Gig Reviews

Jagwar Ma – Metro Theatre, Sydney 17/01/14

For a band with only one album to their name, Jagwar Ma are loaded with good tunes. It’s an opinion backed by former Oasis frontman, Noel Gallagher, who said last year that Howlin, the debut album from the Australian duo, could defeat the imperial forces. For the duration of their set, the entire room pulsed with energy, fed by the electro-rock of their first LP.

Jagwar Ma have taken to much larger stages than the Metro. The duo found themselves on a myriad of festival lineups last year culminating in a mighty appearance at Glastonbury. And they’re set to take to yet another hallowed stage when they play Coachella in April. The Metro may be a downgrade in size but it’s one that suits the sound. The dimly lit, black aesthetic perfectly compliments the ‘Berlin vibes’ that permeate the set.

From a brand of Tame Impala psychedelia to Berlin-inspired house, Howlin was a melting pot of sound. For the live show, though, they opt for a warm, big-room electronic sound which made for a sweaty, hour-long dance-off.

It’s a move that ensures not one dull moment as the swirling rhythms of Uncertainty prove to be just as thrilling as the pulsating, four-to-the-floor beats of Four. The former provides the night’s climax, creating a perfect segue from a beefed-up, ’60s pop-inspired Come Save Me.

The crowd’s excitement crescendoed throughout the night, with no opportunity for a breather. Just when it felt like a downbeat moment may be on the horizon, they threw down yet another pulsating four-to-the-floor beat and took flight once again.

Throughout the set, the boys head-thrashed, hip-thrusted and jammed out. It was a somewhat confusing combination but the mesh of main-stage rock and late-night dance made it all the more thrilling. The throbbing bass that tied the set together was just as good for a boogie as it was for a hands-in-the-air chant like “you’re not the man I need”.

The Throw was always going to be a crowd-pleaser, and a sure bet as a closer. Jagwar Ma threw their hands up at numerous times commanding an already excitable crowd. The Motown groove of That Loneliness provided a necessary encore, ensuring no punter left without a dance.

As the stage lights came on, it was clear all were leaving with sweat dripping from the brow – a sign of a job well done. 2014 looks to be yet another year of world domination for Jagwar Ma.

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