Review By Samantha O'Neil
More than 20 years after they formed in Melbourne, two times Gold Certified Australian rock band Kisschasy are back on tour. After a successful appearance at Good Things Festival in 2022, 7 years after their last national tour, Kisschasy announced that all four original band members – lead vocalist Darren Cordeux, bassist Joel Vanderuit, guitarist Sean Thomas and drummer Karl Ammitzboll, would be coming back together to do it all again country wide.
The band originally announced 9 shows, stopping in at most major cities, as well as Wollongong, Newcastle and Torquay. However due to overwhelmingly high demand, the final tally of shows came in at 15, and now included stops in Perth, Tasmania and Gosford, with most shows completely selling out.
Friday’s show is the band’s second Sydney show, the first taking place back on the 3rd of May, and was added as a response to how quickly the first round of tickets sold out. The first show was held at Crowbar in Sydney’s Inner West, while Friday’s show was hosted at the laudable Metro Theatre. With its cozy ambience, it is the perfect setting for fans to gather and enjoy one of Australia’s most iconic, but relatively short-lived acts.
The clock strikes 8pm and punters file into the venue, many racing to find their spot in front of the stage while some stop at the bar and others heading straight for the merch table, whereupon any purchase comes a free CD from Cordeux’s current band, Daz & the Demons.
Opening the night was Melbourne based singer-songwriter and self-proclaimed ‘Australian mutt’ Bec Stevens, who was followed by Adelaide’s up and comers Towns, who brought their unique blend of flavours, most dominant being 90’s pop punk and Australiana.
While the openers were a delightful look at talent being produced in Australia right now, by the time their sets were over, the thrill in the air was palpable. Looking around, the crowd was conspicuously older. Having been out of the spotlight for so long, it seems like the people in attendance were all there to take a mosh down memory lane, which felt special. A room full of people bonded by the fact that over 15 years ago they listened to a band that really led the way in bringing this particular brand of pop rock to Australian audiences.
Finally, the lights go down for the last time and before you can say Perfect Way to Meet, the band is on stage and the show is underway. An impeccable choice of opening track with its first lyrics drawing parallels to the last few hours and what’s about to come.
Two hours ‘til doors
With my patience running short
I am shaking in my seat
As I grind my fucking teeth
While I would have paid good money to see Kisschasy perform their second album Hymns For The Non Believer backwards, forwards and sideways twice over, the setlist is littered with the best songs from it. The lesser known, but haunting nonetheless, Ugly Birds In A Beautiful Cage appeared around the middle of the set, while the other tracks from HFTNB were top and bottom heavy. The band played 3 tracks from their third album Seizures, and a handful of tracks from United Paper People, including a fan favourite Face Without A Name which had the crowd unsure whether to dance or mosh.
Towards the end of the main set, Vanderuit, Thomas and Ammitzboll exited the stage, leaving Cordeux to perform a few songs on his own, first of which was The Shake. To the crowd’s surprise and pleasure, Cordeux is joined on stage by Australian pop royalty Amy Shark to perform Dinosaur, on which her smooth vocals complement Cordeux’s, as if they were always meant to be there. Cordeux ends his solo slot with the beautifully eerie Black Dress.
The final 3 songs Do-do’s and Woah-oh’s, Spray On Pants and Opinions Won’t Keep You Warm At Night play like a dream. The crowd seems to morph into one entity, a sea of people moving together, completely at the whim of the music. Closing out a night of good old Australian pop rock and musical nostalgia, Opinions Won’t Keep You Warm At Night steals the show by an overwhelming margin, transporting everybody to a time when its timeless lyrics and angsty beat lived rent free in your head.
Not only has the tour been successful, it put their first album United Paper People back on the Aria Charts, coming in at #8 on the 24th of April, for top 10 Australian Albums. As well as this, they released a special edition vinyl of UPP, which hit #2 on the charts for top 10 vinyl albums. The fans, as the band put it, ‘revived an album released 18 years ago’, so it’s not surprising that part of what made the show feel so special was the frenzy of passion emanating off the crowd.
Having never had the chance to see the band perform live while they were still together, their 2023 reunion did not disappoint. Their stage presence and energy really filled up the room, providing confirmation that these guys are still seasoned pros. With as much angst as they had 10 years ago, the only way you can really tell that it’s 2023 Kisschasy is from the band’s matured looks. No more are the daggy long sleeves and scarves, instead replaced with stylish tee’s and button downs. Opinions might not keep you warm at night, but Kisschasy sure will.