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[Review] Jet @ Night Cat, Melbourne 20/09/2023

Review By Terri Nas

A drizzly Wednesday night saw me headed northbound in the direction of The Night Cat in super-cool Fitzroy. Legendary Australian band, Jet, are touring the country to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of their first hit album Get Born. Wednesday night’s gig was a warm-up show to kick off their tour, their first show being Friday night at The Forum.

If there’s one way to make yourself feel simultaneously young again but old as hell, it’s heading to see a band celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of their first album that you played on high rotation during your youth. Wait… wasn’t it only yesterday that I was a perky, young and innocent 15-year-old, bouncing around at house parties to Are You Gonna Be My Girl? Where did these wrinkles come from? Why is my back killing me? This album stirs up so much nostalgia in me every time I listen to it, and I’m always instantly transported back to exact moments in time with each song.  

This was my first time visiting The Night Cat, and upon entry into the hazy, red-lit room with its mismatched vintage light shades and killer vibe, I was instantly impressed. The stage is actually positioned in the middle of the room, giving the audience a full 360-degree experience of the talented humans who grace its stage. Booth style seating borders the perimeter of the room with a bar on the outskirts to boot. And for a few lucky ones there were small tables positioned on certain sides of the stage. I cut a few sweet laps to get a feel for the venue whilst the crowd was still slowly rolling in, and I soon found myself a nice little position side of stage and super close to the action.

Local Melbourne trio Neon Goblin kicked off the night and with their heavy bass lines and psychedelic sound, they set the mood for the evening. The crowd were suitably impressed with their set, and it was then time to bid these guys farewell. 

The room gradually filled to its capacity of approximately 500 bodies for this sold-out show, and the crowd was starting to come alive in anticipation of Jet’s arrival. I was also interested to note the average age range of the punters there. Yes, I may be in denial about my own age, but I would say the crowd started at around 35 and up. Surprisingly a huge chunk of people would’ve been around my parents’ age. A true indication that music can touch any heart, of any age.  

The lights dimmed and the intro music was turned up a notch – here come Jet.

Oh. My. God. My body was covered in goosebumps as they took command of the stage and flew straight into their hit Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is. Now it’s no secret that being a rockstar and the life that that entails can take its toll on the body and speed up the aging process. But is it possible that Jet have discovered the fountain of youth as they are looking better than ever. Just like a fine wine. Being so close to the stage that I could see the sweat on their upper lips, I know it wasn’t just an optical illusion of smoke, mirrors and good lighting.  

The crowd were completely amped right from the first note and the energy that was emanating around me never faulted once. We were treated to She’s A Genius followed by Black Hearts. I loved that they threw in some other hits before they got right down to business – getting into their Get Born album track for track. Last Chance kicked off the album, followed by their first smash hit Are You Gonna Be My Girl. Yes, Jet, I will be your girl. There was not one person who wasn’t dancing or singing along by this point, as we were then led into the cheeky hit for all the DJ haters – Rollover DJ.

It was then time to kick it back a notch with the slow ballad Look What You’ve Done, which also had the crowd providing backing vocals. Get What You Need was the next cab off the rank, and with drummer/vocalist Chris Cester sadly missing in action due to family reasons, his brother and frontman of the band, Nic, took the lead vocals on this song and unsurprisingly smashed it.  Nic then invited Melbourne-based singer/songwriter/musician Andre Warhurst on stage to join them for Move On. Bass player Mark Wilson traded in his bass for the harmonica for this track, and his kick-ass playing further convinced me that I really want to teach myself how to play this little free reed wind instrument.  

Guitarist Cameron Muncey then took the reins on lead vocals and slowed the pace with Radio Song. Get Me Outta Here fired the energy back up again, and then this little Cold Hard Bitch was “shakin’ her hips, and it was all that I needed” to hear my most favourite Jet song. I wasn’t the only one loving this song, as I spotted a keen crowd surfer floating along the top of the crowd before swiftly disappearing back into the pack. The beauty of the stage being completely accessible from all sides meant that from my vantage point at the side of stage, I was privy to the band’s view of the audience. It really is such a warm feeling seeing those extra die-hard fans right at the front of the stage emanating pure awe and singing every single word to every single song, just as hard and as passionately as the band. 

Come Around Again & Lazy Gun started to slowly round out the set, before it came to a close with the heartbreaking song Timothy, with Cameron back on lead vocals. With its melancholy melody and gut-wrenching lyrics, the song hits hard and the audience absorbed every moment. Nic then acknowledged that it was the point in the show where they would pretend to leave the stage and do an encore. Rather than doing that though, the band exited the stage and left Nic to do a beautiful acoustic rendition of Shine On. The rest of the band came back to join us with Andre Warhurst in tow, and we got to preview their new song Little Fish, which was extremely catchy and had me trying to sing along despite never hearing it before. Jet then decided to Bring It On Back before succumbing to multiple requests during the show to “get on your feet” and Rip It Up.  

