What do you get when you mix a dedicated Thursday night crowd, catchy riffs/wisest lyrics known to millennial Australia, and Sydney’s sweetest intimate venue? The answer is a cracking Last Dinosaurs show. Every single person at that gig was singing every word; from the front row to the bar, the bass player off mic to the pitch-perfect front-man.
Jody opened the night at Newtown Social club with a memorable, charismatic set. The local Sydney boys played their hearts out to an appreciative early crowd who hung at the edges of the room a little too politely at first. But when Brisbane trio Rolls Bayce appeared people pressed forward, and soon that warm buzz of a sold out show was in the air. Both bands were a similar shade on the spectrum of riffy indie rock, perfect to keep the vibes rising for Last Dinosaurs.
Even at max capacity, Newtown Social is tiny, so wherever you are in the room you’re only ever a few meters away from the band. The last time I saw Last Dinosaurs was at a big headline show at The Metro, circa 2012 and touring off the back of their debut album, In a Million Years. They put on a great show then and they’ve raised the bar now, selling out the Social Club three shows straight for the weekend. Songs old and new got equal love from the band and crowd alike, with a more synth-heavy mix marking a maturing sound and lead guitarist, Lachlan Caskey shredding infectious solos on every song. When front-man Sean Caskey (brothers that band together last forever, it’s true) asked how many loyal followers had been with them since their first album, the whole crowd screamed in response before screaming the words to ‘Andy’ and encore song ‘Always’ even louder. ‘Evie’, the first single from last year’s album, Wellness, was welcomed like an old friend and slotted in nicely with fan favourites like ‘Honololu’, still feeling fresh and timeless a few years on.
As the banter flowed between the band and the front row, everyone shouted requests for their favourite LD songs, and the Caskeys and Co. nailed their harmonies and lush guitar sounds so effortlessly live, I had a wave of appreciation come over me. Last Dinosaurs conquer continents every time they tour, yet they can play a small Sydney show with the energy and warmth of a band playing to a bunch of their best friends. It was a feel-good night, made better by the perfect match of band, crowd and venue.