On the 28th of March the Small Ballroom in Newcastle was packed full of sweaty, smelly, beer soaked bodies. The venue hosted one of the rowdiest gigs I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending, but you wouldn’t expect anything less from a show headlined by The Smith Street Band.
The Jen Buxton Band opened the show, Jen letting the crowd know that it was only their third show together as a band. Although she stated it was just an excuse incase the band were crap, I can assure you that it was a pleasure to finally see Jen and the band play.
Touring supports Grim Fandango, from Perth, then followed and the energy in the room started to lift gradually. They are an extremely tight act, and one I’ve wanted to see for quite a while now, with a vocalist who really spits his words in the best and most passionate kind of way.
Next up were The Menzingers, who travelled all the way from Pennsylvania (USA) to support The Smith Street Band on this tour. It was clear that a lot of the crowd were there just to see the punk rock quartet; a lot of faces pushing their way to the stage and then seemingly disappearing once the set came to an end. But considering this tour is only the band’s third trip to Australia, I don’t blame their fans for wanting to see only them. It was a spectacular set, complete with crowd surfing and stage dives.
Last but not least was The Smith Street Band, a band that is no stranger at all to Newcastle. It’s always impressive watching the way a crowd reacts to the band. During every song there’s at least one point where the crowd is almost as loud as vocalist Wil Wagner, and the amount of pushing and shoving that goes into getting close to the band can get ridiculously out of hand (especially that night). But even though you get knocked around, and usually end up covered in someone else’s sweat or their drink by the end of the set, you still feel good afterwards. There’s something special about the happy-go-lucky attitude presented by the boys in The Smith Street Band. Their shows are always filled with gratitude and passion, from both the band and their fans. As usual, they performed perfectly and it was an amazing show to watch unfold.