Dead Letter Circus, Jerrico, I Am Giant @ UC Refectory, Canberra (2/9/11)

Brisbane band Dead Letter Circus are no strangers to Canberra, and visited again last week on their No Fracking Way tour. Bringing along support bands I Am Giant and Jerrico, the gig had a last minute change of venue from the University of Canberra’s new bar Zierholz to the larger space in the Refectory. The audience seemed small but varied, a sign of the large appeal of the headliner.

Alt-rock band I Am Giant, comprised of three Kiwis and a Pom, were up first. Having released their debut album in August, the boys were keen to put on a energetic show.

Up next, and fronted by a singer who borders on looking like a camp bushranger, Melbourne based prog-rock outfit Jericco are a five piece with the now standard Australian hard rock/metal influences many other bands in the scene emulate. Middle Eastern sounds puncture an otherwise stock-standard sound, and despite the band putting on an energetic performance, their setlist sounded like one overly long song and the crowd just couldn’t get into it. Unresponsive until the very end of the set, unfortunately Jerrico just couldn’t get the vibe they strived to create.

Around 10.30pm, the lights went down and the audience started to cheer, but where were Dead Letter Circus? I guess the intention was to build the suspense, but it took too long for the band members to appear onstage and it brought down the vibe.

When the five piece did show up, the first song sounded flat and out of time. In fact, it took a few songs for the boys to find their sync, but once they did, they played their expected hard and fast sound to UC. By now the crowd had swelled considerably, and the vibe had certainly picked up.

“Let’s get this shit bouncing!” yelled frontman Kim Benzie.

And bounce they did. Energetic ‘til the very end, DLC’s last performance in Canberra was a disaster when the power went out not once, but twice, and so they must have felt they owed a better gig this time around. Microphone feedback was a minor issue at times, but the powerful crowd singalongs made up for it.

Ending with a drum solo and rousing encore, Dead Letter Circus put on a great performance, and lets hope that next time around, they still manage to keep the power on.