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Words by Tye Blinkhorn

Photography by Tam Schilling | @tamcamimages_

FULL GALLERY HERE

The perfect time for music is pretty much all the time, and thank God we have an amazing array of Australian acts, a few of them gracing the stage tonight, at the Fortitude Music Hall. On tonight’s bill of Australian music was the very fresh Ixaras, the crazy and chaotic Private Function, and the one and only, mighty Grinspoon, who are on their ‘Easy Detention’ tour. 

Aussie rock royalty, Grinspoon have been rocking stages everywhere since 1995 (28 years of giving back to Australian rock punters), and they just seem to get better and better with age, just like a fine wine. 

To start us off tonight was Ixaras. This four-piece band hailing from Brisbane, fronted by 16-year-old Ixara Dorizac are the new kids on the block. Ixara told us that she went to school just down the road, and playing here, at the Fortitude Music Hall is “kind of cool”. Ixaras and the band were finalists in this year’s triple j Unearthed, and now here they are in support of Aussie rock royalty. Ixaras‘s set was sonically vibrant, with some great guitar solos and the singer ducking and weaving between her bandmates with a joyous look on her face. It kind of gave me an indie/Paramore vibe.  During the set, Ixaras needed to tune her guitar but she had to do it by ear, the crowd talking amongst themselves whilst they waited. Ixaras telling the crowd, “I need to invest in a tuning pedal.” 

Bassist and friend Josh Woo is an impressive addition to this lineup and was in a world of his own, swaying to the groove.  At one point at the end of the set, there was a light malfunction, and the whole stage went dark, but this did not faze Ixaras; yelling out, “Aww, lights off, yeah!” 

They are yet to release a full album, but give it time, it will not be long until the world knows IXARAS.

Private Function hailing from Melbourne, starting in 2016, is a 5-piece punk rock band. This was the first time I had seen these guys live and I had heard some good things about them, so I was looking forward to seeing their performance. Jimmy (keys) and Milla Holland (Bass/DJ Decks) walked out on stage first, creating some rave music vibes to get the party started. With the beats getting louder and faster, the rest of the band made their way onto the stage, Lauren Hester (Rhythm guitar), Anthony Biancofiore (Lead Guitar), Aidan McDonald (Drummer) and Chris Penney (Lead Vocals). Chris struts out with beer in hand, raising it to the heavens and cheering the crowd. Dressed like the typical Australian “bogan”, sporting one the most impressive mullets I have ever seen, he told the crowd I Dunno What I’m Doing Anymore and kicked off the first song – and we were straight into high energy punk rock, fast-paced guitar riffs and growling vocals. 

The crowd let loose, jumping all over the place, and this energy stayed for the whole set. Private Function played an array of songs from all three of their albums such as I’m This Far Away (From Being The Worst Person You’ve Ever Met), Passion Pop (“dedicated to any stupid cunt, in the audience that’s ever drunk a bottle of Passion Pop in a back alley”), Thick Of It All, Talking To Myself and Give War A Chance. There was some halftime banter where Chris said he was “exhausted as shit” and it all came down to him wanting a beer. After asking the crowd if they wanted a beer, he proceeded to grab a bag full of VB cans chucking them out into the crowd, even up into the balcony. Don’t worry, no one was injured!

Milla (the barefoot bassist), showed her digital dexterity with the fastest plucking I’ve ever seen, as well as a taste of her screaming vocals. She jumped all over the place, even jumping off stage to interact with the punters.

With the collection of songs on their setlist, they managed to fit in an ABBA classic, in the form of SOS and made it their own.

So, what I learned from tonight’s set by Private Function is; that QLD is a country, Chris said so; Butts are made for grabbing, and it’s okay to let your butt out on stage – yes, Chris showed us his butt.

I was impressed with their set, at times shocked, but I look forward to seeing them again in the future.

It has been some time since the Aussie rockers Grinspoon have played their own headliner slot in Brisbane and we were ready and rearing to go. The lights went out, synthesisers began and punters had phones at the ready to record their own piece of history. The room erupted into screaming and whistling, waiting for Grinners to take the stage.

The ringing of bells and the kicking beat of drums from Kristian Hopes, sees a flashing of lights with front man Phil Jamieson standing high up on the stage, bell in hand, and the famous Pat Davern’s guitar pick scrape.  Curtains dropped and Phil made his way down to the front of the stage ringing his bell to get things started. First song is from the 2002 ‘New Detention’ album Anyday, Anyhow. The guitar riffs that Pat Davern delivers never get old and you just know what the song is going to be when he starts playing. Everyone knew the lyrics and sang along. First song finished and straight in to another classic hit, Lost Control and of course, the crowd suitably lost control, creating an ocean of sweaty jumping bodies.

After the fourth song, with a guitar teaser playing in the background, Phil interacted with the crowd, then without delay, Pat lead straight in to the famous guitar riff of Rock Show and you could not help but sing along to the lyrics. I am pretty sure there was some sore throats after that one.

“Hey Brissy, are you ready?” Phil called out to crowd – and everyone erupted with screams of “let’s do this” kind of energy. He called out one more time just for good luck “Are you fucking ready?” … And the next song is Ready1.

Phil‘s skilful vocals, electrifying guitar riffs that we all know and love, the deep beats of bass and drums delivered tonight by Joe and Kristian, weave together present and past.

Grinspoon NEVER disappoint – giving us all the classics from 1995 to 2002 and all the fans’ favourites such as Black Friday, DCx3, Secrets, Violent And Lazy, Hard Act To Follow, Better Off Alone... The list just went on!

Through the middle of the set, Phil left the stage whilst Pat, Joe and Kristian played an instrumental, and by surprise Phil appeared, center of the balcony with acoustic guitar. A stirring cover of Don’t Change, honouring the great INXS, ensued. 

Next up, Champion erupted and so did the crowd.  Phil’s voice doesn’t falter, the guy can sing!

With a pretend walk off stage and quickly returning (…we know there is always one more!) Jamieson expressed his gratitude to fans, the band, tech crew and supports and then More Than You Are burst into life and the crowd lost their collective shit! We did not want the night to end!

Grinspoon are an Aussie treasure, beloved in our hearts and continuing to prove, 20 something years later, that they are a force to be reckoned with. I look forward to next time!!

Thanks to On The Map PR

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