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Live Review: Dune Rats w/ Waax, Hockey Dad + Wavves @ The Tivoli – 06/10/17

How exactly are you meant to put a Dune Rats gig onto paper? No matter how well you describe it, and now matter how many quick Google searches involving the term “synonym” you can muster, you’ll never quite capture the utter chaos that is happening onstage and in the crowd. You’ll never be able to extract the experience from your brain and get someone else to feel the elbows in the mosh pit connecting with your body, hear the flat tones of the drunken crowds chanting, or smell the overwhelming flavour of substances, legal and otherwise, coming from the masses as they congregate.

No photo, video or even live stream of the whole event could capture it all, because no matter where you turn, you’ll see, hear, smell, feel or taste something that you would only experience at a Dune Rats gig; be that for better or worse.My job is to faithfully report and recreate the gig that I attended, and I shall do the best that I can, but think of this less as a live review, but a sliver of the full experience that occurred in front of me last Friday night.

Waax tore through the opening slot with the intensity that the Brisbane locals have come to be known for. Front woman Maz DeVita was her own force of nature as she commanded your attention, moving all over the Tivoli stage. Fresh from a smaller stage at Bigsound last month, the Brissie five piece look like they’d be just as happy holding court on the world’s biggest festival bills, but still there’s a certain enticing rawness to their show. Their own hits like Wild & Weak and This Everything are supplemented by a raucous cover of Courtney Barnett’s Pedestrian At Best that I imagine the original singer would be proud to mosh to!

By the time that Hockey Dad take the stage next, a sufficient number of beverages have been consumed to see an all out flood of movement on the floor. The Wollongong duo have some stiff competition from Wavves, but for my money, they have the surf rock segment covered for the night. There was plenty of new material from the lads, but favourites from last year’s debut album “Boronia” were crowd favourites.

You might be forgiven for thinking that the headliners had taken the night off in lieu of California rockers Wavves, but the third act of the night was merely the three-quarter mark of this massive onslaught garage rock. It’s been a long wait since Falls Fest 2015/16 for Wavves, but it was a wait well worth it, as the four-piece dropped their best material from their latest release,”You’re Welcome” and earlier. While they might be used to larger venues and crowds after their recent touring with Blink-182, these guys played the room exactly how we wanted it; with all the sweat and sweet, sweet tunes that they could muster.

When our headliners did finally take the stage, the whole room was electric; everyone was drooling for their arrival (or maybe they’d all just imbibed a touch too much). Crashing onto the stage in their very best formal wear, the Dunies opened with Demolition Derby and proceeded to flow through a beautifully messy setlist that included just about every Dune Choon you could want to hear! From the melancholy reflectiveness of 6 Pack (complete with the return of crowd-frenzying, inflatable beer cans) to the eternally vulnerable and exposed balladic verse of Red Light, Green Light, we were treated to the whole gamut of history of the band.

Not only did the Brisbaes bring out the what’s-hot of their discography, they also brought us face-to-face with the who’s who of Australian music, as favourites like Drapht hit the stage for Mexico. By the time the boys finished their main set, the body ached, but the heart demanded more, and the needs of the heart were satisfied in a rollicking encore! A very personal highlight is always the deepest of all of their lyricism; Dalai Lama, Big Banana, Marijuana.

By the time the dust, five-panels and vans had settled, it was clear that there was no place to be on a Friday night like the Dune Rats gig. It was all hectic, all crazy, but most importantly, all party!

Written by Max Higgins