Some thoughts on the Sydney April 13th concert
They played around a little with the set list order last night and although I remember all the songs, my order may be skew whiff.
Distant Sun was the kick off song followed by World where you live with an audience sing along at the end. Some confusion threw the start of the next song which I think was fall at your feet (Elroy apologised in good humour) and the crowd had a laugh. Some random guy asked Neil how many guitars he had and he replied in a stoner rocker voice ‘ah geez I don’t know man’. 7 was the magic number. A few ‘we love yous’ shouted from the audience -‘are you speaking for everyone here?’ - and the crowd roared.
Goodnight everyone was the first of the new album tracks in the set. It sounded lush (same for show me the way). Don’t stop now (a song where you’re driving lost with 1% left on your phone).
There was an Anzac biscuit debriefing session, reading a note post consumption that they were ‘not for children’ and just about to go on stage in Melbourne. Nick admitted he was the most affected by it and having seen some of the footage of that night, there were a few diversionary bass lines.
Middle kids came on for Playing with fire and to the island. I really enjoyed their sound as the opener. Neil commented that they all sang which was unusual for a band. An allusion was made to Mitchell Froom (not a singer!) and pseudomiffed he got up from his keyboard and went to walk off. Mitchell is a very understated man but I really enjoyed his faithful renderings of many of the songs.
There was a three song interlude with Elroy at the front on snare drum, in which Too good for this world was aired - it sounded great and was well received by the audience. Four seasons was featured (I want to hear you in 15 part harmony….well maybe 3) and sister madly with a few riffs on Nick’s kilt and on restless punters returning from the bar (got a beer but it took too long).
Whatever you want was the other album track featured. I must admit I’m in the start of something camp - loved to have heard that one get an airing.
Private universe was beautiful (maybe less wild and reckless than I’ve heard it before). When you come was probably the most intense and liberated rendition I’ve heard and locked out was in that vein as well. By don’t dream it’s over the crowd was in full voice and weather with you morphed into Once in a lifetime (Neil attempting a few David Byrne moves).
The encore included It’s only natural, something so strong, into temptation and better be home soon. Neil got the crowd into a domino wave and after a false start, I think we did pretty well. An audience member called out for real life woman -Neil misheard and sang a few bars of Natural woman, but ended up singing acapella real life woman for a bit, acknowledging his key choice may have precluded band members joining in. The crowd were in full love mode by the end, phone lights and all. House lights came on pretty quickly after then (too quickly for me).
The sound was great and Neil’s voice was very full and expressive with great intent. I noticed his weed tinged vocals (from Melbourne) are unsurprisingly more dreamy and loose. I was glad I was at this performance. I didn’t see most of the songs as reproductions of the recordings - there was attention to the original instrumental parts but plenty of scope for stretching and improvisation. And most of all the band responded in the moment to the audience which is really what live performance is all about.