Jet have etched themselves into the Australian songbook of legendary rock bands, and their live shows do not disappoint. I have been to hundreds of gigs in my life of all different sizes, but this was by far one of the best. As I ventured home I was still buzzing and was wondering how the hell I was going to get any sleep with this intoxicating music high still running through me. The band were tight and Nic’s vocals are still in absolute tip-top shape. Their presence is subtly commanding and from the first beat, they own that stage and every single soul watching them. All I can say is Jet are better than ever, and if you nabbed tickets to this tour then you will be in for an absolutely awesome ride! And for those that missed out, my condolences on missing a shit-hot show.  

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[Review] Among The Restless @ Night Cat, Melbourne 23/06/2023

Review By Cassandra Hale

Closing out their All I Want Is Everything East Coast tour at Fitzroy’s The Night Cat, Among The Restless were ready to celebrate this huge milestone.  While Melbourne had delivered a freezing winter night it did nothing to discourage the punters from turning out in droves, the venue steadily filled with the cult like following who were ready to rock. I have watched Among The Restless grow over the last few years, the venues have got bigger, the fanbase has grown exponentially and their music has taken on a force of its own. Their songs show a maturity garnered by hard work and dedication and I was keen to take in the show in front of their home crowd in Australia’s capital of live music.

The Night Cat is a brilliant Melbourne nightspot, with its stage positioned in the centre of the room it cuts an amazing visual. Add to this an eclectic collection of lightshades hanging from the ceiling in varying hues of pink which instantly gives a chilled vibe. Being able to see the band from every angle gives a new perspective, and while the bulk of the fans gathered front and centre, many wandered to gauge a new angle over the course of the night.

Opening with Define, Among The Restless were off and running and the turn out were more than ready to throw themselves into the pit and get a piece of the action. Underground and Missing Pieces were up next, the Night Cat was warming up, with the cold of the outside night checked at the door. Torn had the floor bouncing as one, singer Rhett James working the crowd like a pro, his exuberance and lust for the live performance ever present. He is dripping with charisma and sings flawlessly every damn time. Crowd favourite Wastecase had the mosh up and about and Jaidyn Hale entered beast mode behind the kit. His precision skin hitting brought to the forefront in this drum laden tune, the fans lapped it up with chants of ‘Jaidyn’ spurring him on to deliver a mind-bending assault on the kit.

Without You had the floor grooving one minute then exploding the next as the epic build lashed them, Rhett leaving no corner of the stage uncovered. There was so much to love about the show, the engagement with the fans was next level, the quality of music impeccable and the collective voice knowing every word of every song a testament to their fierce following. Seamus Glenn delivered his most recent penmanship with Star Crossed, bloody hell this song rips hard. With such a catchy chorus it was an instant winner and had the venue pinging with happiness, smiles as wide as the stage at every vantage point. Seamus showed he is much more than a guitarist, his writing skills also of the highest calibre. No Sense // No Feeling brought out the crazy again as Lachie Dunn shredded like a psychopath, one of their heavier tunes this one had the floor slamming with gusto. Lachie’s backing vocals also prevalent throughout the night, he is the complete package and a pivotal part of the ATR dynamic.  

The upbeat cover of UFO was a crowd pleaser followed by the first single released by ATR, Someone Else. This song still rocks as hard it as did when I first heard it, it also comes complete with yet another epic breakdown that had the revellers throwing themselves into the pit.  Slave Within The Change delivered all the neck snapping feels that the fans wanted and it was everyone for themselves as the sweaty melting pot of a pit expanded to a blur of limbs. Let’s talk bass for just a minute. Josh Marra keeps the bassline well and truly covered and if you want to hear some of his epicness just check out the latest single Ego.  Josh worked all parts of the stage even taking a trip into the crowd with Seamus on one occasion, this four-string slayer certainly keeps you entertained.  Ego showcases the growth in ATR and when it is backed up by the classic Lucy you know you are in for a bloody good time. Their most popular song to date, Lucy never disappoints and had the crowd taking over the vocals for the duration.

These boys just tick every box and then some, and as the punters called for ‘one more song’ they did not disappoint jumping into a blistering cover of Bulls On Parade. This has become a firm finisher for ATR and one that brings out every level of crazy, the melting pot of a floor surged and jumped as one, making the most of every last minute. I saw girls facetiming to the unfortunate that couldn’t make it, I saw selfies snaps if you could pin down a band member, and I saw an unending merch line. Everything you would expect from a band of the highest level. Among The Restless prove time and time again that they are here for the duration and ready to mix it with the big guns of the industry.  If you are yet to see these guys live, add it to your ‘to do’ list immediately, they leave nothing in the tank and put on the show of a lifetime EVERY SINGLE TIME!

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