Review By Suze Blacketer
Adelaide has not been short of musical choice lately. This week, coming to us from The Gov, it was the incredible Meg Mac, touring her latest album ‘Matter of Time’.
Starting our evening Ayesha Madon delighted the crowd with her pop peppered songs. A quick Q&A with the crowd revealed that this was Ayesha’s first tour. Even more surprising was that her drummer is actually her brother-in-law, and they were playing together for the first time on this tour.
Starting with one of her earlier releases, Outside of the Party, she bopped around on the stage while engaging with the crowd. Sucked In saw her relax a bit more and Ayesha looked to relax more as the show went on.
Talking to us between songs, Ayesha was open in how her songs talk about mental health issues and how that is something that she is passionate about. Goldfish and Cloud played as those on the floor moved their bodies. Wanting to play a song that the crowd could get around and sing along to, we were treated to a cover of The Climb by Miley Cyrus. All those Hannah Montanna fans got around this one. Showing her prowess on the keyboard and the guitar, Ayesha Madon is someone to keep your eye on as she continues to produce great tunes.
Gratitude for the crowd that had come early to watch her set, Ayesha finished with Future Kinks.
Wall to wall people packed the venue as Meg Mac glided across the stage enshrouded in a sparkling cape. The opening notes of the title track of her album float across the room, the crowd cheering in anticipation. Meg Mac’s silky, emotional vocals wash over us, and the goosebumps begin. Following on with Turning bodies begin to sway and little pockets of space become the place to dance.
Meg greets the crowd and thanks them for coming, saying how she was sorry that she didn’t get to come here on her last tour. The crowd gave an audible sigh as Meg went on to say how it broke her heart to read the comments and thanked us for selling out this show. This album is a special one as is the tour. As Meg explained she took so long to make this album, writing a complete album only to throw it in the bin and go on to write Matter Of Time.
Something In The Water, which Meg tells us is one of her favourites off the album, is a beautiful powerful song and it is delivered as such. Every face was mesmerized, witnessing something magically spellbinding. Such meaningful and relatable lyrics. Give Me My Name Back and Meg tells a story about how they like to sit on the edge of the stage when singing this one but tonight they couldn’t as we wouldn’t see them! They tried stools but it felt like a Q&A session, so they stood. A beautiful moment at the end of this song was a sisterly hug that had the crowd smiling.
Don’t You Cry was one of my favourite moments from the evening, it is such a beautiful song. Moving on to the Like A Version songs that Meg has done, she tells the story of how she placed a poll on Instagram to see which one we wanted to hear. Sadly, someone booed her on the Sydney leg because they wanted Bridges and got Tame Impala’s Let It Happen which I think was an excellent choice!
Meg tells us how hard it is when you release new music as you need to say goodbye to some of the songs in your setlist and how she had put another poll on Instagram to see what people wanted to hear, surprised that Brooklyn Apartment was requested. She told the story of how she wrote this song while living in an apartment in Brooklyn that had paper thin walls, writing about the people who lived in the building.
Meg’s favourite part of the evening was playing the song Letter, telling us that she spent hours writing the letters to send to all the fans, everyone one of them kissed by her and the constant reapplying of lipstick to make it happen. She also told the story behind the song, of writing a letter to someone no longer in her life and it ended up becoming a song, and how she writes letters to strangers instead!
Known Better and Roll Up Your Sleeves finishing the evening with the clayton’s encore – Meg telling us she chickened out from leaving the stage in case we didn’t clap for her to come back so she just played them!
Meg Mac in a small intimate venue is a magical experience, sprinkled with stories and anecdotes about the songs. I know every audience member truly appreciated how special our evening was.
Review By Suze Blacketer
Thursday night saw me heading to The Gov to watch one of my favourite bands, The Beautiful Monument, support a couple of legendary international bands in Escape The Fate and Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows (D.R.U.G.S)
Intense and captivating, The Beautiful Monument open up the evening drawing the crowd in. Vocalist Lizi tells the crowd it’s been a while, but they are very glad to be back. Bewitching us with her moves, which flit from sultry goddess to smackdown queen, we are mesmerized at the same time with the raw and emotive lyrics that TBM are known for. Adam, Amy and Alex provide impressive musicianship and great chemistry for fan favourite tunes. Opening with Deceiver and following it up with songs like Stay and Invisible, the crowd sing along. We also go to hear their new metal/electro single Hellbound, which absolutely slapped. The Beautiful Monument delivered an amazing performance that left the audience wanting more.
Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows prove that live is always better!! This band absolutely slayed. Frontman Craig Owens was an absolute delight to watch, his energy never wavering for the entire set. Hyping up the crowd he demanded that we raise our hands, clap and to get ‘your f$#king feet off the floor’. The band played a mix of their hits and their newer songs, and every single one was executed flawlessly. Starting with If You Think This Song Is About You, It Probably fans quickly worked themselves into a frenzy, amongst a sea of smiles and sweat. Mr. Owl Ate My Metal Worm, DESTINY, The Longest Road, GOLD and Laminated E.T Animal blasted our ears. The vocals and instruments blended together perfectly, and the energy level and connection between the band and the crowd was off the charts. What an amazing set.
