ReviewedThursday September 12

Perhaps there’s something wrong with the Metro. Maybe the stairs at the entry tire out the crowd before the night has even begun. Maybe it’s the multi-tiered layout of the main theatre. Maybe the Metro itself isn’t to blame for the stoic attitude of tonight’s crowd at all.

Perhaps it was the opening act, Gang of Youths. The Sydney five-piece got straight into the music upon taking stage. Possessing a powerful sound, Gang of Youths played a lively set, swapping instruments and dancing about the stage in a band-only mosh. The one thing they didn’t do was talk to the crowd; it was simply song after song and once they were finished they couldn’t get offstage fast enough. Despite a solid opening performance, the crowd itself had barely moved a muscle the entire time.

Surely the second act, the go-for-broke, slacker punk band Palms, would wake the crowd up and get them moving. Like Gang of Youths, they performed a great set; their sound, exciting and loud and energetic. Palms, however, were far more interactive, talking to the crowd after every song and doing their best to get them involved. And even though they played crowd favourites ‘Love’ and ‘Summer Is Done With Us’, the majority of the crowd stood completely still. Even the people on the top platform in the back of the theatre were commenting on the zombie-like stasis downstairs. Taking a well-deserved bow, Palms left the stage and the audience stayed in their designated positions waiting for Cloud Control.

Coming out to enormous applause, the band immediately launched into ‘Dojo Rising’ and ‘This Is What I Said’. The crowd slowly began to realise they were at a music gig and started to regain movement of their arms and legs, beginning to jump around the place.

Cloud Control played one of the tightest, best-sounding performances I’ve heard in a long time. It’s clear the band wasn’t just twiddling their thumbs during their time spent in Europe. Their setlist was an even mix of songs from Dream Cave and Bliss Release, and the audience lapped it up, with some crowd-surfing even breaking out during ‘Gold Canary’. Still, regardless of how amazing the band’s performance was, the crowd would drift back into its slumber anytime there was a moment of silence. Disappointing, considering the audience’s lack of enthusiasm was the greatest detractor to what was one of the best live sets of 2013.

Daniel Prior

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