13 May, Hudson Ballroom
With a name like ‘Hudson Ballroom’, my first thought was: ‘Can I still wear sneakers?’ In reality, the venue delivered a perfect indie-rocker’s haven. The grungy, underground den formally known as Goodgod Small Club was so intimate you could smell the age-old flannel shirts on the bearded music fanatics.
Early music enthusiasts saw the 7.30pm opening act, Dear Seattle. The stage was tiny and eye level as to prevent any awkward double chin views of our favourite musicians. The loud, longhaired indie-punk rockers performed to a half empty room, sippin’ on tinnies. Nevertheless, the band played like they were rocking out to a huge crowd, lost in the trance of their music.
Next up, Tiny Little Houses saw lead singer Caleb Karvountzis wearing a simple black’n’white Tired Lion T-shirt. The pop-rock band sung their hearts out as the venue packed out and heated up and more devotees rolled in to ensure they have enough beers for the night ahead.
As usual, the overly enthusiastic head boppers jumped down the front as the tall, quiet dudes chilled at the back. The band stopped around 9pm and you could taste the anticipation as they begin setting up for Tired Lion.
9.30pm finally rolled ‘round and the lights dimmed. Old school techno played – possibly in tribute to Goodgod (RIP) – as we stood sweating shoulder to shoulder, but still with some room to groove. Guitarists and drummer Matt Tanner, Ethan Darnell and Nick Vasey came on first in all black, taking their places smoothly while lead Sophie Hopes waltzed on stage rocking a white Tiny Little Houses shirt. They got straight into it with oldies: Figurine and Not My Friends.
The lights turned a shade of red and orange as Sophie introduced a new song from their debut studio album Cinderella Dracula, Fresh. The crowd was digging their new tunes as they followed with Camp, Suck and Pixies.
Halfway through, Vasey broke his silence: “Considering this is a ballroom, does anyone know how to do a waltz? ‘Coz that’s what’s about to happen,” as they led into I’ve Been Trying. The song was slow to start, and then rapidly heated up as a mosh pit formed in the audience.
By the time they played I Don’t Think You Like Me, the crowed was revved up, screaming along with the lyrics. We got tossed side to side, Hopes kissed the mike and Vasey and Tanner’s sweat dripped down onto the front row.
Behave and Agoraphobia proceeded before Hopes broke the silence again. “Guys, we haven’t got much time left… but put your hands up if you’ve had a one night stand.” Some brave members of the audience reluctantly raised their hands. “Nah. I said put your FUCKING hands up if you’ve had a FUCKING one night stand!” Laugher erupted as she got into their final song Cinderella Dracula. Naturally, it was totally amazing and we all felt a communal sadness that this was their final song.
Encore was a cover of Blur’s classic Song 2, shared with Tiny Little Houses lead, Karvountzis. A cathartic end to an awesome sweat-fest of night.