By the time the intro had played out and the band had hit the stage there was a sea of moving bodies in the pit. Escape The Fate had arrived. The first notes of Choose Your Fate ring out and set the tone for the next hour. The energy was palpable, with every person in the room amped up and ready. Craig Mabbitt is a thankful man, telling us how great it is to be touring again. Originally this tour was to celebrate 10 years of their self-titled album but due to circumstances we celebrated 13 years of the album instead!! Passionate in his vocal delivery, balancing the melodic vocals and screams, it is obvious we are here to celebrate. Escape The Fate were on a mission, the mission was to make this the best damn gig ever. Drummer Robert Ortiz played like a man possessed, breaking drumsticks early in the set, while Erik Jensen and Matti Hoffman blew our minds with their guitar prowess. Massacre, Issues, City of Sin, Prepare Your Weapon were played with such fervor, the fans reciprocated with voices and bodies raised. Finishing with Aftermath and then leaving the stage the crowd starts to chant for an encore. Returning to the stage to cheers, the crowd wait to see what the encore will deliver to us. What an encore it was!! Hearing their newest single Low in a live setting was a highlight for me. H8 Myself, Lightning Strike, a mind-blowing guitar solo by Matti and finishing with One For The Money.
Looking around at a sea of grinning faces makes you realise just how powerful music really is. An amazing night, celebrating an amazing album.
The last time I saw The SuperJesus live was when they were given the fantastic opportunity to open for Kiss at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre last year. Although they did nail that performance and were a great warm-up act on that particular night, any band going on before a huge Kiss show are going to be somewhat dwarfed by what was to follow on the stage.
I was certainly keen to see The SuperJesus again but was looking forward to seeing them in a more intimate hometown setting, in a room full of people who were specifically there to see them.
Not only was this gig at The Gov the perfect sized venue for the band, but I was very happy to see that Melbourne’s Dallas Crane were opening the show as I’ve always found them to be a great live act in a rock club setting.
When I arrived at the venue, The Gov’s beer garden at the back of the big room was already full of people out enjoying the warm summer night and looking like they were ready for the perfect way to start the weekend.
When Dallas Crane made their appearance not long before the sun went down, they very quickly had the crowd moving from the back of the space to the front of the stage. Right from the opening number, the band blasted through a very upbeat list of songs that kicked off the night perfectly. Front-man Dave Larkin did a great job of interacting with the crowd and keeping everyone pumped up during their performance. His vocals sounded spot-on and between his trading of lead guitar- work with other founding member Pete Satchell, there wasn’t a dull moment during their slot. Throughout the set, the band sounded very tight, with bassist Chris Brodie and drummer Steve Pinkerton providing a very solid rhythm section.
The band covered a good mix of songs from their repertoire including Ladybird, Curiosity and two of their biggest hits Dirty Hearts, and of course, Sit on my Knee, which finished off the set.
Despite having plenty of their own songs to include in this one-hour set, Dallas Crane also managed to play a couple of classic rock covers which slotted in nicely and had the busy room singing along loudly. Led Zeppelin’s Rock and Roll and AC/DC’s Let There be Rock were both fun additions. By the time this opening set was over, the room had really filled up and Dallas Crane had warmed the Friday night crowd up for a big night.
After a thirty minute beer break, it was time for The SuperJesus to make their headlining appearance. As soon as they began their set, the squeeze at the front of the stage was complete as everyone jostled to the front of the room. It was great to see that this Adelaide band can still play to such an enthusiastic hometown crowd after so many years of success around the country, despite not having released a new album of original songs in twenty years. This was in stark contrast to the first SuperJesus gig I attended around 1994, at The Crown and Anchor Hotel, with a crowd of about twenty or thirty people at best.
The set opened with the song Ashes from their debut album, 1998’s Sumo, and with singer/guitarist Sarah McLeod hobbling out onto the stage in a moon-boot as a result of having a broken foot. This initially seemed to slow down her stage movements but as the show went on and the crowd got more responsive, Sarah seemed to get more and more fearless and even ended getting up on the drum-riser a few times throughout the show.
There were some big changes in the band’s line-up this time around. Not long after the Kiss support slot, a new guitarist and drummer were brought into the fold to join Sarah McLeod and original bassist Stuart Rudd. Cam Blokland was now on lead guitar and on drums, Murray Sheridan, who is also the band’s producer as they have begun work on a new album set for release later in the year. Next up was Secret Agent Man from the band’s second album Jet Age. After a couple more songs from earlier albums, the band then launched into their first of the new songs that will soon be featured on their aforementioned new album. Money (We’re Only in it for Love) is the latest SuperJesus single and this one went down very well. Not only is the song super catchy, but Sarah had the crowd singing along to it without too much effort at all. Another new track Lights Out was also instantly memorable, making me think this new album might actually do alright.
As the band ploughed through some of biggest songs from their catalogue including Gravity (complete with a huge audience-participation singalong), and Down Again, it was apparent that Sarah’s voice is stronger than ever, and the band were gelling together perfectly. You wouldn’t have known that half of the band were new additions.
After the set closer Saturation, it was clear that the band would be back onstage for an encore. The crowd demanded it! Also, the fact that the band members walked off stage without a big announcement that it was the end of the set…made it obvious that they had more to go.
When they did return to the stage, they kicked off the remaining songs with the beautifully mellow Second Sun. This, to me, was more proof that Sarah’s voice has become stronger over the years. There’s nothing wrong with the original recording at all but this live performance certainly seemed to have more feeling and grit to my ears.
After this momentary chill-out in proceedings, it was time for the band to crank it back up again to finish the night off. Stick Together from the Rock Music album was next, before the band said their final farewells, thanked the hometown crowd, and ended the set with a cover of The Gin Blossoms’ Hey Jealousy.
Dallas Crane and The SuperJesus both seemed to be genuinely enjoying playing in Adelaide on this stop on the tour and thanked the crowd on numerous occasions during their sets. This appreciation most definitely went both ways as both bands left a lot of smiles on faces in the venue. When the lights came on, it looked like there were a lot of people who were very pleased with this start to the weekend and looked to be in no hurry to go home at all.
Your last chance to see them on their MONEY tour.
March 3rd 2023 @ The Corner Hotel, Melbourne