Rain is shit. Music is good. That was clear when a bunch of people packed into the Metro to see some great Australian bands Friday night, despite some horrid conditions. Rather than being an old man who yells at clouds, punters chose the more satisfying option, saving their voice for yelling The Smith Street Band lyrics, on a night where the only thing wetter than outside was the sweat on your brow from losing it to some excellent Australian punk-rock tunes.
Jess Locke Band eased us into proceedings with her delicate folk rock that was effortlessly charming and appealing. Joelistics followed, spouting charismatic rhymes, unafraid to rap about social and personal politics engaging both the crowd rhythmically and intellectually.
Tassie boys Luca Brasi kept the ball rolling with their fiery brand of Australian punk rock, delivered with both intensity and poise, taking on the apprentice roll to The Smith Street Band, showcasing songs from their new album If This Is All We’re Going To Be, they exuded confidence and grit that grabbed the crowd and demanded complete attention. With vocalist Tyler Richardson sporting a shirt with the words ‘SEEKING ASYLUM IS A HUMAN RIGHT’ printed on the back, the front man spent a considerable amount of time shredding whilst facing towards his band mates to get the message through.
Wil Wagner had only just announced that he would be releasing a solo mix tape of songs a few days earlier, he immediately showed us why we should be bloody excited to get to listen to I Hope I Don’t Come Across Intense! Walking out alone in a Chance The Rapper t-shirt (paying particular attention to t-shirts tonight) and gracing us with the powering scowl of ‘I Love Life’ to kick us off. “I love you so fucking much right now” he sang, as I grabbed my friend James. I don’t love the guy, but in that moment Wagner made me want to love him. I’m sure those around me felt the same.
When Wagner’s bandmates joined him onstage the crowd had very much progressed into what felt like punk pinball mode, the fans bouncing and spinning off one another. Songs like Ducks Fly Together and Young Drunk got the wild receptions they deserved, with Luca Brasi’s Tyler Richardson even coming back out to sing and soak up some more well-deserved praise. Fans were even privy to some new music during the set. A song dedicated to “times when buff guys take their shirts off at shows when you’re trying to have a good time”; eyes fixed on a shirtless crowd surfing punter. It was a pre-cursor to another pearler of a song.
Smith Street Band are a testament to the flourishing Australian punk-rock scene, their unique take earning them a fair amount of respect, and with the vibe bordering hectic, audience participation resulting in a fervent punter jumping on stage, Wagner quickly reacting to the guy, “If you want to get on stage, start your own fucking band”. The band continued to pelt out each of their songs with the intention of bringing fierce sing-a-longs and chants through the venue, but despite all this excitement their songs also brought an underlying appreciate for quality and intelligent songwriting, sometimes overheard with all the excitement, Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams proving to be a standout to complete a night of great Australian music.