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Live Review: Millencolin @ The Tivoli


It was early in the night – almost too early. It was usually the time people expect to see the second supporting act wrapping up their set, but both Driven Fear and Grenadiers already impressively performed their brand of up-tempo punk. Just as people in the crowd were beginning to wonder how long they would have to wait, the lights went out and the doomsday sirens began to sound. Brisbane’s favourite Swedish punk band was ready to hit the stage.

Millencolin started off with Egocentric Man, the opening track off their latest album ‘True Brew’. Even though Nikola Sarcevic joked later in the set that Millencolin weren’t a political band, the opening song felt like a statement about the current political climate in Australia. It’s hard not to think of Malcolm Turnbull – or the Liberal Party in general – when you hear the lyrics, “I’m an egocentric man / I’ve got a little narcissistic plan / so if you ever need a helping hand, I don’t give a damn / I am an egocentric man”.

With barely a breath in between, Millencolin played three of their classics, Penguins and Polarbears, Twenty-Two, and Fox. It was evident that Penguins and Polarbears was a crowd favourite, as The Tivoli audience drowned out Sarcevic’s vocals during the chorus. In contrast, there was a rather lukewarm audience response when guitarist Erik Ohlsson asked if anyone had listened to their latest album. From there it was clear that songs from the first four albums were probably going to be the most well received of the night.


After Millencolin played Sense and Sensibility, there was a fairly even spread of songs across their eight album collection. However, with posts on social media celebrating the 20 year anniversary of ‘Life on a Plate’, along with items of merchandise at the show with the iconic bird from the cover, it was surprising that Millencolin only played two songs from the album, Bullion and Olympic. But this took nothing away from their performance, as the crowd flailed ecstatically in the mosh pit to whatever Millencolin decided to play.

Millencolin returned to the stage after ending their initial set with Duckpond and Mr Clean. After playing five tracks, including Ray and Silent Suicide, Millencolin’s encore ended with No Cigar, the first track off their breakout album ‘Pennybridge Pioneers’. It set the crowd into a frenzy as they were no doubt having flashbacks of attempting kick flip and grind combinations in ‘Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2’ (or if they were like me, attempting one trick too many and bailing).


There was a lot to admire about Millencolin’s relatively minimalistic approach. With the exception of the odd quip about why they don’t have a backdrop (thanks Malcolm) and encouraging the crowd to form a circle pit (sorry, IKEA pit), Millencolin’s approach was to simply play as many great tunes as they could, as well as they could – and in some cases, as fast as they could. This led to a fast-paced, energetic show full of songs that the crowd had no problem singing along to. The only criticism of Millencolin’s performance at the Tivoli is that they didn’t play Ace Frehley. Come on guys – you can’t abandon a classic like that!

Check out our Photo Gallery HERE and our interview with Erik Ohlsson HERE