Last Saturday saw the return of Beer InCider for a 6th round.
Designed to showcase the best in Aussie music and local brews, it is definitely the kind of scene I can get around.
After a week of live gigs, and running short on clean clothes, I threw on a rather uncool button up shirt my Mum gave me for Christmas and made my way down to the RNA Showgrounds.
It was still early when LOSER took the stage, gates had just opened and I had only had time to sneak a single beer. So, I can forgive the crowd for being a little quiet. Thankfully, LOSER were not quiet.
Openly channelling 90s vibes, LOSER, boasts talent from The Smith Street Band and The Bennies, all coming together to help bring back pop-grunge.
A new album was announced and quite a few new songs were showcased. Keep your ears out for ‘Don’t Leave Me’ and ‘Lazy’.
There were a few moments where front man Tim went a little ham on the forced feedback, which I found distracting, and totally messed with my crippling tinnitus.
Self-titled single ‘Loser’ was a real highlight, sounding excellent live and having that extra loud factor you don’t get in the recording.
LOSER should include ‘supergroup’ in all advertising from here on out.
If you keen to check out LOSER, they have a new film clip out for their latest song, and coincidentally the last of their set, ‘Vacation’.
Alex the Astronaut
After a break to grab a cheeky waffle and some more beer, it was time for a more relaxed set. The crowd size was going up, as was the classic Queensland ‘moderate’ temperature.
Alex the Astronaut is a little more low key. It was just her and a couple of guitars, acoustic only for the majority of the set.
She opened up with ‘Waste of Time’, a single written about her girlfriend, who according to Alex, wasn’t too happy about the title initially. I can’t say I really blame her.
We heard her other notable singles ‘Already Home’ and ‘Rockstar City’, with Alex sharing anecdotes about how both songs came to exist.
Alex spoke about her new album, which she has been working on with Sam Cromack, Brisbane music legend and member of Ball Park Music.
Alex has been compared to the likes of Courtney Barnett, which I can confirm is a fair comparison. Her lyrics are top notch, but like early Barnett, her music as a whole is quite basic, lacking the kind of chord progression I have come to expect.
This became quite apparent when Alex transitioned directly from ‘I Think You’re Great’ to ‘I Believe In Music’, explaining she was doing it that way because, “they both have the same chords”.
Alex finished it all up with ‘Not Worth Hiding’, a song about her experiences with her sexuality, and ‘Happy Song’, for a cheerful close to the set with some crowd singalongs.
Now it’s 3pm, the sun has officially reached ‘scorching’ and everyone here has been sinking tinnies for a good couple of hours.
West Thebarton is taking the stage. You can already feel the energy in the crowd, pent up and ready to go. ‘Do You Believe’ is on first and the crowd is starting to move, but this is just a warm up.
‘Stuck On You’ is where all hell breaks loose.
Suddenly, there is a circle pit, BeerInCider branded cups are soaring through the air and the “No Moshing” sign hanging on the side of the stage is now a literal joke.
The pit continues through ‘Basic’ and ‘Bible Camp’. Band members are now climbing on top of speaker stacks and I’ve had at least 2 full beers spilt over my head.
Then as quickly as the pit started, it stops.
Seems management has finally caught on that these shenanigans aren’t going to stop on their own. Security has been sent down to stand in the centre of the mosh. A message has been sent. Respect the signs.
It is still a sweaty mess, but the crowd cools down for the next couple of songs. ‘Ivan’ sees it start to simmer up again. We are at the last song of the set, and security has started to pre-emptively back out.
‘Moving Out’ is just mental.
The circle pit is back with a vengeance and the band is going nuts. The pit is spreading out for one final rush, when Ray, the lead vocalist from the band, jumps down off the stage. Trailing a good 30 metres of microphone cable behind him, he makes his way into the middle of the crowd. It takes a solid minute for him to calm the crowd enough to get everyone down on one knee.
He screams the final verse into the mic as the crowd erupts around him. Ray is swept around in a sea of bodies as security tug on the mic cable, trying to reel him back in. He makes it back as the song and the set ends.
I walk out of the middle of the crowd; my shirt is now soaking with sweat and beer. It will never be the same again. Sorry Mum.
I barely even had a chance to catch my breath and skull water before it was time for some more punk goodness.
WAAX is up to keeps things loud and wild.
The crowd just keeps on growing, but, things have calmed down a little. There is still some fierce moshing, but no circle pit thankfully. Most of us have already spent that excess energy.
The band, however, are on fresh legs.
Vocalist and frontwoman Marie is electric throughout the entire set. Her energy alone is enough to recommend catching WAAX live. Between roaring and snarling her way through all the best tracks off the EP, Marie was spraying water across the crowd and blazing around the stage.
We also found out who is producing the next WAAX album. Bernard ‘Can We Just Have a Powderfinger Reunion Tour Already’ Fanning. If you that doesn’t excite you for the new album, you are a lost cause.
New album means new tracks, so, along with fresh single ‘FU’, the band also spun newie ‘I Am’.
It all ended with Hottest 100 feature and all round killer track, ‘Labrador’. And to confirm the song is named after the suburb on the Gold Coast, not the animal. The band wanted to clear that up.
Expect the new WAAX album mid this year. All predictions point to a June release.
For me, it’s time for a sit down, all the water I can find and a dagwood dog.
Something For Kate
Content after a beer, a ‘loaded’ dagwood and a stretch of the legs, it was time for the odd band out on this list.
First off, does Something For Kate still have it? Totally, fans will find heaps to enjoy in their live shows.
Do they offer much for contemporary audiences? Not really. This tour isn’t for winning over new fans, it is for re-connecting with long-time fans.
The set list is essentially a best of, with all fans could really ask for; ‘Monsters’, Miracle Cure’ and ‘Captain’ all made an appearance.
Paul is still a master on the vocals, and I honestly thought it was Stephanie singing on their cover of ‘Sweet Nothing’ for a good moment. No, Paul was singing at a higher pitch for this live rendition of their now legendary Live A Version.
They closed it all out with ‘Déjà Vu’.
I cannot question the logic of including Kate on the lineup. I saw plenty of older patrons who certainly made their way down to enjoy the classic sounds of Kate.
Who knows, maybe this tour will see Paul taking a break from his solo work and a return to Something For Kate. I am certainly curious as to where new Kate would sit in the modern Australian music landscape.
I spoke to a few people over the course of the day, and the big pull for the majority was a chance to catch DMA'S live.
I have been lucky enough to see them a couple times already, so, I was happy to let people know they were in good hands.
They may be a trio, but for the live show, DMA'S bring the big sound and energy by adding an additional three members.
We got to hear plenty of both For Now and Hills End, getting the best of both albums. For Now is certainly boosted by a strong performance in last year's Hottest 100, with personal faves 'In The Air' and 'Time & Money' in the mix.
The Cher cover 'Believe' looks to be done for, not appearing in this set. And while I love DMA'S version, it is time to let it go. I wouldn't say no to a new Cher cover though, just sayin'. Cough 'The Shoop Shoop Song' cough.
Real early DMA'S wasn't neglected, with 'Delete' late in the set and 'Lay Down' being the final song for the night.
I can't think of many songs I would prefer to be stuck in my head for my trip home.
We already have save the dates appearing online for the next Beer InCider in September, so, keep an eye out for line up announcements and we will probably see you there.