Ball Park Music, City Riots, Millions @ Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane (21/07/2011)
Indie quartet Millions got things under way with their quintessential pop songs building up the energetic atmosphere from early in the night. Their combination sound of catchy and distorted guitar riffs and smooth vocals were an ideal match for the proceeding acts, and enveloped the darkened bar. Those Girls and Citrus were favourites of the short and sweet set and exemplify the best of their talents. They did not demand attention, rather provided a fitting atmosphere to warm up the crowd.
The second of the support acts and the cheese in the sandwich of indie-pop delight was Adelaideans, City Riots. These guys upped the energy and were seen to engage their audience during and between songs by way of sing-a-longs and movement that couldn’t be contained by the stage, maintaining great momentum throughout their set. On occasion they channeled classic British pop with crisp vocals and bouncy beats, yet with an all-Aussie cheek that won them over many new fans. They ended their set by inviting Drawn From Bees member Dan James on stage for an impromptu and unrehearsed cover of Springsteen’s Dancing In The Dark. On paper, it seemed rather ambitious considering the classic nature of the song, but those who were there cannot argue that they did The Boss justice.
By the time the headliners and local golden children Ball Park Music hit the stage, the full-to-capacity Alhambra Lounge was at the height of its energy and did not falter, particular after their opening number, iFly. They skipped ecstatically through their better known singles as well as new tracks from their debut album whilst barely catching their breaths. As the first verse of their far-too-catchy cover of The Presidents of the United States of America’s Peaches were sung, vocalist and undercover thespian Sam Cromack launched himself into the crowd. As he bobbed about the sea of hands like a skinny-jeaned rag doll, Cromack, his band and gig goers all sang in unison to celebrate a mutual love of the pitted fruit. The collective screams and Peter-Garrett-esque dancing continued all through a well devised set list and concluded with Sad Rude Future Dude, at which point Cromack once again dove head first into the crowd and maintained the loudest of singing voices.
Three well established pop bands with three individual signatures not only defied expectations but proved themselves to be consistently entertaining. What more could you ask for?