By Chelsea Deeley and Sally McMullen
For the most avid gig lover, their bank account probably needs constant reassurances and TLC given their penchant for spending its contents on various local and visiting artists.
It’s a saviour to these music lovers that the good folk at GiggedIn are revolutionising the way we consume live music. As part of their new GiggedIn Infinite plan, for a monthly fee, you can attend as many of the gigs they have to offer and pretty much go wild.
And go wild we did.
In what could be only be described as a lifelong dream come true, we rubbed our hands together and began to test out this unbelievable concept. We kept our eyes focused on picking a mixture of up and coming and established artists to RSVP to.
Thus the immediate snag to this too-good-to-be-true system hit us squarely between the eyes. Upon selecting a GoodGod appearance by DJ Motama to attend, an album launch at Brighton Up Bar by incredibly talented Perth MC Mathas popped up the next day. Naturally excited to see both, I attempted to RSVP to this show, only to realise that you can only respond to one event at a time.
Initial thought was one of understanding. It was obviously some attempt to prevent users from abusing the system, to avoid tickets being snapped up by those who had no solid intentions of attending. Yet later we learned that there was already a penalty in place for this, with a 48-hour account lockout in place if you failed to turn up to your chosen event.
Over-compensating? It certainly seems so. But aside from this, each gig we attended was an absolute banger of a night. We strolled in, names on the list, feeling incredibly important and each act, from Bully to Neon Indian, Endless Heights to Young Fathers, was well worth the hype.
It’s hard to see how a system such as this could be appealing to the majority who only really go to gigs to see their favourite chart-topping act. But with the hope that a few more venues will be added to the GiggedIn experience, true music lovers everywhere will be surely have so much to gain from their subscription.
FRIDAY 4 DECEMBER – BRIGHTON UP BAR, DARLINGHURST
One could argue that the most illuminating part of the night was ascending into Brighton Up Bar and spotting our headliner perched upon a bar stool cheering at the supporting sets from Billie Rose, Riger Rokwell & Rapaport. “If you don’t know where you are, this is actually my album launch,” Mathas later informs us, before launching into Part of the Home. There are props, there are skits, it’s quite literally a theatrical performance sound tracked by one of the most exciting Australian releases this year, Armwrestling Atlas.
Spitting every single rhyme within tracks Enforce Less and Nourishment, he also gives a rousing rendition of Interplanetary Relations. I’ll say it once, I’ll say it again: seriously underrated.
WEDNESDAY 9 DECEMBER – OXFORD ART FACTORY, DARLINGHURST
After three-months on the road, the Oxford Art Factory welcomed Nashville’s Bully on the last leg of their tour. First up were the Brit-pop sounding and comically mundane musings of Sydney’s Flower Truck followed by the acoustic surf-style guitar riffs of Melbourne’s The Rolling Blackouts. Last but not least, the punk quartet took the stage.
Hidden by a curtain of platinum blonde hair and swimming in an oversized tshirt, frontwoman Alicia Bognanno’s vocals fluctuated between a nasally high pitched croon to a wretched scream with apparent ease. Smashing through tracks such as I Remember, Six and Milkman, Bully delivered the unapologetic punk rock that the otherwise dull Wednesday evening begged for.
THURSDAY 10 DECEMBER – GOOD GOD SMALL CLUB, CHINATOWN
As the overbearing reality that we could be seeing the end of Good God as we know it sets in, Canowindra-raised electro-folker and Triple J darling Gordi, shares our sentiments. Following esoteric, brass-featuring production from support Anatole, she ascends to strum and jig through a 7-track set, including shimmering Taken Blame, Nothing’s As It Seems & Can We Work it Out.
Her down-to-earth appeal ripples across the room perfectly, mocking the ideas of encores as well as retelling a recent heckling incident between her brother and an intoxicated male on the street. Aside from the excessive microphone feedback that pierces our ears too often, tonight couldn’t have helped wave goodbye to the Danceteria any better.
THURSDAY 10 DECEMBER – OXFORD ART FACTORY, DARLINGHURST
The Oxford Art Factory saw Brisbane-based five-piece WAAX make a pit stop in Sydney for their Holy Sick tour. The evening kicked off with the grimey pop jams of Sydney trio Royal Chant and Service Bells’ unpolished garage rock, but it was WAAX’s angsty and unabashed punk rock that predictably stole the show. Tearing through tracks such as Holy Sick and CC Thugs, lead singer Marie DeVita morphed from unnerving reverence to manic expressions and disorderly dance moves throughout the set.
Finishing with new track I For An Eye, DeVita lunging into the crowd, shaking her green and black streaked mop while spitting lyrics into the faces of unsuspecting audience members was the cherry on top of a hypnotising set.
TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER – OXFORD ART FACTORY, DARLINGHURST
It’s been three years since Neon Indian’s retro electro stylings graced our shores, but their recent stint at the Oxford Art Factory was well worth the wait. Prior to this heartfelt reunion, Wishes’ ethereal indie electro combo and KLP’s energetic bubblegum pop warmed up the Tuesday night. Sprinkled with old and new bangers and a whole lotta fancy dance moves, Neon Indian smashed out a set of stellar 80s-centric indie pop. Fresh tracks from 2015 album Vega Intl., the revival of oldies like Terminally Chill and the promise that Neon Indian would be back in Oz sooner rather than later had Sydney punters pulling out some of their dorkiest moves in celebration.
FRIDAY 18 DECEMBER – BRIGHTON UP BAR, DARLINGHURST
Despite the seemingly messy changeovers, the relentless out-of-place hip hop that blasts during intermissions and a lacklustre performance from Little Horn, tonight warms up slowly but surely. Newcastle 5-piece Downside wrench our guts out with jolts of energy, shredding through tracks with the lead singer proclaiming “we have a code red at the stage front: my bourbons ran out.”
Thus Endless Heights ascend to the barely-raised stage. Looking like a demon possessed by overwhelming rage, lead singer Joel Martorana lurches into the crowd, clinging and spitting through tracks from their latest release Teach You How To Leave. Absolute power, and a sign of a successful new year on the horizon for these Sydney lads.
TUESDAY 29 DECEMBER – BRIGHTON UP BAR, DARLINGHURST
If the Sydney duo hadn’t told us themselves, you probably wouldn’t have believed that BRNCHS’ gig at Brighton Up Bar was their debut. Kicking off with the eclectic and catchy indie pop of Matrick Jones and the soulful vocals and shredding guitar riffs of Mabels, BRNCHS were set to play to a full house.
Powering through a mixed bag of synth-heavy originals, remixes and a killer cover of Mario’s early millennial hit Let Me Love You with an electro-pop twist, BRNCHS’ set (almost) went off without a hitch. Despite their light show kicking the bucket half way through the set, the popping of BRNCHS’ live show cherry was the start of something special.
TUESDAY 5 JANUARY – OXFORD ART FACTORY, DARLINGHURST
It’s a Tuesday night and Melbourne madwoman Ecca Vandal bounces and bops through her abrasive electro-rock sounds, part-yelling, part-rapping, part-sultry singing. It’s definitely a fitting opener.
Sauntering onto the stage Young Fathers open with track No Way taken from their 2014 Mercury Prize winning record Dead. The soaring vocal flourishes and occasional rapping piercing through the dark thud of each bombastic beat and the crowd is in rapture despite the bands sullen, menacing expressions. Explosive dancing appears through tracks Get Up and Low, with particular intensity in tracks Dare Me, Rain or Shine and Shame taken from their latest release White Men Are Black Men Too. If you are not familiar with this trio, your immediate attention is required.
All pics courtesy of Chelsea Deeley and Sally McMullen.