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Live Review: Last Dinosaurs @ The Triffid 25.09.15

Brisbane’s favourite new live music venue The Triffid hosted the opening show of Last Dinosaurs national headline tour in support of their new album “Wellness”. A near capacity crowd packed the ex commercial hanger to catch the five piece on their first national tour after recording their sophomore album "Wellness" and extensive touring overseas.

Opening the night are local five-piece The Jensens. Sporting some gloriously cultivated moustaches and a majestic 60’s era Bob Dylan fro, they launch into their charming blend of indie-surf rock. With two main vocalists and three guitarists their set occasionally sounded like two bands competing for the same band members. But with the dangerous combination of good looks, natural stage presence, and great catchy melodies and riffs it’s clear to see why these guys are a growing presence in the Brisbane scene. They finish with a super groovy number with a great Hey Mickey/Shake It Off inspired beat that gets most of the crowd dancing.

Sydneysiders Palms are up next and immediately make their presence known. Sounding like Australia’s larrikin Circa Waves, somewhere in-between garage and indie rock, the four-piece light up The Triffid with a set of unrelenting energy, huge dynamic shifts, and an infectiously good vibe. Their combination of thrash rock tunes like Beat Down to the more radio friendly Love and This Last Year keeps the crowd bouncing and singing along to the many da-na-nas and ba-na-nas (not the fruit) screamed by vocalist Al Grigg. The performance of lead guitarist Charles Sale from Brisbane’s Babaganouj, filling in for Dion Ford, was a highlight with Sale absolutely nailing some impressive solos and counter guitar melodies.

The Triffid lights darken signaling it’s finally time for the hometown heroes to take to their stage. The now near capacity crowd surge forward to secure their Instagram vantage points and begin screaming in anticipation. Rocking the black-on-black look, the Caskey brothers lead the five-piece onto The Triffid stage to launch straight into Take Your Time.

Warmed up by their under 18’s matinee a couple of hours ago, the ‘Dinos quickly set into their show. Taking time between songs to wipe his brow, Sean tells the crowd “I’ll be sweating like a mo-fo soon…so of course you guys have too”. The hyped crowd yells in agreement and proceeds to jump, wiggle, and heartily sing along to Evie, the first single from “Wellness”.  

After another wipe of his brow Sean states they’re playing the next song “cause its Friday”, a cryptic hint answered with the opening strums of Weekend. Obviously a Brisbane favourite the crowd sways as one, as if choreographed, and loyally sings with Sean until the song’s bridge where the voice of hundreds shouting “Do you really want it?” affectionately drown out the band.

Following a trippy extended jam ending, the opening riff to Karma receives plenty of excited “woos” and plenty of tone deaf backseat singers.

As the rest of the ‘Dinos have a chug on their beers/amber liquids Sean proudly states, “today marks 100 years of us playing Honolulu, cheers!” which receives rapturous applause and whistles. Honolulu is one of the bands biggest songs, and Sean can’t hide a massive grin as the crowd deafeningly sings the “ooooh” in the chorus back at him.

The intensity drops a notch as bassist Michael Sloane steps up to the mic for “Wellness” tail-ender Stream. The cute love song calms the crowd and highlights the versatility of lead guitarist Lachlan as he switches between using a slide and his fingers. 

The thick warping synth and guitar layers in title track Wellness further calms the crowd before once again becomes a mess of jumping and cool-guy head nodding to the second single off “Wellness” Apollo.

The Triffid crowd is then treated to a double funk cover, with the Dino’s putting their spin on Michael Jackson’s Rock With You and Jamiroquai’s You Give Me Something. Both songs somehow perfectly fit their indie rock sound and entrance the crowd into a subconscious five-minute boogie.

After several loud heckles and a quick band discussion the ‘Dinos break into Andy, which tonight is dubbed “Sandy” due to a miss-heard heckle. Rather than singing Sean spends most of the song crowd surfing whilst somehow managing to continue playing his guitar. It’s hard to see who’s enjoying the moment more, the frontman of the dozens of die-hard ‘Dinos fans clamoring to touch their hero. 

As Sean tidies himself up after his crowd surf he announces delivers the news they’re at their last song. Clearly not wanting the their set to end the crowd vocalise their disappointment. But they’re not down for long as Lachlan unleashes the riff for fan favourite Zoom. All inhibitions are forgotten as everyone in the crowd jumps, twerks, sings, air-guitars, or cool-guy nods to the indie-rock banger. The ‘Dinos leave the stage to a teasingly long burst of guitar feedback, hinting that if the crowd wants it bad enough they’ll be back shortly.

After letting the crowd lose what was left of their voices shouting for “One More Song!” they slowly return to the stage. After a short humorous jam of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit they end the encore with I Can’t Help You.

Last Dinosaurs have been the top dogs of indie rock in Brisbane since their debut album back in 2012. With their acclaimed new album and a new member adding synthesizer/melodic ambience to their sound, the ‘Dinos will remain ahead of the pack for years to come.

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