Gomez, The White Buffalo, The Panda Band @ ANU Refectory (04/04/2007)

Sharing the vocal duties amongst three members of the band is different, particularly for an alternative rock band. Yet that’s what Gomez do. There’s a great deal of democracy within the band. Ben, Ian and Tom bring differing vocal styles to the band’s songs, and each have their own particular personality playing live. This evening it was Tom who seemed to have all the fun. He was positively elated at the thought of playing in a new town, to people who may not have witnessed his band live.

There is something about Gomez that brings one an extraordinary amount of joy. They are consummate live performers who transform their recordings into wonderful live shows. One can’t help but smile and dance as they play, and it would be a crime not to sing along when one knows the words.

Older and better-played songs were received with adulation by the crowd; singing along at the tops of their lungs. The set kicked off with Revolutionary Kind which was followed up by These Three Sins causing the crowd, including some in the photo pit to dance and sing wildly.

See the World from current LP, How We Operate, kept the crowd in sing along mode. The entire set saw people up dancing and really enjoying what was a terrific live show. It closed with a four song encore finishing with an extended version of How We Operate. The crowd whooped and cheered as the band left the stage, Gomez had played an excellent live show.

Supporting Gomez this evening were The Panda Band from Perth and The White Buffalo from the US. The Panda Band kicked off the night and has improved markedly from their early performances. They have developed quite an indie friendly little band who’s singles have been rapidly picked up by Triple J. Radio exposure helped them draw a healthy early crowd. Their diverse sound ranged from college radio indie to more orchestrated works that are almost reminiscent of The Beatles Strawberry Fields.

Following the Panda Band was The White Buffalo a singer songwriter from the US. Taking his lead from acoustic Dylan and Woody Guthrie. His style ranged from the blue to folk, with his only accompaniment his trusty acoustic guitar. He sang about girls, getting drunk, losing love, and heartbreak, all those things you’d expect from a soulful singer songwriter. His set was good, but ultimately the crowd was waiting to see the evening’s headliner.

When all was said and done you could not fault the musicianship or the set Gomez played. As the Canberra crowd streamed out around midnight we left spent but elated at the performance we had witnessed.