Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gig Guide: Music soothes the savage beast

This past weekend was the very awesome Splendour in the Grass festival in my old stomping grounds of Queensland. Since I no longer live in the Sunshine State and also did not possess eighty five million dollars to afford tickets to go to the festival, I have been partaking in a number of sideshows the bands have been kindly doing throughout the rest of Australia. Last week it was The Kills (Alison Mosshart, my girl crush on you remains strong) and this week I'm off to see my old faves Gomez.

Growing up in a small town in QLD didn't really give me many opportunities to see live music. Or have good taste in music really. In fact until I was 13 and discovered Triple J, my shameful musical jaunts included a John Farnham concert with my Mum (I'm still scarred for life at the ladies throwing underpants at him), and a teeny-boppery outing to see Aussie one hit wonder girl-band Girlfriend.

But in the last 10 years I have managed to see a number of very cool bands, and have used my increasingly useful barge-arse skills to gain prime front-of-stage positions at festivals and gigs alike. My default New Year's resolution is to see as many bands as I possibly can.

These are just a few of my memorable gigs:

Muse - Livid Festival 2000

One of many times I've seen Muse live, cough seven times, this one holds a special place mostly because it was the first time I saw them. At this stage they were a fairly unknown group touring on their first album, playing a side stage at the now defunct Livid Festival, while bigger groups Green Day and No Doubt had the masses gathered around the main stages. And while I've seen them play much bigger and better - even with their rather pretentious last couple of albums - Muse sure have always known how to put on a show.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - 2011

Yeah, so I'm fairly certain I somehow joined a cult after seeing this gig. Lead vocalist Alex (he of the Charles Manson slash Jesus looks) came down into the crowd during the encore and then got half the audience on the stage and the rest of us sitting on the floor while he led us all in a Kumbaya styled rendition of one of their songs. Afterwards when everyone was going up to give him high-fives and hugs, I found myself going forward as well until I realised that I wasn't actually at a cultist revival meeting.

The Swell Season - 2009

What a voice Glen Hansard has!! A big fan of The Swell Season after watching the movie Once, I was blown away by their live concert. When there is just a man and his guitar (with no amplification) filling a huge cavernous theatre with his big voice on the song Say It to Me Now, it's simply something special to behold.

The Dead Weather - 2010

My one and only chance to see the legend of Jack White in concert (sob, I never got to see The White Stripes). Coupled with the mesmerising Alison Mosshart, these two just oozed charisma and awesomeness.

Reading Festival - 2006

My big festival outing while I lived in the UK, memorable for a number of reasons:  
  • Another Muse show under my belt
  • The beginning of my love affair with The Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Karen O, with her knee high converse sneakers with flames going up the sides, OWNED that stage)
  • Almost dying of claustrophobia in a very enthusiastic Arctic Monkeys crowd (who scarily knew every single word to ALL of their songs)
  • A full can of something indeterminable being thrown at my head (I choose to remember it as being beer).

How about the rest of you? What have been some of your favourite live music experiences?


  1. Well now Kelly, I still live in the Sunshine State, making missing Splendour even more depressing! I've never been a big fan of festivals (I've been a cranky old broad who hates being sweated on by randoms since I was about 16), but missing Splendour this year due to lack of funds hurts badly.

  2. I agree with this post. Music therapy is a proven technique. A great course that explains the power and benefits of music is Soothing Stress Relief Sounds Course http://www.soothingstressreliefsounds.com