Last Dinosaurs @ The Triffid - 25/09/15

Last Friday was full of many firsts – it was the first time I’d attended an event at The Triffid, the first time I’d been one of the oldest guests at an event, the first time I’d left a gig during daylight hours, but most importantly, it was the day that Brisbane indie-rockers Last Dinosaurs kicked off the first leg of their new tour in front of a hometown crowd, celebrating the recent release of their long awaited second album, Wellness.

Straight off the bat, local five-piece garage pop group, The Jensens, opened the afternoon show with Fears, a lively song that had hearts racing. Throughout their short but enthusiastic set, Joe White (on keys and guitar) and Nathan Kendall (also on guitar) hypnotised the youthful crowd with their every word, accompanied by fellow pals Bodi Lowrieon bass, Jordan Aston on guitar and Phillip Fabros on drums. It was certainly clear that the bopping crowd were feeling a chilled holiday vibe, especially as the band made them sway along with the gentle rhythm and mellow sound of their song, Shark Thunder.

Up next were Palms. During their sound check, lead vocalist and guitarist Al Grigg quickly ran through a riff from one of their songs with Charles Sale who was performing live with Palms for the first time (while six-string player Dion Ford was away in Thailand). The riff turned out to be from In My Mind, the first song of their set, which features on the band’s new album Crazy Racks (due to be released at the end of October). Continuing the holiday theme, the Sydney thrash popsters played a succession of short songs introduced by cheeky fast-talking Grigg. The set was a mix of old and new tracks including A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, Summer Is Done With Us, Rainbows (“a song about rainbows”)Beatdown, Love (“a song about love”), Sleep Too Much (“a song about how good it is to go to sleep”), This Last Year and crowd favourite Bad Apple

The band held the crowd’s attention throughout the set with Grigg’s strong vocals and guitar playing, Tom Wallace keeping the beat on drums, Brendan Walsh playing the bass and Charles Sale seamlessly filling in on rhythm guitar.

With great anticipation, Last Dinosaurs then took the spotlight playing almost every track from their new albumWellness as well as a few oldies, Honolulu and Andy. The rapid light show behind them kept everyone’s spirits high and the crowd erupted with laughter when lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Sean Caskey remarked that one of his guitars had lost its virginity on the live stage after performing their track Wellness. Caskey and his brother Lach (lead guitar) as well as Dan Koyama (drums) and Michael Sloane (bass) then quickly launched into their current singleApollo. This was then followed by a mash-up rendition of Michael Jackson’s Rock With You and Jamiroquai’s You Give Me Something as a birthday tribute to Lucy, a member of their management team. Just before the second last song was played, Caskey made note that the audience was very calm and polite.

Attending this U18 Matinee show made me feel like I was back in high school on an excursion or attending class assembly. While waiting for the bands to play, guests either sat in circles on the floor – with their heads buried in their phones, or huddled together at the front of the stage, rather eager for the performances to begin. Most conversations around me were either about how awesome the band’s equipment was, school grades or how people were getting home after the gig. Adding to the school vibe, only band members, staff and media were allowed on the top balcony (which is where I sat after taking photos of each band). It was also refreshing to notice that phones were almost invisible during performances – eyes were fixated on the stage!

This review was first published on 28 September 2015 for Amnplify.

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