Reviewed by Meghan Player
Towards the end of 2012, 90s rock heavyweights Grinspoon released possibly their most diverse, melodic and accessible album to date with Black Rabbits. With mixed reviews from fans and reviewers alike, the band have embarked on touring Australian venues once more in support of its release.
Arriving to the sold-out show at the Metro Theatre, I’m immediately hit by the nostalgia of being here to see the band. It was here that I saw them for the first time – playing their first shows in support of their then, unreleased album ‘Alibis & Other Lies‘. Six years and 15 gigs later, I was interested to see if the Lismore lads could once again deliver the goods.
Opening act Kingswood immediately grab my attention. Their bellowing wall of blues/rock sound is an incredible feast to the ears, and does more than enough to keep the growing crowd interested. ‘She’s My Baby’, ‘Medusa‘ and a glorious cover of First Aid Kit‘s ‘Wolf’ make the set list tonight, offering the crowd a mere taste of the potential the young Melbourne quartet has to offer.
However, tonight was certainly reserved for Grinspoon.
As the lights dim and the standard chanting of ‘Grinspooooooooonnnn!’ turns into a deafening roar – you can already anticipate tonight is going to be a big one.
Kicking off with ‘Black Friday’ was always going to be the best way to start the evening, as the crowd commence throwing themselves into a frenzy of moshing, dancing and fists raised in the air.
For a band with such a varied collection of albums, the set list accommodates both the new and old fans perfectly. ‘Hard Act To Follow’, ‘Gone Tomorrow’, ‘Passerby’, ‘Champion‘ and ‘Freezer‘ make the list tonight – touching on the versatile and incredible career the band have built up since 1995.
The band itself are at the top of their game too – with drummer Kristian Hopes, bassist Joe Hansen, guitarist Pat Davern and vocalist Phil Jamieson still managing to punch out one of the best and most entertaining live sets a band can offer. Undoubtedly, tonight is a true testament to the talent Australian bands have to offer. The timeless quality of Grinspoon has the potential to power on for the next 20 years, introducing a new generation of fans to some of the finest music our country has to offer.
Welcome back Grinners – we’ve certainly missed you.