12 July, Beach Road Hotel

You’d never go to Beach Road Hotel for a quiet one. Whether you like to have a beer and watch the footy on a huge projector, dance to mainstream pop, play some pool, have a burger or listen to house, techno, indie-rock or folk bands, Beach Road provides the goods.

Wednesday night was exactly like that; a maze of rooms, each one with a different crowd and activity. The footy fanatics watched State Of Origin and yelled at the projector while the Bondi Hipsters travelled upstairs to eagerly await Dope Lemon’s performance.

The venue was so packed that even by 8pm that we waited over 30 mins for a beverage while listening to DJ BYO Daddy’s sweet set. There was certainly no BYO booze or dads involved, but rather a fusion of house, then disco-house, then some techno and back again. Pink lights framed the stage as the usual boogiers raged at the front while the rest chilled in the smoking or pool areas. Despite the jam-packed room and foggy windows, people just kept on rolling in. BYO Daddy did his thing, setting the vibes for the night ahead.

Next up, 10pm saw the amazing Brisbane-based indie, punk, alternative-rock band, WAAX absolutely shake the bursting room. Within moments of their first song, a mosh pit began to form and we knew their set would be insane. Frontwoman Marie DeVita sung up a storm; the edgy drum and guitar reverberations complimenting her wavering, husky voice. There was literally hair EVERYWHERE. Guitarists Chris Antolak, Tom Griffin and Ewan Birtwell swung their long locks side to side for the entire set, creating an authentic rock vibe. The mosh pit kept on rocking while a few brave fellows crowd surfed. DeVita’s singing promptly transitioned to metal-style screaming while sweat dripped from every person in the room.

I’d never seen such a tightly compacted venue, and people were still rolling in for Dope Lemon. We stood tight, desperately trying not to loose our spot that offered a tiny peek of the stage. The latecomers down the back had no chance of seeing ahead. Around 11pm (alrightm more like 11.30 – hey it’s Angus Stone, I reckon he’s allowed to be a little fashionably late), saw them glide on stage. Stone made one harrowing strum, and the crowd lost their shit. A huge disco ball fragmented neon lights, framing the band with splinters of pink, green and blue.

The band started with some soft jamming, building the anticipation ever further before bursting into Coyote. The indie-folk tune echoed out “Lemons don’t get much sweater than this”; indeed they certainly do not! Some of their more underground songs played while the crowd settled into a calmer state, before Marinade came on. The song, which made the triple j hottest 100 earlier this year, gave us all the feels and vibes expected. The slow-paced drums and guitar worked around Stone’s wavering voice, which set chills down each one of our spines. “Do you want me?” we screamed and howled. I wanted Marinade to play on repeat for the rest of the night.

Next up we heard some more of their quiet songs before Uptown Folks left the crowd speechless. We stood on the tables to catch some remaining glimpses of Stone’s bearded mouth kissing the mic while his voice soothed our ears and pierced our souls. The faster-tempo and familiar lyrics ensured everyone left the venue sweaty, hoarse-throated and exhausted. Everyone tonight certainly delivered an insanely pumping vibe.