Surfers Paradise was booming with people. Street performers were clouded by insane crowds, tourists and locals alike, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Gold Coast culture. The markets by the beach were filled with eager buyers, and as I made my way through I could not wait for it to hit 8pm, for the doors at Elsewhere to open, and to be welcomed by not only the aircon, but some of the best local musicians for Tesla Cøils’s ‘Dinosynth’ single launch.
Peroni in hand, I waited for the crowds outside to make it in to catch the first act of the night, Lotus Ship. Seasoned regulars in the local scene, I hadn’t seen this band perform for two years and was excited to see how they had grown and changed from great to better; and I definitely was not disappointed. Leading man Mitchell Watterson began his performance timidly and for the most part not moving. As the room began to fill, his stage persona came to life, even hugging a member of the audience at one point. Stage interaction between the band members was incredible, and audience interaction even more so. Bassist Christian Kafritsas stole the show, solidifying himself as the most enigmatic live bass player I think I have ever seen.
This was followed by Hot Cøffee, an act I had seen all around gig posters, but never yet heard or seen live; and I definitely was not disappointed. Vocalist Matt Hansford was charismatic and inviting, delivering all his lines with energy and without flaw. It was easy to tell what the crowd favourite was, with voices around me booming to hear leading single ‘Magic’, which they closed with and left the crowd on a high, eager to hear headliners of the night, Tesla Cøils.
Jed Wølters and Chris Dennis entered the stage in typical Tesla fashion- full theatrics as they both walked up together and just stood for a moment before starting the party with, you guessed it, ‘The Party’. The show started on the high and definitely stayed that way throughout, featuring countless synth solos which stole the crowd, enigmatic and captivating stage personas and even a newer track, ‘Ice Witch’, the anthem for anyone who’s ever dealt with a narcissist, sang almost entirely in German.
I had seen Tesla Cøils on multiple occasions over the past few years as their popularity has been growing, but never with the amount of crowd enthusiasm and captivating stage presence as this. It seems Tesla have found a home at Elsewhere, with most of their songs being sang back to them from the masses of the crowd (and some very positive hecklers). The set drew to a close of course with ‘Dinosynth’, recognised immediately from the familiar signature roaring dinosaur synth, teased throughout the set hiding in many of the other songs, immediately being recognised by the crowd. The set was then supposed to finish on crowd favourite ‘Creature’, however, the band was called back for an encore, ending the night on a very appropriate Joy Division cover.
As the band left the stage, I knew I had definitely found the right place to spend my Friday night. All 3 acts were very different in sound, yet they all proved themselves as some of the most exciting and unique performers currently on the scene right now. I left the night on a high, with a pride for the community I am so lucky to be apart of, the talent I am so grateful to be surrounded by and the large amount of people fighting to keep live music alive. Amongst the current changes in music, with countless venue shutdowns as well as the impending NSW laws, it’s nights like these that make you realise that as long as there’s acts like these and room fulls of supporters to follow them, live music is never going to fade.
Check out the video for 'Dinosynth' below:
Words by Emily Hollitt , Photography by Hannan Paul