Reviewed on Saturday May 31
After a month-long tour in support of their excellent new album, Black Rat, DZ Deathrays cruised into town with Palms and FOAM in tow and partying on their minds. Fans at the Oxford Art Factory were expecting a wild night, and all three bands definitely did not disappoint.
First on the bill were FOAM, and the three young gents from Perth are certainly ones to watch out for in the near future, their grunge rock grabbing the attention of a steadily growing audience and making heads nod all over the room. They were followed by Palms, whose frontman Al Grigg was in a playful mood from the very start, introducing the band as “Miley Cyrus” before ripping through a high-energy set that culminated in the raucous sing-along of ‘Love’.
But the night belonged to DZ Deathrays as the thrash-pop duo renowned for their house party roots celebrated the conclusion of their national tour in fine fashion. Kicking things off with a couple of older tracks in ‘No Sleep’ and ‘Cops Capacity’, the Brisbane boys mere presence onstage signalled the start of a procession of stage invaders and crowd surfers that would only grow as the night went on.
Despite the loose atmosphere, it’s the tightness of their playing that makes DZ Deathrays one of the best live bands in the country; Simon Ridley’s powerful drumming the perfect counterpoint to Shane Parsons’ guitar thrashing and throat-wrenching vocals. Their set struck a balance between their two albums, with new songs ‘Gina Works At Hearts’ and ‘Northern Lights’ garnering as much frenzied excitement as older hits such as ‘Dollar Chills’.
The highlight of the night however was the encore, as the stage descended into anarchy with intrusions from members of Palms, FOAM and countless other friends of the band. The mayhem culminated in a cover of The Beastie Boys’ ‘Fight For Your Right’ with at least a dozen shirtless people onstage relegating DZ Deathrays to backing musicians on their own bill. It was more of a wild party than a concert, a perfectly fitting end to a tour for the best house party band going ’round.