Who: Bloc Party
Where: The Zoo- Brisbane
When- July 27, 2012
Forewarning: this review may be written through rosy eyes, blinded with admiration and adoration for Bloc Party. Objectivity may be found elsewhere.
As I wandered down Ann Street, I was overwhelmed. Bloc Party, were here; here in good ol’ Brisbane. The chosen and surprise destination for their only Splendour sideshow. Quite possibly, the only time this has happened. Soz, Syds and Melbs. I will forever use this gig against all friends south of the border. Probably because it is the only recent Brisbane ‘pro’ I have stumbled upon lately, but it’s a pro nevertheless.
As I slammed down a jam doughnut shot before the Bloc Party set with friends; yes, they are the actions of 16 year olds with fake ID’S that want to be Bloc Party groupies, but hey, it was somewhat symbolic, for I am 20 year old with similar aspirations. No, but seriously, listening to Bloc Party for me is fittingly described as a constant nostalgic experience. So many songs reflect so many different life moments. Banquet will forever reminds me of Friday night at Clubhouse. Kruezberg now reminds me of wandering Berlin’s East Side galley. And So here we are eternally exemplifies the few last minutes before sleep. I figured a song played tonight would be forever etched as a stark reminder of this night.
As the lights went dim, the crowd ‘wooed’ with excitement. I can best describe the crowd as people who love Bloc Party but not enough to spend $450 to see them at Splendour and those who were just too poor. I fall into the latter category.
Kele burst onto stage armed with his beaming smile and effortless stage presence as they opened the set with “So he begins to lie” off their upcoming record “Four”. With an understated ‘cheers’ they transitioned into “Trojan Horse” and “Hunting for Witches”.
Then with a familiar bass line, Matt Tong’s renowned intricate drumming, Bloc Party ripped into Positive Tension. As the crowd scream “Why did you have to get so hysterical?” consecutively, before screaming “SO FUCKING USELESS” hysterically, you knew that the gig in “bris-vegas” (as Kele affectionately dubbed it) was just beginning.
They then retreated back into playing and promoting their new album, with tracks Kettling and Real Talk, which left me frothing for their new record which showcased a somewhat heavier yet still a distinct Bloc Party sound.
Banquet proved a crowd favourite as expected whilst One More Chance with its infectious keyboard riff had the audience in raptures - dancing away and singing with a poor British accent. The Prayer soon followed as the intensity of their set steadily grew before they slowed things done for the beautiful This modern love. With its layered guitar, delicate drumming and vulnerable lyrics, its somehow still proved to be one of the most euphoric moments of the set.
They “closed” out the set with electronic anthem Flux that they deliver as they only know how – pretty fucking well.
With much crowd pleading they return after a short-stint backstage with their lead single “Octopus” which was well received and sounded better live then on the record.
As Kele asked “Have you got some fight left in you Brisbane?”…”Don’t be a pussy now Brisbane” they unleashed Ares. And we danced, jumped, moshed to the ‘sound of sirens’ before Helicopter rounded out the frenetic encore set.
And then, as the bright lights showered the packed out Zoo, they were gone for good. A fleeting yet memorable Brisbane stopover that showcased the ever-evolving yet always-loveable sounds of Bloc Party and I couldn’t have asked for much more.
James Diamond- AAA Backstage