There’s nothing quite like a hometown show. Couple this with the first show of a triumphant lap around the country… in support of a critically acclaimed second album… and you’ve got a recipe for a special night. Ceres were playing to a sold-out Northcote Social Club in support of their recently released second album Drag It Down On You, and by the number of diehard fans in the crowd, it was evident just how far the band has come in a short few years.
Openers Crusch played to a decently full room, and were clearly grateful for the opportunity. Their stage presence belied the relative briefness of their discography, and whilst it was a short set, it was hard not to draw parallels to the main act (especially considering Crusch are part of Hobbledehoy Records, the label Ceres were part of when they first started out).
Main support Apes proved an apt choice for the night. Having spoken to a couple of people before the gig, both were excited to see Apes. This meant my expectations for them were high, but Apes delivered. Hailing from Ballarat, the band had more than just a few fans in the crowd, and by the end of their set everyone was fixated on the stage. It was a perfect warm-up for Ceres, especially considering the love that is clearly present between the two bands.
There aren’t many better feelings than being part of a sold-out crowd. Ceres frontman Tom Lanyon was clearly overjoyed and it was easy to see why. Every fan in the room has a different song that, for them, represents the Ceres experience (mine is I Feel Fine, I Feel Sick, which got one of the biggest responses of the night). This was evident throughout the set, with every song starting with a yell of delight from a different corner of the room. Limbs flailed from both band and crowd, and the band seemed genuinely stoked to have such a big turnout.
Crowd favourites Choke, 91’ Your House and Laundry Echo from Drag It Down On You peppered the set, to a crowd that was exuding love, screaming along to every soul-baring lyric as sweat poured from the 4 band members’ faces. Ceres have a deft ability to shift between raucous and down-tempo, and this was on full display. Whilst the main set-closer Baby’s Breath was obvious, being the last track of Drag, it is also arguably its most emotional moment, with the lyrics hanging in the air as the band walked off to rapturous applause.
The highlight of the night came in the encore, with Jam Song, the opening track from I Don’t Want to Be Anywhere But Here being played to arguably the loudest sing-a-long of the gig. Ceres once again walked off, this time to a satisfied crowd, knowing they’ve just seen something they’ll remember for a long time. It was time for the crowd to shuffle off, and there were beaming faces all round, the love still hanging in the air.