Published in The Music (WA) | 28.08.13 | Issue # 3
GRINSPOON, EMPERORS, THE LOVE JUNKIES
23 August, 2013
Shuffling into the lobby of Astor Theatre, early-comers were met with what sounded like a fistfight between blues and grunge. The Love Junkies have had a solid year and treated their opening support slot as another chance to win over the uninitiated.
With a quick changeover, it was time for Emperors to do their thing. You couldn’t find a better band to get an audience into party mode on a Friday night – or any night, for that matter. They’ve taken everything great about Australian rock and bundled it together to produce infectious tunes that translate extremely well to the stage. With frontman Adam Livingston shaking his head in a bobblehead-like manner, the locals finished things off with the dangerously catchy Be Ready When I Say Go.
There was a vibrant red Eski perched upon the drum riser when Grinspoon strolled out to eerie background music. Led by what appeared to be an intoxicated Phil Jamieson mimicking the dance moves of Michael Jackson, the band took their positions on the festival-esque stage and kicked things into gear with Run. By the end of tune number one, it was clear the vocalist was off his face. However, when he put a guitar on for Branded, it was clear he could more than hold his liquor. It wasn’t long before they began laying out the hits, with No Reason surfacing first. In keeping with the festival vibe they had going, the floor space near the front erupted into a violent mosh, which saw security rush to break it up. “You can’t destroy their fun tonight,” Jamieson yelled mid-song at the security. “As much as you want to destroy their fun, go fuck yourselves.”
Having become a staple of Australian music, a majority of punters had no doubt listened each of the band’s singles to death. A nice acoustic rendition of Just Ace injected new life into the tune and showed the band could probably nail a stripped-back set too. The word “adios” out of Jamieson’s mouth meant little considering the fact they hadn’t played their biggest songs yet.
Resurfacing with an acoustic guitar, he made amends with the security before serenading the audience with Repeat, and having his band mates join him for Lost Control and DCx3. The only thing higher than the band’s blood alcohol level at set’s end was the energy flowing through the room. There’s no other Australian rock band quite like Grinspoon, and few acts can match the intensity of their live show.
Written by Daniel Cribb