Last Dinosaurs hit the Northcote Social Club for the third straight night on Saturday, so that makes three bandrooms full of very lucky patrons. Not only did Last Dinosaurs rock the stage, they were supported by the very talented Alex Lahey and the wildly entertaining Foreign/National.
If you’re young and want to hear some very relatable banter, do yourself a favour a see Alex Lahey live. Her lyrics are amusing and her music is great but her stage talk (and shit talking) is what sets her apart. Her guitarist, Sam, might not be quite as amused though, as a lot of her talk was focussed on embarrassing him and his mum, Vicky, in the audience. Musically, she kicked ass all set but was particularly strong finishing with new single ‘Let’s Go Out’ and the already popular ‘You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me’. Following was a group I hadn’t heard before, Foreign/National. I can only really describe them as five guys, clearly on the piss, having a good time. They had some songs that were almost explosive while others were psychedelic, and their performance was highly animated every song.
With two great supports, the stage was set for Last Dinosaurs and they knew exactly how to keep the momentum going. They opened with last year’s popular single, ‘Apollo’, with flashing white lights and energy galore. That was just the beginning as lead singer Sean Caskey asked “Everyone had a good week? Well, it’s a Saturday so that means…” leading straight into a perfectly appropriate song from In a Million Years, ‘Weekend’. The talk from the stage continued all night as he shared that ‘Purist’ was inspired by the British band, Cribs, and he hyped the crowd announcing many of their songs from the debut album as “some songs we haven’t played in a long time”. “Were you guys around for the first album?” he asked, leading to cheers and ‘Used To Be Mine’.
It was tune after tune but it was the performances that really blew me away. Last year’s other popular single, ‘Evie’, was met with an instant reaction and people saying “choooon”, and it earned the reaction with an epic indie rock finish. ‘Andy’ might have been the highlight of the night, not just for the music or the crowd jumping up and down the whole time, but for Caskey saying “If I aim for the circle, will you guys catch me?” and falling back into the crowd for the final instrumental. And ‘I Can’t Decide’ provided enough energy on stage from the heavy rock and Caskey’s wild dancing that the Northcote crowd’s movement could almost be described as violent.
This gig was one with so many “moments” and they were all so good I just have to keep talking about them. Supporting the band on stage was an artist (whose name, I’m sorry to admit, I’ve forgotten) that will be supporting Flume on his upcoming tour. This dude was awesome! He was happy to piss around on his decks and blast the horn, showing some pretty sweet chemistry with the fill-in drummer. He even managed to chuck a sneaky horn into ‘Honolulu’, which topped off another great performance where the crowd sang every single word. There were even some cameo songs throughout, with Cher’s ‘Believe’ thrown briefly into ‘Wurl’ and “anyway, this is ‘Sweet Home Alabama’” being followed by the whole opening riff before a sudden and somewhat disappointing halt.
The easiest way to win the crowd, of course, was when we were told “Foreign National said it but I’m gonna confirm it – you’re the best crowd yet”. Artists will always say this but Caskey might have had a point. During ‘Zoom’, I witnessed my first ever mosh inside the Northcote Social Club (as much as you can have a mosh with a crowd and venue of that size). That and the perfect unison of sing alongs, epitomised by “I DON’T WANNA BE JUST ANOTHER!”, gave his point some pretty solid backing.
And that was it… except for the not at all unexpected encore. Back on the stage, the Brissie boys played ‘Always’ and ‘I Can’t Help You’, polishing a bottle of Jameson whisky in between, allowing for one last jump and mosh from the crowd, and giving Caskey a final chance to throw some sneaky shakas to the adoring fans. It was a great gig but I have to point out one major disappointment: they didn’t play my favourite of their tunes, ‘Time and Place’. But hey, if that’s my only complaint, they clearly did a hell of a lot right.
Hometown: Brisbane, QLD
Latest Album: Wellness, released 28 August 2015
Sounds like: Ball Park Music, Jinja Safari
Say what? I’m sure I’m not the only one, but I first heard of Last Dinosaurs in August 2011 thanks to an (in my possibly wrong opinion) awesome TV series, SLiDE. Six months later, they released their debut album and the rest is history. Meanwhile, SLiDE didn’t make it to a second season (travesty in my opinion).