Updated: Aug 22, 2019
WAAX are just impressive.
How else do you describe a band that started by playing in the back of Ric’s Bar and now, half a decade later, are playing multiple sold out shows at The Triffid.
A band that is consistently better live than on the record is no mean feat. A band that I’ve seen open for acts they have almost upstaged.
The set kicked off ‘FU’, which is a pretty good starting point for anyone unfamiliar with the band. If you had somehow stumbled into the room, knowing nothing of the band, “Nobody hurts me, and fuck you for trying” should sum things up for you.
Then Maz and the band kicked it into high gear on ‘This Everything’.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, frontwoman Maz is electric on stage. She has always been what has set WAAX apart, a chaotic force of nature, her performance is all you can focus on. Her energy is infectious, with every song whipping the crowd into a greater frenzy.
Next up was a yet unreleased ‘No Apology’, which Maz described as a song about “Doing what you want, because you don’t owe anyone anything”. I’d just describe it as a certified belter, and as one of my top picks off the album.
From not even out yet to the early days, the band went back to 2015 and their first EP Holy Sick for ‘I For An Eye’. Classic WAAX continued with ‘Wild & Weak’ and ‘Same Same’, both treats for those long time fans in the crowd that night.
A mid-set cover was not what I was expecting, but it was exactly what we got with a cover of Gossip’s ‘Standing In The Way Of Control’. I haven’t ever listened to Gossip, so, I think it best I leave the fans to judge this one.
‘History’ saw the band slow things down a little. A new song off the album, ‘History’ is about “having history with someone you would rather not have anything to do with”, and is somber by WAAX standards. This is the track to listen to if you want to hear Maz test and display her vocal skills.
The new stuff kept coming with ‘Fade’, which saw us return to familiar frantic territory. “I’ll try not to fade out” will be getting a yell at WAAX concerts in the future.
As expected, ‘Labrador’ was the closer. But we did learn a little more about the origins of why the band decided to make an entire suburb on the Gold Coast infamous. Seems Maz’s first boyfriend drove her out to a parking lot there to dump her. Smooth move mate.
I spent the encore caught between laughing and cheering.
A stage hand dashed out with a couple of pieces of scrap cardboard, with lyrics written in black marker on them, and taped them down.
The band came back on stage, joined by members of Colts and sweater curse for what appeared to be an impromptu cover of Bondi Rescue’s Thirsty Merc’s all time great ‘In the Summertime’.
Maz described it as an “inter-band meme song” and I couldn’t’ help but laugh as she was crowd surfing to what I will always remember as the Australian Baywatch theme song. It seems like a new chapter for WAAX is beginning, and hopefully it leads to more fans and more music. The album isn’t out until Friday, but this tour already feels like a victory lap.
To WAAX and Maz, congratulations, you did it.
You really fuckin’ did it.
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