Reviewed on Friday August 8

If a tree falls in the forest and no-one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound? Clowns answered this adage, proverbial chainsaws roaring in front of what was essentially the bar staff and the sound guy. They tackled the challenge of the support slot head on – quite literally, mind, as the band’s fearless frontman Stevie threw himself across the empty dancefloor with reckless abandon. Don’t sleep the next time this lot are in town.

 

As soon as Blueline Medic began firing off favourites such as ‘Over The Lawn’ and ‘Cathedral’, their absence from Sydney stages was instantly forgiven, leaving the devotees up front reciting lyrics with fists clenched and mile-wide grins. A cheap rush of nostalgia? Maybe. Still, just try denying the chorus of the anthemic ‘Making The Nouveau Riche’ when it hits. Few moments on the night even came close to how special that felt.

 

Samiam started early and finished late. In doing so, they took ‘stretching the friendship’ into practically unforgivable territory. The boozy American imports were initially fun, and their grizzled take on pop-punk definitely had its fans. There came a time, however, where the orchestra had to start playing over the damn Oscars speech – even when two of the band members had started packing up, they played two additional songs apropos of nothing. At one point, a punter attempted a stage dive but ended up toppling over due to the sparse crowd. This perhaps summed up Samiam better than words ever could.

 

An 11pm start time meant Bodyjar had plenty of time to get acquainted with their rider, lending a loose, relaxed vibe to the set. The band performed its 1996 LP Rimshot! in full, and was worth revisiting – from the punchy ‘Don’t Tell Me’ to left-of-centre Police cover ‘Next To You’, it stands as one of the quartet’s finest moments. After wrapping the album, there was just enough time to throw in half a dozen requests, including ‘Fairytales’ and old fave ‘Too Drunk To Drive’. It ended, though, as it always should – the knockout combo of ‘Not The Same’ and ‘One In A Million’ saw the entire room’s voices raised as one, slam-dancing the night away as if the wallet chain never went out of fashion. A mixed but overall greatly enjoyable evening for those old enough to know better but, for one night only, simply didn’t care.

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