|Hot Hot Heat @ The Arena, Brisbane - September 16, 2005
||[17 Sep 2005|04:36am]
Let me just start off by saying HOLY SHIT! What an awesome gig! Honestly, it had everything - good support acts (I swear Faker support every band that comes to Australia), crowd intensity, band intensity, great songs, one of the best covers I've ever heard (more on that later :D) and a drumstick for my trouble.
Starting off the night were Adelaide lads Wolf & Cub. They are a great brash rock band I have to say. Their EP is pretty good and their live show lives up to their recordings, and even surpasses it. I made a bet with Gibba that Thousand Cuts would be their last song just after they had finished their first 'song' Hands Go Down/Poison Fang (two songs joined together with some great jamming throughout), and guess what they played next.. Thousand Cuts. So yeah, I was wrong. I'm getting used to not being able to pick song order. But anyway, the crowd was there in droves as they played, maybe not necessarily because they wanted to see them, probably so they had a good position for HHH, but I'm sure they appreciated the performance. Good set, and the bongos add a really dancey-ish jungle effect.
Faker are the Triple J-described "darlings of Triple J" (yes, I do realise and mean what I said), so it comes as no surprise that they had a solid fan base at the gig. After a few times seeing them live, I gotta say I don't mind them, but I pretty much only hang out for The Familiar and Hurricane, and to some extent Quarter To Three. Still, there's no denying that their stage show and their songs have attracted a fair few supporters (although if Nathan continues to go for a run around the stage [to get fit?] every time he doesn't have to sing, the band might begin to attract some detractors too haha). As per usual, The Familiar and Hurricane were performed with blistering style. At the end of the set, the crowd was showing a whole lotta love for the Sydney pop-punk-rock five piece. Deservedly too.
The standard chant for any main band (Hot Hot Heat, obviously) started up almost as soon as the final support act (Faker, ditto) stepped out into the wings. It alternated between "Hot Hot Heat" at a 1/8 pace and "Hot Hot Heat" at a 1/4 pace (original, I know). There was a definite atmosphere that enveloped the entire Arena as anticipation in seeing Baysey and the boys doin' their thang on stage increased at an exponential rate. After almost 15 minutes of waiting, the crowd's good music prayers were answered, albeit by the Arena's 'jukebox'. The Futureheads' most recent single 'Decent Days And Nights' drifted out of the speakers and into the welcoming ears of many (and especially this reviewer's). A sign of what was to come?
After The Futureheads' short stint as 'band of the night', the Arena staff made a last ditch attempt to hold the crowd in suspense for the forthcoming musical assault by playing what sounded like Garbage (it wasn't though, was it?) for about 15 seconds before they succumbed to the crowd's wishes with the dimming of lights and the inevitable introduction of the undisputed band of the night. As soon as Paul stepped onto the stage and headed for his trusty drum kit, with Luke, Dustin and a floating afro-perm in tow the crowd went ballistic. Wasting no time before launching into 'Jingle Jangle', HHH set the stage alight with their pop-rock, synth-driven hooks. Performing their greatest songs so far (hard to decide with so many to choose from!) including 'Talk To Me, Dance With Me', 'Island Of The Honest Man', 'Dirty Mouth', 'Le Le Low', 'Middle Of Nowhere' (this reviewer's tied fave alongside..), 'No, Not Now', 'You Owe Me An IOU' and 'Goodnight Goodnight' (indeed it was), HHH had the crowd dancing, jumping, flailing and singing, amongst other acts of joyous expression for the entire time. When the band departed the stage, the crowd weren't foolish enough to believe the boys wouldn't perform an encore of some variety. But did they come back on?? Of course they came back on! You just don't cut it as a main act these days if you don't perform the blatantly obvious encore. The encore was perhaps THE best this reviewer has seen from any band. Ever.
Instead of starting their encore performance with one of their own repertoire, Steve, Luke, Dustin and Paul decided to belt out a little ditty by a band called The Futureheads. And which song do you think it was? Damn right it was 'Decent Days And Nights'! HHH managed to capture the essence of the song as perfectly as The 'Heads themselves. Now in this reviewer's mind, the band covered this particular song due to the fact that yours truly was standing front-centre wearing an attractive Futureheads shirt whose design was peaking above the barrier in a perfect position for "the man" Steve Bays (Steveo!) himself to notice and take into consideration when thinking of a song that would be worthy for the vocal crowd (and more specifically, for ME!). Well, I know that's not true actually, as they have played that song before at other gigs, but let a man believe, people! I could go on for days talking just about that particular song performance, but since it's almost 6am and I've had no sleep, I'd best get a move on. Birdee Num Num, Ric's and The Depot await tonight after all!
After the aforementioned, amazingly-performed tune, HHH kept the ball rolling with 'Naked In The City Again', 'Oh, Godamnit', 'Elevator' and a well-placed closer in the form of 'Running Out Of Time'. If only we hadn't run out of time, the band could have played the rest of their catalogue and thrown in some more covers of current classics and possibly showcased the material that didn't make it onto 'Elevator'. But once the final sustained vocal, soaring guitar, reverberating bassline and cymbal tap was heard the crowd was more than satisfied with what they had witnessed over the course of the night and were willing, with a tinge of reluctance, to let the band head off stage for the final time of the night to relax and prepare for their next astonishing performance. Chicago - prepare yourself!
Overall, a brilliant night. 10 out of 10 without a doubt. Hope to see Hot Hot Heat again soon! (Illinois only takes about 26 hours to get to.. that's plenty of time!).