The Loft | 15 February
It was another sweltering night at The Loft as the venue began to fill for the launch of Paging Jimi EP, Antitrust. This Gold Coast supergroup comprised of members from local bands like Dogtags, The Midnight Antics and Stellar Green consists of Scott Teelow (vocals), Nate Mils (guitar), Grant Butler (drums), Dan Aurora (bass) and Jarryd O’Brien (guitar). These guys rock, not just because that’s the style of music they play, but also because their energy and sound will literally rock your socks off.
The night kicked off with three opening acts: Josh Caldwell, Sarah Sha (feat. Wolfboy) and Dave Aurora. I want to start off by saying that I have found there are generally two archetypes when it comes to gigs and their support acts. The first is where the support acts are in a similar vein, and just as amazing, as the headliners. The second is where the opening acts are completely different and not as enjoyable as the headliners. While the band wins in either instance, unfortunately the audience doesn’t in the latter scenario. The Antitrust EP launch was, for me at least, the latter.
Josh Caldwell was enjoyable; but his soft voice and relaxed style didn’t really match the energetic expectations I had for the night. He ended his set with a surprising cover of what can only be termed a Christian-rock song and exited the stage to make way for the next act, Sarah Sha. I have seen Sarah perform a few times now and find her gentle and quiet performance nice, but it was definitely out of place in this lineup. A point of detraction was that, while she had timed her songs well, she hadn’t allowed for generous speaking time in between songs and ran over her set by more than a few minutes.
Dave Aurora was the third musician to step into the spotlight wielding an acoustic guitar. As with all of the other supports he had a palatable voice and skill set, however the songs blended into one another in a way that made each song indistinguishable as an individual. Unfortunately the opening acts were rather quiet as a whole and I was excited to see Paging Jimi take to the stage.
The lads were in fine form as they launched into their set. Scott’s gravelly vocals punch through the dueling guitars of Jarryd and Nate and create a sound that makes it impossible to sit still. A perfect example of this is their song How To, where the influences of old school bands like Silverchair and Pearl Jam can be felt. Dan’s steady bass pulses through songs like Reaction, and Grant’s drumming adds the extra kick, that melds with Scott and Jarryd’s vocals to create an EP full of rock anthems. As the smoke snaked around the guys and the music resonated through the room the set came to a close. To mass chanting from the audience they launched into the title track, Antitrust, as an encore.
A friend and I wandered over to grab a copy of the EP and were treated to a show-bag of goodies like stickers, posters and guitar picks. These guys are not only great musicians, but also generous ones, and if you don’t jump onto iTunes and grab a copy of their EP you’re doing yourself a disservice.