Updated: Apr 2, 2019
After a sold out show the night before, Last Dinosaurs followed it up on a steamy Saturday night in Queensland, and what better place for a full body sweat detox than The Zoo (aka The Sauna aka The Hot Box aka The Reason Rexona Exists).
Brisbane based act Dopamine were the first band of the evening, and the temperature was still at a normal Queensland level (humidity 120%) when they opened us up their 60s/90s mash sound. I struggle to place Dopamine into a particular genre, as their set included a range of different elements. The vocals had a late 80s, early 90s indie pop tang, the guitars at times had a 60s swing aesthetic and then the next a cutting solo. I wasn't sold at the start, but, as the set went on, the guitar solos got noticeably sexier and by the end, the band were pumping out a sound I could certainly get around.
Dopamine were a good reminder of how fun a solid guitar driven band can be, and how much I have been missing that kind of performance. Their set included the upcoming single 'From Day to Day', so, we'll be sure to keep an ear out and I look forward to seeing Dopamine's sound continue to evolve.
The bodies continued to filter in, the infamous Zoo air conditioning was starting to hit its limit and RAT!Hammock were up with a chilled beat to cool us down.'Blood to Bruise', an Australian suburban pub ballad, was a top pick for the opener, a unique single that still includes the indie DNA that is at the core of their music.
Off the same EP Pam, 'Love You Til I Die' got a spin, firmly and dramatically dedicated to Steve on sound.
The band also played their own theme song, a short 2 sec number, which may or may not appear on their set lists. A hidden track for fans to be on the lookout for.
RAT!Hammock are swimming strongly in the centre of an Australian indie sea. And new single 'Ghost' makes me think they are more than happy to drown in it, soak it all in and let it all out on stage.
A lyrically melancholy track, 'Ghost' has a grunge undercurrent, which is most prominent during the chorus, where the drums and guitar pick up. That timeless combination of sad thoughts and angry energy.
Front man Jackson added that the song is out on Spotify and Bandcamp, but he is also open to airdropping it to you. So, the option is open to hunt him down instead of paying for premium.
'Mud' was the final song of the set, worth a listen just for the verse to the chorus acoustic guitar transition.
RAT!Hammock may not yet be a standout in what is now a rather saturated indie scene, but they certainly do have some signature tracks that differentiate them from bands of a similar vain.
In addition, they have a quirky stage presence, an energy that helps make their live sets that little bit more memorable. Something that shouldn’t be overlooked. Here’s hoping the release of 'Ghost' and this tour helps them score some more recognition.
It was getting real warm now and The Zoo was at capacity. The AC had all but given up and it was time for some Last Dinosaurs. The Brisbane band is obviously doing something right, with their first show selling out fast enough to prompt them to book a second, which then sold out too.
The first track of the set, ‘Weekend’, threw it back to their 2012 debut album In A Million Years. The crowd looked a little young to recall a 7 year old song, but, I think I am just getting old and jaded (the music is obviously too loud these days).
Next up was ‘Dominos’, off the new album Yumeno Garden, which was what the majority of the crowd had come to hear. ‘Dominos’ is what I consider the middle ground between earlier Last Dinosaurs music (namely In A Million Years) and their newer Strokes inspired sound.
Front man Sean has said that seeing The Strokes perform at Splendor in the Grass a few years ago was what inspired him to begin work on Yumeno Garden, and this influence can be heard throughout the new album.
Yumeno Garden made up a significant portion of the set, with ‘Sense’ and ‘Shallow Boy’ also getting a spin. ‘Time & Place’ was also notable, as Sean dedicated the track to Nikola Tesla for a reason I wasn’t particularly clear on, even though Sean spoke at some length about the famed inventor.
‘Zoom’ was where it got roaring, and I braved my way into the middle of the mosh, a mosh that had at some point prior consumed my photographer. He had left a couple of songs in to some photos from amongst the crowd, and I didn’t see him until well after the show ended. Their breakthrough single, ‘Zoom’ was equal parts nostalgic and fun. The crowd was moving and the air was thick with sweat as we moved along to this modern gem.
The final main set song was ‘Eleven’, undoubtedly the biggest song off the new album and the biggest song of the night. ‘Eleven’ leans heavy into The Stokes signature style of garage rock. The guitar and Sean’s vocal both would sound right at home on a single from the seminal Is This It. I am a massive Strokes fan, and as such, have no issue with any band taking inspiration from what I believe is one of the best albums from the last decade.
‘Eleven’ also saw the first (and only) attempt at crowd surfing from a fan. A short lived affair, where gravity won all too quickly.
Sean had greater success when he committed to a proper stage dive, surfing his way a few rows into the mosh before making his way back to the stage. The band jumped off stage for a quick drink, fast enough to avoid too much overly forced encore clapping. Encore ‘Honolulu’ again went back to the debut album, a more relaxed track in comparison to the last couple. An opportunity for the crowd and band to chill out a little before it was all over.
Last Dinosaurs said goodnight and the crowd headed out, steam rising from masses, The Zoo maintaining its sweaty reputation. I finally found my partially tramped photographer, now short an earplug, and dragged him onto the streets of the Valley, to relative safety.
Last Dinosaurs - Yumeno Garden Tour 2019
Tickets: SOLD OUT
Thur 28th March - Howler - Melbourne, VIC
Fri 29th March - Howler - Melbourne, VIC
Sat 30th March - Oxford Arts Factory - Sydney, NSW
Sun 31st March - Oxford Arts Factory - Sydney, NSW
Sat 6th April - Howler - Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 06 April 2019 Last Dinosaurs Howler, Brunswick