A Tuesday night gig is always something people are wary of attending, becoming too worried about getting wasted and hating hump day even more, but when The Growlers are playing, well people embraced the mid week gig and it was a sold out show. The Growlers have sold out three mid week shows in Sydney and that's something to be stoked about.
After being an avid Growlers listener for quite some time now I was keen to hear how the new tracks sounded live, last time I saw The Growlers was in 2014 when they toured Australia with The Babe Rainbow in support.
The main room at OAF was full to the brim with a quite young crowd which surprised me, they also loved to embrace the mid week bevs. When the band came out and the curtains unfolded (legit happens at OAF) there was a big ol scream from many girls and the Californian band were effortlessly cool when gracing the stage. They made their way through a large majority of their most recent album 'City Club', released last year.
I was extremely surprised when everyone, like pretty much everyone knew the words to all the songs, I always had a perception that The Growlers were still quite unknown in Australia but I was proven wrong (along with them selling out shows all over the country). All of the tracks sounded great live from the bands end but the sound was sketchy throughout the set, quite a bit of feedback was going on which distressed the lead man Brooks Nielsen here and there during the set, but he quickly became relaxed and went on to soothe the audience with his baritone vocals that are ever so smooooth.
There was crowd surfing and stage diving from some punters which distracted everyone, including the band which kind of annoyed me. The music isn't crowd surfing material at all, it's yeah let's enjoy a beer and groove (crowd etiquette guys!) I really did enjoy the music though, the band are extremely well rehearsed and know their set from the inside out. Songs like 'Night Ride' , 'Going Gets Tough' and 'City Club' were huge live tracks.
There was a point in the set where lead man, Brooks left the stage and guitarist Matt Taylor took over the vocals and the band cracked out this sick psych track where the instrumentals were just tasttte! I think that was my favourite track throughout the live set to be honest, the crowd had settled down and people were just listening.
Overall I felt bad for the band because there was a lot of feedback in their set but they held it together and put on a fantastic show. I do wish they spoke to the audience more but I wasn't expecting them to at all. I would like to see The Growlers again in maybe a more intimate setting where unnecessary mosh pits didn't evolve.
Photography: Olivia Parsonson
Reviewer: Sarah McEwan