The Drums @ The Hi-Fi, 29th November

Tonight is one of three nights that The Drums take the stage on Australian shores.  People have travelled far and wide to witness the Brooklyn indie-rockers perform at the Hi-Fi.

Local indie 4-piece, Tempura Nights, take the stage to play to the early comers.  The vocals are drowned out by the volume of the band as the guitar drones and quirky bass lines throwback to the earlier days of indie-rock and post-punk.  Finding a medium between The Pixies and Garbage, Tempura Nights certainly fill the air with indie-rock vibes.

The next band up have been a personal favourite of mine throughout the past year, Rolls Bayce.  After seeing them at BigSound I have high hopes for their set.  Right off the bat the rhythms smashed by drummer, James Wright, have me mesmerised.  The intricate drum patterns combine with funky bass lines to give a certain complexity to the music that others cannot produce.  Playing songs off of their recent self-titled EP, the crowd feed off of the energy that the band conduct.  Their single Don’t Get Me Wrong is a crowd favourite as people start to sway and dance, and Rolls Bayce have delivered once again.

As we wait for The Drums to make the stage, the crowd become anxious, men and women push as close to the front as they can, just to be near frontman, Jonny Pierce; to say he has a cult following would be an understatement.  As the band make the stage, Pierce enters last with his ever so popular sway and bob dance and punters scream at the top of their lungs.  Rocking his retro red jacket, Pierce begins to sing, already capturing the eye of every audience member.  The high beam lights onstage illuminate the band members against the black back drop, creating luminous silhouettes.  As Pierce dances, he channels frontmen of old, almost a modern Ian Curtis.  The starting song Bell Laboratories is an ominous, darker track that soon transitions into Let Me, Me and the Moon, and then Days, which has the crowd shaking with excitement.  Their set continues with a mixture of old and new songs, Money proving to be a crowd favourite.  The latter part of the set moves more to the boring side, as many of the audience members standing rather than grooving.  Adding to the frustration, the house music is irritatingly playing out of one speaker, so all those in front, myself included, have an extra song to listen to.

The excitement picks up when The Drums enter the stage again for an encore.  Playing their classic tracks Let’s Go Surfing, Saddest Summer and Down By The Water they stir the enthusiastic crowd.  So much so that one eager audience member dodges the grasp of security, leaps onto the stage, screaming the lyrics next to Pierce.  She certainly ate her Weet-Bix as the security guard struggles to drag her off stage.

As the high beam lights fade, the silhouetted band walk off stage for a final time, with the crowd still screaming and cheering once they’re gone.




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