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Live Review: The Smith Street Band “Death To The Lads” Single Tour @ The Triffid


With the release of their latest single Death to the Lads and the anticipation of a new album from The Smith Street Band, the excitement and energy of Smithies fans pouring into Brisbane’s The Triffid was through the roof!

Forevr kicked off the night with some cool, eerie tunes that were reminiscent of a haunted forest with their frontwoman’s strong, dreamy vocals layered over heavy but slow percussions. They handed the stage over to Melbourne rockers Grim Rhythm, who opened with some dramatic instrumentals and shredding before announcing “This song’s about having group sex in a hotel room, there’s no words so just think about who you’d wanna do it with!”. Their set featured plenty of impressive riffs, succinct hard drumming, and a shoey of milk.

After an enthused set of Aussie rock from The Nation Blue, the mosh pit huddled in as we waited eagerly for The Smith Street Band to stroll onstage. Without a pause to say “Hello!” they jumped straight into Death to the Lads, and they barely got through the first verse before the old airplane hanger began smelling pretty green.


Sunshine and Technology and I Love Life kept the show rolling, and the pit was totally alive with a shared love for the Melbournian quartet. The mutual respect among their condensed fans says a lot about The Smith Street Band, as it was the sort of pit where everyone acts like pals already, picking up fallen ones off the floor, quickly grabbing dropped phones for each other, and sharing spraying around water.

There was a sign in the audience that read, “I lost my driver’s licence to be here”. Frontman Wil Wagner explained the fan won tickets by promising to get a ‘Smith Street Band tattoo, but got pulled over while supervising a learner driver and lost his licence. Wagner dedicated Ducks Fly Together to the fan and we were filled with happiness, and the steady beginning of the song had us all clapping and stomping along before euphorically yelling along to the chorus.


Wagner and the lads gave us a sneak peak of the new album, playing a brand new track.  It was a little bit heavier than some of the tracks on their ‘Throw Me in the River’ album, but also a touch catchier. Jumping from brand new material back to 2011 with Sigourney Weaver, we all jumped and sang along, which continued through East London Summer and Young Drunk.

It felt like the entirety of The Triffid was singing along to Young Drunk as a circle pit started. The venue was well and truly alive with everyone just as enthused as The Smithies up front. Something I Can Hold in My Hands and Surrender made everyone totally wild, passionately yelling the lyrics back at Wagner and dancing around. “I’m so happy” Wagner laughed before jumping into Wipe That Shit-Eating Grin Off Your Punchable Face. Throw Me in the River was up next and we all sang back every word, with Wagner throwing the chorus over to us a couple of times, as we collectively yelled “Throw me in the f*cking river”, to which his face lit up with a stoked smile.


The Smith Street Band are a really cool group, not just for their music and inclusive and friendly attitude towards gigs, but also for their openness on mental health issues. Wagner talked a bit about dealing with manic depression and chronic anxiety, and (most importantly) coming out the other side. “You guys saved my life, so thanks so f*cking much” he said before jumping into the apt I Don’t Wanna Die Anymore.

Wagner talked a bit about their new release set for next year, “I’ve never been so proud of anything…I think it’s our best album so far!”, before finishing an amazing show on Arrogance of a Drunk Pedestrian. The Smith Street Band really brought it for the Brisbane leg of their ‘Death to the Lads’ single tour, showcasing their brilliant talent, humbleness, and super fun attitude.

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