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Grinspoon, the original winners of Triple J Unearthed, and one of the godfathers of Australian grunge rock. Promoting their new album “Black Rabbit’s”, the boys from Lismore were ready to entertain a sell out crowd at The Tivoli.

In typical Grinspoon fashion the night began explosively, with a brief wave to the crowd before creating their huge wall of sound opening with their 1998 smash hit “Black Friday” and cult favorite “Dead Cat” (affectionately labeled DCX3 on their onstage set list). This left no room for the crowd to warm up, this band required immediate attention.

Phil Jameson was at his best, his usual flamboyancy winning everyone over, myself included even though he may have used his cups of water to wet my camera a few times. Jameson also threw his guitar skills into the mix, providing his guitar work on new singles “Branded” and “Passerby”. Unfortunately Jameson’s inclusions on musical instruments has an obvious effect on the song writing with the previously mentioned new singles hosting a poppy, more radio friendly edge which leaves the die hard fans groveling.

Fortunately throughout the night there was a huge array of material spanning across the band’s entire discography. Half way though the twenty song strong set, “Chemical Heart” paved way for an acoustic medley of tracks and lowered the intensity but introduced a friendly sing along vibe. Exiting the acoustic set was “Bad Funk Stripe” a song rarely played live by Grinspoon and an absolute to treat to hear, especially with the latter of the song returning to the distorted guitars and elegantly whisking the crowd back into to the heavier material.

The air throughout The Tivoli was electric; with both tiers of the crowds quickly becoming happily drenched in each other’s sweat whilst singing enthusiastically to each and every song throughout the evening. The onstage energy was always at high intensity, which was reflected onto the vibrant and restless crowd. The loudest section of the night was rightfully owned by “Champion”, with the crowd generating a mammoth reception with only it’s first few bass guitar notes.

As the night came to an end and the ‘Grinners’ left the stage, their imprint remained for quite some as the ticket holders left the building. Songs were still being sung outside the venue as all fans were left to make their way home on an obvious high. In what seemed a very short time, Grinspoon had been and gone, leaving behind what many long-term achieving bands fail to acquire. For the old fans it was a testament to their dedication, and for the new fans it was an obvious reason as to why this group deserves to be loved.

Skribent: Matt Campbell
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