Live Review: Everything Everything + The Vaccines + Seaside – Roundhouse, Sydney (11.05.24)

Embarking on the last leg of their co-headline tour down under, Everything Everything and The Vaccines brought their A-games to a near capacity crowd at Sydney’s Roundhouse. It’s not every day you get a co-headline tour. Those days are even less common when the headline bands are two of England’s tightest bands returning to the country for the first time in half a decade with a combined back catalogue of thirteen albums. And yet, here we are, with the Sydney crowd being treated to more than two hours of hits and class music.

Opening the night were NSW act Seaside. Playing a tidy thirty minute set featuring singles from their recent EP, the band treated the crowd to a cover of the Le Tigre classic “Deceptacon”. With a raw indie-punk sound somewhere in the same realm of Wolf Alice and WAAX, I look forward to seeing what they do in the future.

Entering the stage right on 8:15, The Vaccines one-hour set was filled with wall-to-wall classics, ranging from their earliest songs (“Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)” got an early nod) through to more recent songs off their newest album Pickup Full of Pink Carnations (“Discount De Kooning (Last One Standing)” was a clear highlight). With 13 years between their first album and their newest, you felt the band still revelled in playing their oldest and most well-known tracks whilst also being just as excited about welcoming new fans with their more recent songs.

Their set was evenly paced and kept at a high tempo for the most part, with each of their albums getting a look in at one point. Peaking on the back-to-back run of “Post Break Up Sex” and “Wetsuit”, the vibes were high on stage and in the room. Disappointingly some moron in the crowd begged frontman Justin Young to do a shoey, which he politely and correctly declined. Guys, it’s 2024. Shoeys weren’t cool the first time. Give it up. Closing on the trifecta of “I Always Knew”, “If You Wanna” and the euphoric coming of age masterpiece “All My Friends Are Falling In Love”, The Vaccines definitely didn’t let anyone down with their performance. Having seen them five times now across headlining and festival slots, they’re a band that gets better every time and never fails to deliver.

Owning closing duties for the tour was Manchester lord Everything Everything. Similarly to The Vaccines, the band returned to Sydney more than half a decade since their last show, and were welcomed with open hearts and ears by the Sydney crowd. Their set probably wasn’t as evenly paced or consistent as The Vaccines’, however their highs were higher. With minimal chat between songs beyond the obligatory welcoming and acknowledgement of the crowd, frontman Jonathan Higgs noted the band already did their shoeys backstage, before playing a set that was heavily weighted towards their recent albums (2024’s Mountainhead, 2022’s Raw Data Feel and 2020’s Re-animator). Admittedly, I gravitated toward their earlier hits like “Kemosabe” and “Cough Cough”, but their newer singles still slapped, with “Cold Reactor”, “Violent Sun”, “The End of the Contender”, “Jennifer” and “Pizza Boy” all receiving the love from the crowd they deserved.

Higgs’ vocals and falsetto were on point throughout, reminding me of why I’ve loved the band for more than a decade now. The band were exemplary as always, while the crowd finally showed some life over the closing half hour, with “Spring/ Sun/ Winter/ Dread” getting those on the dancefloor moving. The set peaked with fan favourite “Distant Past”, with the light show coming into its own, while Higgs’ rap-singing elevated the night once more. Closing on the gargantuan and cataclysmic masterpiece “No Reptiles”, Everything Everything exited the stage as quickly as they entered it, having just delivered a 75 minute master class in music.

In an economy where touring is getting harder and harder, it’s refreshing to see two notable bands come from the other side of the world to play to fans on an isolated island in the Southern Hemisphere. I feel tours like this won’t happen all that much in the future, but for now I’d like to thank The Vaccines and Everything Everything for coming to Australia once more. It’s been a blast.


Lead image by Christopher Searles.