The night started off with a big bang, and no it wasn’t lightning hitting the top of the Q1 again, it was the thunderous grooves of Stoker, a Brisbane/Byron Bay-based experimental rock and roll trio whose music (and fashion sense) is obviously influenced by psychedelic rock and roll of the 70’s… think Led Zeppelin, Neil Young and Jimi Hendrix. The boys opened the night with their blues-inspired song ‘Tobacco Road’ and continued to exploit their musical talents with songs that showcased some epic drums, explosive guitar solos and high energy grunge vocals and rhythms. Stoker finished their set off strongly with the first song they ever wrote ‘Slow Jam’ a song that I was personally stoked about being neither slow nor about jam.
Next taking the stage by storm, was the band Jollee, lead by the super sassy, yet super classy Brooke Mowett, whose vocals and attitude could best be described as a cross between Ella Hooper and Patti Smith. Aside from their very catchy lyrics like “I gave my heart to a gypsy man,” the muddy blues bass lines, pure rock and roll, and witty in-between-song banter, ensured the audience was tapping their feet away on the makeshift mosh-pit and succumbing to the band’s requests of audience participation. Ending with a yet to be named song that had only ever been performed live once before, Jollee provided the perfect build-up of anticipation for the audience who were patiently awaiting the moment they would get to spot the frosted hair and chiselled cheekbones and jawline that Art Alexakis is known for.
Opening with their hit song ‘So Much for the Afterglow’, Everclear rocked out hit after hit, taking this 90’s fangirl on a nostalgic trip down memory lane, back to the days of listening to the radio for hours at a time just to record a few of my favourite songs and make an awesome mixed tape worthy of any Valentine’s Day crush. After belting out some fan favourites like ‘Heroin Girl’, ‘Father of Mine’, ‘Normal Like You’ and ‘Amphetamine’, the rest of the band members took a well-deserved break, allowing Art to make the audience sing along to his acoustic rendition of ‘Strawberry’. After a not-so-seamless switch of guitars, and once Dave French, Freddy Herrera and Brian Nolan returned to the stage, Everclear continued to belt out even more hit songs until eventually, they said their initial goodbyes, only to return for an encore of a few more songs. The highlight of the concert for me was dancing away at the end of the night to arguably their most popular song, ‘Santa Monica’, even if I did end up saturated in beer from a very enthusiastic audience member that suddenly gained a burst of rowdiness for the very last song.
Images (C) Brendan Shanahan Photography