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Live Review: Art of Sleeping, The Jensens, Ivey @ Woolly Mammoth, 04.12.15

“Woolly Mammoth is quiet today”, - said no one ever. That would’ve been slightly weird and disappointing to see it not buzzing and all last Friday night, as all-time-favourite Brisbane own lads Art of Sleeping were coming to rock the shit out of the Woolly Mammoth Mane Stage along with Goldy’s sweethearts Ivey and cheeky The Jensens.


The air was vibing since the very evening, people have been chatting, drinking their arses off “in-prep” for the gig, fuelling themselves with nice plates of cheat meals and just having the good Friday time. Once it struck 8:30PM, the gig crowd started slowly moving upstairs, basically, to continue doing what they have been doing, but with the “we are waiting for music” feeling and notion on the mind. There they were, The Jensens, Ivey and Art of Sleeping casually hanging around, giving out high-fives and chitchatting with everyone willing to. Frankly speaking, it was hard to think of the gig as a “concert”, it certainly felt more like a gathering of good ol’ friends, who just wanted to get drunk and have fun, and, to be even more honest, it didn’t only feel that way, it was like that! That’s the magic of the thing, when bands are coming back to where they started: the concert becomes something more, something bigger, the vibe changes and all sort of warm feelings just uncontrollably overtake you even before the first drumbeat drops.

Right in time, when the audience was already forming, Ivey got on stage. You know the very best thing about such gigs? Finding out more and more great bands for yourself! Ivey are just on the track of getting themselves “out there”, but they’re surely doing the right thing. Although the dance floor was still sort of empty, all the gazes were turned towards the stage, where the band was undoubtedly feeling bit nervous. Nevertheless, they kicked off the night with fast paced, up-beat cheering tunes that momentously brought people onto the dance floor. By the time the band got to sing ‘Sneakers’, the crowd was already keen to dance and cheer, headed by tipsy and clearly happy The Jensens that took the responsibility of shaking any uncertain things off the Ivey kids. When you want everyone to enjoy what you are doing, you have to enjoy in yourself on the first place, and Lachlan and Millie did their best in warmly connecting with everyone around. “The vibe” is genuinely being created by mutual work of the band and the audience, and hell did everyone helped one another in keeping the nice feels in the air. By the end of the set, it was clear as the water in the Norwegian lakes: audience did like Ivey, Ivey is the next cool thing, just not many people know about them yet. But isn’t it what makes them special?

Personally, I had a few doubts in my head about the way The Jensens were planning to get on stage after all the beers and not just them consumed, although, the moment they cheered the crowd with loud and humble “Hello”, I forgot about what I was thinking. Jeez, I was doubting rockers in their natural habitat, okay, it was even kind of rude, so I mentally apologized and head back to having great times amongst great peeps. About them, people kept filling the dance floor, as the instruments were being played and on-stage madness was happening, no one could be any happier in this friendly atmosphere. The Jensens do have something in their vibe, something that is yet to be understood, but just a look at them and you smile, feel as if you are…like couple decades back, hyped and energetic as hell. They really scream “vintage”. Their raucous sound is build up on boy-ish catchy lyrics, raw guitar riffs and punchy drumbeats, and we all know that all new things are forgotten goodies, that’s certainly what The Jensens have up their sleeves. Let’s let them do what they do best: being quirky, weird and talented in all best ways, without any Fears. Okay, those are okay only in a form of song, which, by the way, did rock the shaking, swinging crowd.

This gathering only kept getting better, as the night was starting its reign: the beer was flowing, the fun was all around, everyone was eager as, the Art of Sleeping was almost there to take any traces of sleepiness away. As The Jensens got off stage, we all had some time to breath in and out, make up our minds before we loose them once again. Not to exclude the guys from, well, all three bands, specifically, Art of Sleeping, who have been floating here and there in the crowd, taking photos and drawing the last ouches before hitting the stage. Hating the word homie with all my big heart, I can’t find other words to describe these guys, they are just that chill and sweet, even though it’s not the way you describe crazy rockers playing the shit out of their instruments. One cannot simply resist the magic of layered guitar tunes, upbeat, fast-paced, even close to galloping rhythms and messy powerful beats. It’s clear that since their debut, Art of Sleeping had evolved in the very best way, keeping their mesmerizing notes, yet adding truly rocking bits, turning their music into harmonic soulful pieces with a giant drop of all things hard. They didn’t wait long to drop one of their biggest yet bombs in the face of Empty Hands. Once the beats kicked off, it was impossible to resist the tsunami called “mosh”, so it was just a matter of seconds, before the crowd started boiling in its very own broth of sweat. Fascinating, how they combine the lulling, yet strong, weeping, yet screaming at the edge of the lungs’ abilities of the lead singer Caleb Hodges’, with multiple layers of grooving rhythms, the rock with folk, the last bits of sanity with craziness at its finest. The satisfying blend of magic Caleb does with this vocal range, guitar melodies, getting to the very soul and raw beats drives nuts everyone in the audience, not leaving a blank space for sanity in there. It was clearly visible, how band members were driven by the power of audience’s acceptance, you could hear that through every single note they’ve been pulling out of their instruments. The ‘sing’a’long’ never did stop, which only kept every person in the Woolly’s mane stage hyper than any hyped human-being could be in the hype history, it’s a wonder how the roof didn’t fall from all the beats received. Later, complete loosing of mind has been accompanied by ‘Win Your Heart’, ‘Bleeding Out’ and, well, surely, ‘Crazy’, which left everyone without a trace of voice.

Not a while ago, they have recorded a cover of Drake’s infamous ‘Hotline Bling’, so it was likely to hear it at some point. Though it was still sort of unexpected to hear it in the mid-set of this madness, and even more unexpected to see, how the crowd warmly accepted it and gone bonkers for a full length of the track. But what can you do, when a bunch of legends covers one of the Top40 tracks in the best, almost unrecognizable, weirdly satisfying way, and makes you sing along, shake your head and butt all along. In any case, looks like Art of Sleeping ‘hotline bling’ed’ us all the way last Friday night…And hell we are thankful for that! 

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