Updated: Oct 2, 2021
Although the cooler months have passed us by, Brisbane’s Winter Sessions have been in full bloom due to some COVID-related date changes, and there’s no question that these live music events are putting a spring in our step.
Presented by QMusic and supported by the Brisbane City Council and Triple J, Brisbane Winter Sessions is a fresh annual music festival taking place in Brissie’s most iconic venues and featuring a stellar lineup of established and emerging artists. One of these captivating sessions took place at The Brightside, with headliners Last Dinosaurs and Pink Matter, supported by a treasure trove of talented local acts.
We enter the venue amongst festival-clad patrons, the anticipation for a multi-line-up day event palpable as we make our way to the indoor stage to catch alt-rock five-piece Staples amidst their set, the distinctive, dark stage lit up by the five Brissy boys.
After a brief sojourn (and drink break), Straight Girls, comprising of Rhian Cruice and her band, brought their lush, queer-pop revitalising sound to the high outdoor stage, attracting more festival-goers like moths drawn to a flame. Playing favourites ‘Casey on the Big Screen’ and ‘Good Mouth’, Straight Girls also treated us a highly-anticipated upcoming single, which has already proven to be a crowd-pleaser.
With the festival spirit in full gear, we jump back inside for Lucky Idiot, the audience beginning to firm up as the cumulative indie-rock trio of Kalem Woo (Rei So La), Maxwell Byrne (Golden Vessel) and Rei Sakakibara (Sweater Curse) deliver their cruisey, cloud-covered rhythms and stoic vocals, clearly stoked to be back amongst the land of live music.
“This is our second ever show, we’re lucky to be here.”
Before coming back indoors for Pink Matter, self-described corporate cowboys, flamingo blonde, took their places outside, enthralling beverage sipping fans with their warming guitar-pop grooves and commanding lead vocal prowess, fan favourite ‘Hotel Gloria’ lifting the energy as the sun begins its descent.
With their scintillating blend of neo-soul, jazz and dance-pop, all-female trio Pink Matter light up The Brightside indoor arena with their groove-filled, space-scape allure and irresistible stage presence. Crowd favourites ‘Giant’, ‘Wonder’ and ‘You’ll Never Know’ have everyone dancing with a floating grace, as does a slightly improvised version of Tame Impala’s ‘Lost In Yesterday’. The bittersweet introduction of ‘Quicksand’ then hints at a new evolution for the band.
“This is the last time we’re going to play this song live. We’ve been playing this song for four years and it is sad to say goodbye, however we’re excited to be moving into the next chapter of Pink Matter.”
The sun has set and the crowd are gathered, waiting in anticipation for the Last Dinosaur’s to hit the stage. Right on time, the band saunters into view as the all-too-familiar distorted opening riffs of ‘Eleven’ take flight. Clearly not messing around, the beloved indie-rock band launch into ‘Dominos’, the crowd soaking up the 2018 single, face masks unable to subdue a united sing-a-along. With Dan Koyama at his rightful seat on the drums, Michael Sloane stands alongside brothers Sean and Lachlan Caskey at the front of the stage, each with a guitar and microphone, making those distinctive Last Dino lead vocal switches as seamless as possible. Full of lead guitar riffs and addictively buoyant indie-pop progressions, the band bring a lifting energy, haloed by dazzling lights bouncing off sparkling electric guitars.
Hitting on all the classics, it was rare that the audience missed a word as the set moved seamlessly through hits from multiple albums, 2015’s ‘Wurl’ standing out as a rallying crowd favourite, with colourful synths vibrating at an almost tangible frequency.
With the familiar speedy pace of a set that you don’t want to end, concert closer ‘Zoom’ hits in all of its earworm-worthy glory, as feet jump, voices become hoarse and phone cameras try to capture the high-energy atmosphere, all the while, the Last Dinosaurs demonstrating their experience as a well-oiled live performance machine.
As the last note sounds and the call for an encore rings out, the band refuse to give in, perhaps taking a stand against the controversial fake encore craze. As respectable as that decision may be, we’re still owed at least 10 minutes of live Last Dino’s magic. And you can be sure that we’re coming to collect!
Check out QMusic for more Queensland events.