Words by Tracey Moyle – Music Maven Events
Thursday night on the Gold Coast and hidden away in the basement level of Jupiters Casino we find ourselves in a theatre. Red velour seats dominate the space and it’s a place not immediately familiar as a rock venue. But tonight that’s exactly what it will become. A giant pink heart was greeting the crowd eager for tonight’s Grinspoon’s Chemical Hearts 2019 show.
Grinspoon will take the well worn stage later in the night and fans are milling about, easily standing out from the regular card playing, pokie machine pulling patrons. Well worn band shirts, sneakers and jeans replace the varying levels of fashionable attire usually weaving its way through the bars and gambling rooms.
A reasonable crowd has arrived early to see the opening act Bugs. The Indie rock trio from Brisbane bring their chilled funky vibes to the stage and have brought their own group of fans into the venue. Not particularly new to the scene they are totally relaxed on stage and bring their fun light-hearted attitude to life with their sweet indie pop rock sound. Giving us catchy tunes from Instant Coffee to Seriously, they have a relatable story telling aspect to the music and drew the steadily growing crowd up front rather than finding their seats. A great start to a high energy night.
The fun was only just beginning and a cheer of enthusiastic anticipation rang out when The Gooch Palms appeared on stage. Hailing from Newcastle, as they reminded us many times throughout the set, this popular duo brought their garage punk energy to the crowd from the start. Tartan was on the memo for dress code with a casual punk style not only painting an image of their attire but musically as well.
Their ‘no holds barred’ attitude had a brilliantly big sound for a two-piece. Drummer Kat Friend, standing up front with lead Leroy Macqueen, belting out the songs with simplistically raw beats, had a high energy effect over the dancing crowd.
Their slightly eccentric presence, lifting spirits around the room. Hunter Street Mall had everyone, if not dancing, foot tapping along. They had the crowd in a trance like rhythm at times only to break the spell hyping the room and telling everyone how they were “So fucking stoked” to be playing with Grinspoon.
With songs like Busy Bleeding having a pure punk L7 vibe they had the room jumping. Slowing it down with the crooner You from their 2013 album ‘Novo’s’ and instantly building it back up again with We Get By from the same album. They finished the set with Ask Me Why, bringing out a great party energy through crowd.
Adelaide band The Hard Aches followed, considerately paying respect to original owners of the land. Bringing a big blend of Indie, punk and alternative rock with a classic Aussie sound, starting with Loser. Their songs have a pure honesty aspect with songs like Get Outta My House telling it like it is. The brilliant Wasted had everyone up and dancing not even noticing the comfy red valour seats.
A shout out for Grinspoon and how grateful they were to be playing along side them on this tour, again showing respect to a band very much loved by fans and fellow musicians alike. They took us through the set keeping the high energy building with popular tunes including Gut Full and finishing off with a duet on Happy.
A brilliant night so far showcasing the talent we have constantly flowing through the music circuit in our great big music loving country.
A curtain appeared on stage with the giant pink Chemical Heart teasing us for what was to come. After growing anticipation seemed like it was a running current through the fans, the lights dropped and the pink heat started to beat. Music rang out all around The Entertainer, a fitting song, introducing a band known to do exactly that – entertain their fans. The curtain dropped, the crowd roared and although I have no doubt almost everyone were no strangers to seeing these legends live, the enthusiasm peaked like it was the first time.
Straight into things, no need for introduction they kicked off with DCx3 taking us right back, playing to the crowd, getting everyone singing, jumping and smiling from kick off. No break and straight into Lost Control and again flowing straight into Sickfest, they were down to business tonight. No time for formalities just here to rock as hard and long as they could. The memories were buzzing around everyone’s heads with the short sweet frenzy of Just Ace obviously having a lot of happy memories with so many smiles on faces around the hyped up room.
The frenzy continued with the mosh worthy Pedestrian. Phil Jamieson doing what he does best entertaining with a demanding presence like no one else. With Secrets next, the crowd gave their lungs and vocal chords a work out – “she’s the girl that you never liked anyway!”
Hard Act To Follow belted out and it’s no joke. I’d hate to be the band given the job to follow up after these guys. Taking us through a slight reprieve with No Reason and Better Off Alone they then gave us what we came for with Rock Show in song and in performance.
Just in case anyone wasn’t paying attention they ripped out Ready 1 and the floor was literally jumping reminding us why we fell in love with this band so many years ago.
They belted out hit after hit and there’s no shortage of them with Better Off Dead and Overdriver next. Jamieson disappeared briefly only to showed up in the middle of the room with a ray of light from the rock heavens above, shining on his devilishly angelic form flowing into Sweet As Sugar bringing out that heavyweight sound with guitarist Pat Davern showing us why they are continuously one of our greatest live rock acts.
Bad Funk Stripe took us into a cool and bluesy mood. Davern’s guitar, hypnoticallyechoing out across the room with very cool, very chilled, gorgeous riffs, making this song such a stand out.
The party continued with Black Friday and the angsty heaviness of Post Enebriated Anxiety with Jamieson’s expression having you feel the anxiety in the lyrics. There were no bums on red valour seats. The whole room was on their feet as you would well and truly expect.
1000 Miles saw an over eager fan jump on the stage. She may have been dragged off by several security guys but she went off singing right to the end. “Go Go Go!”
There was no stopping tonight and a brilliant cover of INXS’s Don’t Change hit a popular spot. Party vibes were high. Don’t change a thing Grinspoon, we love you!
Off for a quick refreshment then back for the obligatory encore.
Giving us just what we wanted, Chemical Heart had every voice in the room on full volume. Champion cranked it up towards a big finish. Jamieson calling out the crowd. “It’s been a great Thursday. Follow this Michael Bublé mother fucker.” Referencing posters advertising ‘The Best Of Bublé Tribute Show’ coming to The Star. More Than You Are finished off the night with the crowd soaking up the last wave of yet another outstanding Grinspoon show.
If you love this band and you’ve never seen them live, well that’s embarrassing, you’d better solve that issue! Grinspoon and their supports play The Fortitude Music Hall in the Fortitude Valley, Brisbane Friday 8th and Saturday 9th November wrapping up another amazing tour. Tickets Here