This week, I’m looking back on my fondest memories of Gig’s I’ve attended, and gig’s I’ve actually played. I’m trying not to always be so nostalgic when it comes to writing these pieces, but it’s the current mood I’m in so you gotta deal!
The first gig I ever attended was a AFI show back around 06-07. I don’t remember where, but I do remember the gig vividly because I was so excited when they hit the stage that I decided I would go straight into the mosh and got elbowed by some big sweaty dude right in the nose then had to sit the next couple tracks out cause I was completely out of it. It was a great show though, they were super tight and sounded pitch perfect both vocally and musically. Since then, I’ve been to many different shows and festivals throughout the next 10 years or so.
My favourite gigs I’ve been too? That’s a pretty hard question to answer. I’ve grown up (kind of) over the years and of course my musical taste has changed. I still remember the first Soundwave I went to, stupidly my first outdoor festival, I thought I would be smart and wear a single cause it was gunna be hot, stupid old me got so sunburnt I practically stuck the train seat on the way home – seriously it was like Velcro when I stood up. I remember attending the next 3 or 4 Soundwaves, each time they became less and less fun for me. I know that’s weird but bands I wanted to see begun to clash, and more and more dickheads were out and about where the festival became more of a fashion show or some kind of dick measuring contest. I guess that’s my main problem with the gigs I’ve been too for the most part. Admitting, back in the day I used to jump around and mosh, not really aware of my surroundings, but if I did hit someone I would always apologize because that was never my intent, I just got way to excited jumping around that sometimes people did get in the way, but I was always the first to say sorry – mainly because I’m not much of a fighter!
I was lucky enough to get the money together to see Metallica with my two brothers back when they were promoting the "Death Magnetic" album, which was something I needed to do – being such a BIG band growing up and a huge influence on why I begun to play music. I was not let down. For a bunch of 40 or 50 year olds they rocked the shit out of the venue – plus Kirk played the solo to ‘One’ right in front of me – I’ve never been made that happy by a grown man in my life. It was a great experience to share with my brothers considering they were the ones who got me into Metallica.
Some other gigs that stick out for me, a more recent one was seeing The Smith Street Band at the Metro for the first time – opening was Luca Brasi who I fell in love with after watching them play. The show was just so much fun and the Smithies sounded great. They put on a top notch show and I couldn’t have been more impressed. I also saw Bliss n Eso at the Enmore – which was my first non "Rock" show I attended. It was amazing, sure I was under the influence at the time but that didn’t subtract from the feel good aura they leaked whilst they performed. Incubus was also a great night for me. I was there with my best mate, completely baked just having a great time and they were tight as hell. Linkin Park as well was a huge influence on my teenager days and when I saw them live, with Chris Cornell opening it was a dream come true and I had a great time.
But sometimes, Gig’s have turned me off bands. For example when I saw The Used and My Chemical Romance at A Taste Of Chaos many years ago, the singers couldn’t hold a note and it completely changed my opinions on them, and really I haven’t gone back since although I’m hell curious for this new The Used album – just to see what they are like now.
Overall when I attend gigs now I tend not to go into mosh pits anymore, to be honest I’m getting older and I can’t be bothered being squashed by a bunch of sweaty people, and plus I go to enjoy the music so I like to sit back and watch the band perform.
With my band we’ve played a tonne of shows now. Some have been the best moments of my life, others have been moments that I almost gave up playing. Our first gig we ever played was in a battle of the bands. I had literally joined the band about two weeks before we played and I had never had so much fun playing guitar before. Funny side note, in the back room where we used to Jam we were all stressing so much, we were pouring out sweat. Seriously you could have bottled that shit and ended all droughts occurring in the world. We were so surprised by it and nervous that we all decided to bring towels with us because (This must happen when you play live) little did we know the air con in the room was actually set at 30 plus degrees and we were just sweating balls due to that.
I remember many years ago now, when we had our first gig at The Bald Faced Stag opening up for As Venice Sinks. Still to his day I have no idea what a pop punk band was doing on their bill, and boy did we fuck it up. I was so nervous I somehow manged to tune my guitar half a step down and everything sounded like complete shit. It was the ultimate embarrassment at the time now it’s pretty funny to look back on but I couldn’t look anyone in the eye after that show. Since then, we’ve played a tonne of shows in Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne and had a sweet road trip down to Umina for a hell of a three hour set.
I’ve said it before, our band hasn’t broken any boundaries. We haven’t changed the face of music and more then likely never will, but when we play we give it 100%. Be it to a room with one of our loyal mates or to a room filled with all our mates and randoms, we play like we are playing to a packed out stadium. And that’s the way to do it. I’ve got some friends who envy me being able to play live, a dream they have had for years but never got into a band. It’s a pretty special feeling when you get up in front of people and play the music you wrote and they actually enjoy it.
One last thing, we need to support our local scene as cliché as it sounds, we NEED to. It’s easy to go out to gigs of mates, but it takes more to go out to gigs and see some random bands play. There are a tonne of bands that wont get any kind of recognition because they don’t fit the Triple J template and won’t receive the airplay they deserve. We all need to get behind the Aussie Scene cause it’s well and truly alive, just most of it is hidden away at Dive Bars and bands are stuck playing to the other bands on the bill and bar staff. It’s sad, and I’ll admit I don’t go to as many shows as I should having a family now and expenses are always tight, but I wish I did. Get out there and support bands. We don’t charge an arm and a leg and for the most part, we know what we are doing well enough so you can come and enjoy yourselves.
What was you first gig you attended?
Any gigs you’ve been to that change your opinion on the band you were seeing?
What’s the highlight gig of your life so far?
Are you in a band?
How was your first show playing live?
What’s your proudest moment in the live scene?
Nostalgic track of the week // Blue October ‘Hate Me'
Local track I’m spinning this week // Sixteen Days – Racing Trains