The Tivoli, Brisbane
Sunday July 9, 2017 :
It’s hard to believe that it has been 20 years since Grinspoon’s epic debut, Guide To Better Living, hit the airwaves, catapulting the band into the limelight and cementing them as one of this country’s greatest ever rock acts.
Having toured relentlessly and been an absolute staple of the festival circuit for the past couple of decades, Grinspoon went their separate ways a few years back (much to the disappointment of their fans) pursuing solo careers and other projects. With the 20 year anniversary of their first album coming up what a time to get the band back together for a run of sold out shows across the country, playing Guide To Better Living in full.
We arrived at The Tivoli to a packed out crowd who were incredibly upbeat for a Sunday night. The energy in the theatre was high and full of nostalgia as you would expect.
Support act Hockey Dad warmed up the crowd with their signature surf rock tunes, creating a surprisingly big sound considering there was only two band members on stage. They were high energy with Billy the drummer swinging his head around like a propeller as he belted the tunes out on the drums.
Highlights of their set include crowd favourite ‘A Night Out With’ and ‘I Need A Woman’. They did however, have me a little perplexed and more than a little freaked out with their guitar tech coming on and off the stage clad in a horror like blood soaked butchers outfit and mask, with chainsaw sound effects to accompany him, which seemed like a private joke that the audience were not privy too… It was weird to say the least.
Up next was the band we were all there to see, Grinspoon. The roar of the crowd as the guys took to the stage was intense with Phil, head down and swaying on his microphone stand, launched into the opening bars of ‘Pressure Tested’. HUGE.
The first three songs went by in a bit of a blur in the scrum of the photo pit, trying to capture the band in full flight. ‘Boundary’ was epic and ‘DCX3’ was massive, with smoke shooting out of the stage and Phil emerging from between the flumes, arms outstretched in true rockstar fashion.
The energy the band were playing with was at the same level as they did back when I would be thrown around in their mosh pits in the ’90s… Jumping off speaker stacks and Phil throwing in his full repertoire of signature dance moves. I know I wasn’t the only one there who was loving it… It’s great to know that some things never change.
As I jumped out of the pit and took my place on the stairs above the crowd, the band launched into ‘Sickfest’, the track that won them the first ever JJJ Unearthed competition. Wow. Clearly I wasn’t the only one being taken back to the good old ’90s with actual moshing and crowd surfing taking place in the pit.
The band then wound things back a little for ‘Scalped’, but the reprieve wasn’t long lasting, launching into an epic rendition of ‘Pedestrian’, with Pat proving he is still one of the best guitarists in the country, absolutely shredding while the crowd sings along “Happy birthdaaaaaaaay“.
‘Just Ace’, one of my all time favourites, induced dancing and a mass sing along, ‘Post Inebriated Anxiety’ and ‘Champion’ gave Phil the opportunity to show his voice can still be huge as it ever was, and the set rounded out with ‘Truk’
After a short break Phil emerged at the back of the crowd to play secret track ‘Protest’ right in the thick of it all. With the formalities of the evening over the band then launched into a stack of their greatest hits, including ‘Chemical Heart’, ‘Lost Control’, ‘Ready 1’ and ‘1000 miles’, rocking the foundations of the Tivoli to it’s very core.
The crowd singing along to ‘Hard Act To Follow’, chanting “Kills, Thrills and Sunday Pills… Woah” was one of my many highlights of their set, and and night wrapped up with the epic ‘More Than You Are’, with smoke shooting out of the stage and masses of red confetti falling from the rooftop over the crowd.
I am left with only two words to describe what were were lucky enough to witness from Grinners tonight… FUCKING HUGE.
Reviewer and Photographer : Chrissy Kavalieros