the night and many fans shared the sentiment.
Lauren grabbed the mic as Alex played the opening riff to Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff” and aggressively rapped the first verse. Alex’s distortion pedal malfunctioned during “Learn to Swim” but the crowd rushed to the front for fan-favourite “Raindrop” nonetheless.
“Piece of Shit” featured a cover of “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne, with Alex doing the worm and Lauren cartwheeling across stage. A friend got up for “Absent” and crowdsurfed before being kicked out of the venue to Lauren’s vexed confusion, then soon returned after the band refused to play unless she did. Needless to say, the night was full of memories and surprises.
There were circle pits for “Downsides of Being Honest” and Alex jumped into the crowd to scream John Floreani’s part. A heartfelt finish with “You Can’t Hide from What Hurts” left the crowd chanting until the band returned for encore “Summer Dress” – which Lauren apparently had never played before, watching Alex for cues. With a set spanning their whole discography, it was fast and fun with sweaty smiles all round. You could see how much these three love playing together and they sang with heavy hearts from start to finish. Columbus will be sorely missed but always loved and never forgotten.
FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
You can get tickets to the remaining shows in Adelaide and Melbourne HERE.