The Fortitude Music Hall was the setting for a tale of redemption, as we laid witness to the Jungle Giants saving themselves from some poorly picked support acts.
The Jungle Giants roped in a couple of producers to open for them on Saturday night, and both acts had the same problem; they were completely forgettable and painfully boring.
The supports were doomed from the start.
The house lights were on the entire time, there was never any energy from the crowd and the whole thing felt like a bad Blue Light Disco. Awkward shuffling and distracted conversation included.
If it hadn’t been for the person standing on stage behind a couple of decks, I would have just assumed I was listening to a venue DJ sitting at the sound desk, playing some filler between acts.
2 and a half hours of filler.
My only recommendation can be to check the set times, skip the supports and sneak in just before the main act.
My concerns after the supports weren’t immediately quelled, as The Jungle Giants opened with a real slow burner, the titular ‘Quiet Ferocity’. Not exactly my pick for an opener, it was thankfully followed up by the band’s breakout hit, ‘She’s a Riot’. The opening lick, with the cheeky clap, was enough to wash a wave of energy over the crowd.
Though Sam’s new haircut may have been a radical change, the band’s live performance remains far more consistent. All the familiar elements are still there.
Andrew is always a ball of energy as he dances around the stage, dragging his bass guitar behind him, Keelan’s set long workout on the drums always leaves him a sweaty mess by the end and Cesira looks somehow both jubilant and cooked at the same time.
The set sounded like it was a fond farewell to the band’s last album Quiet Ferocity, as tracks from the LP dominated the setlist. All the best, and the maybe not-so-best, tracks got a spin, with ‘On Your Way Down’ and ‘Used to Be in Love’ continuing to be standouts of the live set.
‘In the Garage’ on the other hand, I will not be unhappy to see taken out from the set list. Keelan’s drumming on this song often feels sorely wasted, as it ends up being used as a filler song for Sam’s beer run.
This tour may well be the final time for fans to hear a significant number of Quiet Ferocity tracks, as I assume a majority will be replaced by currently unreleased music when the band next tours.
Speakerzoid, the band’s 2015 second album, appears to have largely been forgotten. Only ‘Devil’s Play’ off the album got a spin, arguably one of the more unremarkable tracks on the album. The lack of songs played leads me to believe that this entire LP is considered by the band to be an experiment that just didn’t work.
‘Heavy Hearted’ was saved for the end of the regular set, and it seems largely representative of any new music coming from the band. Sam’s time with Confidence Man was going to influence him one way or another, and considering the popularity of the single, it seems this new direction is a good one.
The encore was basically destined to happen, but at least the tracks saved for it were worth the wait.
‘You’ve Got Something’ continues to hold up against the test of time, with the big guitar and the sing-along chorus meaning the crowd can always get into it.
‘Bad Dream’ closed out the show, and acted to highlight just how much the band’s sound has changed since the first EP in 2011. Played directly after ‘You’ve Got Something’, it is almost hard to believe they are from the same band.
The evolution of The Jungle Giants is a fascinating one to watch over play out an entire set, and while I can’t completely forgive them for their choice of supports, I am content to quietly wait for new Jungle Giants music.
And hope Sam doesn’t get distracted by side projects too much.