Tired Lion @ Black Bear Lodge, 23rd July
At 8pm on a Thursday night, Fortitude Valley resembles less of a nightclub district and more of a ghost town with an abundance of neon lights. Despite this, the crowd at the Black Bear Lodge is buzzing for the appearance of Perth band Tired Lion, celebrating the launch of their recently released EP, Figurine, with an Australian tour.
Opening act Blonde Tongues do a decent job of getting the crowd to at least face the stage. Their music varies from slow, ethereal interludes with twinkling guitars to massive reverb-laden crescendos in between bouts of sleepy dream-pop, with their lead guitarist delivering some pretty interesting stage banter, including his philosophy of “mad props”, which elicits a few giggles from various crowd members. The highlight of their set is their rather bluesy and noisy cover of LCD Soundsystem‘s Someone Great, which ends their set on a high note.
Local heroes WAAX really get the party going. Kicking off their set with a screeching blast of guitar feedback, the Brisbane quartet’s setlist runs the gamut between noisy punk tunes and wistful indie rock singalongs with ease. Lead singer Marie DeVita seems as if she is pleasantly unhinged the entire performance, ready to snap at a moments notice (I’m half surprised she doesn’t pull a Pete Townshend and smash her guitar at one point). Fan favourites such as Wisdom Teeth and I For An Eye all see rotation in the band’s setlist, and their sheer stage presence alone causes much rejoicing in the mosh pit up front.
Finally, Perth’s rising stars Tired Lion do not disappoint. Their powerful, grungy songs are enough to elicit whoops and hollers of joy from the crowd. Lead singer Sophie Hopes reveals at the start of their set that the band has hidden a ticket for Splendour In The Grass in one of the EPs sold at the back. Upon the realisation this ticket has already been claimed by a crowd member, Sophie promises to award a second ticket to the crowd member who can mosh the hardest. Soon after, the band rip into their breakthrough single I Don’t Think You Like Me, almost causing the building to collapse from the sheer energy the crowd emanates in response. The highlight of their set is Sophie jumping on top of a bustle of crowd members and surfing throughout the small building, while the band rips into a jam session onstage.
Tired Lion have clearly come a long way: from a group of unknown grunge-wannabes in Perth to drawing crowds all over the east coast of Australia. If their meteoric rise to success is any indicator, expect big things from these kids in the future. Their live show is a straight-up blitzkrieg of pure, unadulterated energy with absolutely no disappointing moments to be found.