Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Saturday December 2, 2017 :
Urban Dictionary defines “Throwback” as a nostalgia for past cultural productions, cultural icons and technological inventions. Add music to the mix and you’d get exactly what every soul with their mobile phone in the air was feeling at a Never Shout Never show in Sydney. Around 200 ex-emo kids joint together to witness the band reflect on their back catalogue and instantly transport you to a myspace era of early 2000s
The band started as Christopher Drew simply playing guitar indie pop/folk back in Missouri in 2007, with his edgy alternative emo haircut and later a hoard like collection of tattoos, he took over myspace generation’s hearts by storm. The band grew so popular that Drew became not only the poster boy of clever and funny rhymes about heartbreak and betrayal, but also the voice of all scene kids sporting skinny jeans, razor box dye haircuts and snake bite piercings who listened to Hellogoodbye and Forever the Sickest Kids.
These days, Never Shout Never are a three-piece consisting of Hayden Kaiser, Tof Hoglen, and Drew, now 26 and forever edgy, with a bottle of Jameson in hand, bare foot and wearing something resembling a backpacker on the beach.
Starting off with ‘On The Brightside’, ‘Piggy Bank’ and ‘Trouble’, Drew announced that this is the most chill, laid-back and unprofessional tour, and everyone in the room tonight is a friend and a friend of a friend, no risks kind of a show.
The array of hands in the air with mobile phones filming song-length videos, cheering and going absolutely nuts during ‘Cheatercheaterbestfriendeater’ Drew even passed the microphone to the fans up the front for a singalong. It was a loving gesture that left even the most stuck up person melting. Someone decided to go way, way back and throw a bra on stage (which was a classic thing to do at a NSN show back in 2010), to which Drew joked: “Thanks! Actually my sister asked me to get her some more of these.” Said bra was later thrown around the stage between sips on Jameson straight out of the bottle.
Addressing the audience who were calling out requests, Drew made sure to speak to every fan who requested a song, ask what their story was, as well as dedicating ‘Ladybug’ to someone who went to multiple shows of this tour. I counted at least 8 people shouting ‘Jane Doe’, as the most requested song. The venue wasn’t packed, but it was a warm gathering of adoring fans supporting their favourite band and feeding off the nostalgia to keep happy until the next tour rolls around.
Closing the show with an unlikely cover of ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’, the audience still couldn’t get enough. Nostalgia is a funny thing, not only does it sells well, but you also kind of get hooked on a “throwback” to the best, carefree, teenage days of your life. It’s amazing how a decade later all of these songs are still in our heads like a nursery rhyme or a TV show theme song, while the famous Myspace, where Christopher Drew found global recognition and fame, is no more.
Reviewer + Photographer : Annette Geneva