Saturday night I had the absolute pleasure of heading along to Max Watts to catch one of my all-time favourite bands City Calm Down. Arriving at the venue there was a really good vibe circulating through the already packed out site, a mix of ages old and young chattered excitedly before the beautiful Ali Barter took to the stage belting out her tracks and pumping up the crowd before CCD. She teased us with news of the near completion of a new album due to be released next year. I gotta say when she played girlie bits I couldn’t keep the smile off my face, she has an incredible voice and I can’t wait to see what she brings out next year!
I saw City Calm Down earlier this year at Splendour In The Grass and distinctively remember the presence of the band on stage which made the entire show for me, so I was interested to see if they bought the same passion outside of the festival scene. After a 30-minute intermission the lights in the venue went out and the boys from Melbourne took to the stage. The orange and deep purple lighting that the band use really complement their sound, setting a definite mood in the room as soon as the eerie synths that create the unique city calm down began echoing through the venue the crowd erupted. Beginning with “wandering” boy was I captivated by the lead singer Jason Bourke’s absolute love for the music he creates.
He grips the microphone and literally tells the story through his body language and immaculate vocal range. Then came Son, an absolute banger of a track! The crowd fed off the performance the band gives singing the lyrics right back with adoration to the band. Again I just have to mention the ridiculous performance that the band puts on for the fans. Track after track the audience knew and sung every lyric back, the atmosphere in the room was indescribable. The band played a mix of old and new including pleasure and consequences and until I get back, and even did an insane cover of the smiths “the charming man” which I have to admit was one of my favourite songs of the night.
These guys really know how to work the crowd, getting everybody clapping, singing and dancing along just as they wanted them. As the night came to an end the boys finished with the stellar track your fix which led to Bourke diving off the stage like the true rock star he is.
I think we were all a little disappointed that the David Bowie tribute of “Let’s Dance” didn’t get played, but sure enough just as we thought they wouldn’t respond to the call of an encore by the crowd, the boys returned and tore the house down with their rendition of Bowies explosive song. There wasn’t a still person in the crowd as we all just danced. In all city calm down are an incredible band for the music and lyrics they bring to the world and especially for the passion and presence they bring to a live set!