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Posts Tagged ‘the hi fi’

Central Coast singer-songwriter Daniel Lee Kendall opened the night to a mostly packed crowd. Performing a mostly acoustic set, with a little bit of help from some pre-recorded beats on his lap top, Kendall seemed slightly dwarfed on the big stage but managed to hold himself fairly well. There were moments when the crowd’s chatter could be heard above the softer moments, but for the most part Kendall was well received. ‘Gone’ proved to be a gorgeous moment and set closer ‘Lost in the Moment’ was of course a favourite and met with a round of applause.

Sydneysider Andy Bull was up next, with a guitarist and drummer to fill out his live sound. Bull proved to be an enigmatic frontman showing fantastic stage banter with the audience. Local songstress Tara Simmons was brought out to perform ‘Dog’, but the real highlight of the set though was their Triple J’s Like a Version rendition of Tears for Fears’ ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’.

Perth’s The Chemist were next to take the stage. The four-piece delivered some impressive musical moments, particularly in a few songs containing piano accordion. However both the lead vocals and backing vocals were grating after a few songs, sometimes sounding out of place or simply of out of tune. A group that could have some really fantastic potential, but seem to be trying to fit in too much at once.

The Hi Fi was completely packed out for when Hungry Kids of Hungary took the stage for the final show of their ‘Final Escapade’ tour. Looking relaxed and confident, the five-piece opened the set with a new song before a seamless transition into ‘Scattered Diamonds’. Touring has obviously been good for the boys, who have always been a highly enjoyable act, but are now coming across even tighter and more capable performers than before. The addition of a fifth member has helped to fill out the sound musically as well as adding to the vocal harmonies.

Guest performances were popular in the middle of the set, with Andy Bull coming out to perform their collaboration of ‘Last Waltz’ and Mel Tickle from Little Scout doing backing vocals for ‘Eat Your Heart Out’. ‘Wristwatch’ and ‘Coming Around’ were massive crowd favourites, but ‘Let You Down’ was surprisingly the only song that got a real sing along for the night. As usual with a Hungry Kids set, it was high energy throughout.

The crowd was left begging for an encore, and after a short interlude the boys came back onstage. Dean nervously admitted that the next song hasn’t always been popular on this tour, before they launched into a cover of Smashing Pumpkin’s ‘1979’. It was definitely a risky cover, but the Hungry Kids managed to pull it off with great finesse. They closed their set with their hit ‘Set it Right’, ending another Hungry Kids of Hungary show that continues to cement them as one of Brisbane best live acts around at the moment.

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I wasn’t planning on adding anything in between by ‘New Zealand’ week posts – but I’ve been waiting for this video to become available to share for what seems like ages after I mentioned it a few weeks ago. Hope you’re all coming to their album launch at the Hi Fi on Thursday night!

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I’m going to be honest; I’m not a fan of the Rocketsmiths. I can’t quite put my finger on exactly why, but they just don’t do anything for me. I sat through their set though, and tried to enjoy it. Tried to point out the good things to myself. But despite the energy from the band, it still came across as fairly mediocre. If anyone can offer a less bias opinion of their set I’d be interested to hear it.

But more importantly….Shame on you Brisbane, this concert was not sold out. This is exactly why outstanding acts up end skipping Brisbane when they tour. Luckily the Hi Fi can shut the mezzanine and force everyone downstairs, closer to the front, giving the feel of a more packed out audience.

The curtain to the stage drew to reveal four very smart looking guys. Which is one of the things I love about Spoon. They’re absolutely oozing with cool, but don’t need pretentious clothing or wild antics to make it work. Casual and relaxed, they began with ‘Nobody Gets Me But You’ from their latest release Transference. The sound was a bit off during this song, but was quickly fixed up for the rest of the set. They mainly ran through tracks from Transference and their previous album GaGaGaGaGa, mixing in a few older tracks, and ones that I wasn’t even familiar with.

It was definitely interesting to hear tracks like ‘The Ghost of you Lingers’ and ‘The Underdog’ performed live, since there are so many extras (horns, reverb etc) on the recorded versions. They were impeccable though. Despite the lack of horns on ‘The Underdog’, or the intensity of vocal overdubs on the ‘The Ghost of you Lingers’, the band found a way to make it work, proving their immense talent as musicians.

Some of their newer tracks, like ‘Is Love Forever’, ‘Trouble Comes Running’ and ‘I Saw the Light’ – tracks that may seem a little bland on the album – really came to life when performed live. Britt Daniel’s stage presence is incredibly natural and earnest. He gives off the vibe that he’s just happy that he gets to play music, never making a big deal about anything or hyping up the crowd like some artists tend to do. The other members of Spoon seem quite happy to let Daniel take the lead on thing, but also held their own throughout the set.

As it always will be with Spoon, the tracks from GaGaGaGaGa were the most popular, and made up the bulk of the set. ‘Don’t Make Me a Target’ warranted a sing a long from the crowd but the real highlights came in the encore with ‘Black Like Me’, ‘Rhythm and Soul’ and ‘Got Yr Cherry Bomb’. Spoon put on a truly fantastic show – and it’s one that I can’t stop raving about. If they ever do come back (and if they bother to play in Brisbane, you slackers) definitely go see them. You won’t regret it.

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So last Wednesday me and my man headed out to the Hi Fi to see Spoon, with much excitement (review to come soon, I swear!).  After scoping out the grounds for a little while, we headed straight to “our area” in the venue. It’s basically what both of us see to be the perfect part of the Hi Fi. Optimal viewing, with the least amount of people around you coupled with a wall to lean up against. Perfection? Damn straight (no, I’m not going to share where it is. Because it’s mine).

So we claimed our spot. Only to watch a group of already drunk hipsters claim their spots right in front of us. We both shared a groan, recognising that our perfection could have just been trampled. I expected them to rush to the front when Spoon actually took to the stage. They didn’t. They stayed right in front of us, scoffing two drinks at a time. But the worse part was the dancing.

I don’t mind people drinking at concerts, but it’s when they get stupid that it becomes a big deal. I’m a firm believer in if you want to mosh you go to the front, if you want to just stand there and enjoy you go to the sides, and if you want to do any sort of stupid lame ass dancing (this includes choreographed moves, line dancing, Irish dancing, and interpretive dance) you go to the back. Away from people. They had every time of stupid dance move you could imagine. And it took up a lot of space.

Yes, we could have moved away from these people. I realise this. But there weren’t any decent openings without disrupting others. And I’m don’t like disrupting others at concerts, which is why people who get completely wasted annoy me. I will admit it was entertaining trying to watch one guy sit down. It took about half of a song, and he just kind of scraped against the brick wall and then landed flat on his ass. But I just couldn’t help thinking “are they even hearing this amazing band right, or seeing them?”.

I’m not saying I’ve never been drunk at a show. But I’ve never been drunk at a show that I paid more than $2o to see. Just locals bands I had seen many times before. But when are Spoon coming back? Why risk misplacing any little memory from that night? What worth do people actually get from drinking at shows?

Am I just being old and boring, or do people actually agree with me here? Shows in Australia are not cheap. Drinks at venues are not cheap. Nothing about drinking expensive drinks at an expensive show appeals to me. But maybe it’s not about the money?

Do you drink at shows – if so, why? On the same hand, do you avoid drinking at shows? Does anyone have a good story about either being drunk at a show, or witnessing other drunks at shows?

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