When Ball Park Music announced the string of shows that kicked off in Sydney tonight at the Oxford Art Factory, they intentionally stayed away from making a public announcement. The aim was to only have the closest and most loyal fans, in some of the smallest and most intimate settings that the band have played in quite some time – and they did it with proficiency last night.
The unmatched intimacy saw a set where almost every song was sung by the entire audience. It was a sight unmatched in terms of affection and intimacy in the relationship between band and crowd, and was evident right from the first track, IFLY. Sam Cromack then announced that they’d be playing a brand new, unheard song from the forthcoming album – and we were given Fearless, an effort that fitted in perfectly with a darker, emotive sound that the first two tracks released have had. It was also easily the heaviest we’ve heard BPM, with grungy sounding guitars taking hold.
The set rose and fell, as a good performance should – and Everything Is Shit Except My Friendship With You once again had the crowd belting out lyrics like they were second nature. Following that boisterous, anthemic effort, they took things down a notch and had the crowd swaying back and forth for Coming Down. Throughout the gig thus far, BPM showed an even further polish to their playing and an almost telepathic level of connection, as various band members burst into solo without notice and the rest followed without blinking.
The night undoubtedly climaxed with crowd favourite She Only Loves Me When I’m There, and that’s saying something given pretty much every song was sung word for word. It was both the peak of the energy of the audience and the band appreciated it – matching the intensity note for note.
Fence Sitter followed, during which they cut to silence, before extending the back end of the track into a slow jam that sped up over a period of minutes until the chorus was once again breached. It was an incredible take on the track and took the night to an even higher place, after most punters had thought that it had peaked.
The last song before the encore was their new, seven minute epic Pariah, which was prefaced by Cromack thanking his supports before saying, “we’re the fucking headline act and we fucking suck motherfuckers”. Pariah was an incredible accomplishment as a recording, let along as a live performance. Few bands will attempt, let alone pull off a song that is written with a sectional speeding up and slowing down, yet BPM pulled it off during the incredible instrumental section of the track.
The encore started unexpectedly, with Cromack and bassist/vocalist Jennifer Boyce coming back out and singing a cover of Elvis Presley’s iconic love song Can’t Help Falling In Love. It brought the crowd to a standstill, before the rest of the band joined them and jolted us out of our splendour, ending one of the most intimate gigs BPM will ever play with Cocaine Lion.
Ball Park Music continue their string of sold out shows in Melbourne tonight, Saturday 7th May. See the dates below.
Listen: Ball Park Music – Pariah
Ball Park Music 2016 Fan Shows
Saturday 7th May – SOLD OUT
Friday 13th May – SOLD OUT
The Zoo, Brisbane