On Friday night, I achieved one of my life’s goals (dramatic, perhaps… but nonetheless true), and saw State Radio perform live, at the Tivoli in Brisbane.
I almost cried, I was so happy.
Some background: Perhaps my favourite band of all time, was (and is) Dispatch. Darlings of the indie scene, who never caved to pressure, and always stayed true to their principles. They never signed to a major label, but despite (or, sometimes, I think because of this) their music reached around the globe and touched hundreds of thousands of people.
I won’t go into too much detail here; if you’re after more of a story regarding the trio of Pete Francis, Braddigan and Chad, AKA “Dispatch”, then I strongly recommend you take a look at the DVD, “Last Dispatch“. It’s a tale of the band performing their last show, at the Hatch Shell in Boston on July 31, 2004. “The Last Dispatch,” as it was called, is said to be the largest concert in independent music history, drawing fans in their droves… up to 110,000 of them. This came after announcing an indefinite hiatus in 2002. To most, The Last Dispatch was seen as their way of saying goodbye to the past.
There are some regrets that you could not have done anything to prevent; some people regret that they were born too late to see Hendrix live. One of my regrets, was that I was never able to see Dispatch perform live. And, when they broke up, I thought that I had lost my chance forever. The chance to see Chad Urmston play live, with State Radio, was something of a reprieve for that terrible regret.
Enough background, let’s talk about the show in question.
The night was opened by a band from the Gold Coast of Australia, called “Roger That“. I was surprised I hadn’t heard of these guys before, seeing as I used to live on the GC. Turns out I was certainly missing something. Roger That describe themselves as a “reggae/psychedelia/rock influenced band”, and there’s definitely something about them. A few times during their set, I was reminded of Red Hot Chili Peppers during their bloodsugarsexmagik days.
Listening to their recorded stuff, there is an amazing energy that they display on stage that is unfortunately not really captured on their tracks… so if you get a chance to see these guys live, grab it with both hands. You’ll be impressed.
That said, here’s one of those recorded tracks:
Listen: Roger That – Jefferson Lane
State Radio (photo: Laura Barisonzi)
After Roger That, it was on to the second opening act (but the obvious highlight for me), State Radio.
State Radio came on, and blew me away. I wish I could give you a track by track breakdown, but I think I entered this entirely new state of bliss from their first chords. At the end of it, I was exhausted, deliriously happy, and finding myself thinking, “What the hell just happened?“.
However, what I can tell you is that Chad and the boys performed like gods up there that night. From their (extremely) fast and energetic version of “People to People“, to their hard-hitting rendition of Camilo, I think they shocked everyone in the audience. I say this, because unfortunately I think a lot of people there weren’t aware of State Radio (or perhaps even Dispatch) before that night; however, after the second song the boys were getting appreciative screams after every song.
It would be impossible for me to pick highlights from the set; State Radio played pretty much every song I wished they had that night (with the unfortunate exceptions of “Right Me Up“, and “Keepsake“), but if I had to choose my favourite performances of the night, it would have to be “Riddle in Londontown“, “Waitress“, or “Man in the Hall” (which was performed with far more anger than I have heard out of Chad in a long time).
If you’re after State Radio Material, I would probably suggest checking out their “Us Against the Crown” album, or their latest album, “Year of the Crow“.
All in all? Possibly the best live set I have ever seen, tied with Ryan Adams & The Cardinals. One day I hope to get to explain to the lads what they did for me that night.
Listen. Love. Support.
Listen: State Radio – Gunship Politico
The Beautiful Girls
After State Radio, it was on to the main act for the night, The Beautiful Girls. The Beautiful Girls came on to the loudest cheer I’d heard all night, and opened up their set with the beautiful “Learn Yourself“. Unfortunately you’ll have to visit another blog to get a full write-up of the Beautiful Girls set. I was still riding on a high from the State Radio set, and can’t relate too much of their set here. I can tell you though that they killed it that night, the horns and sax enticing everyone, and the reggaed-up version of “Music” going down extremely well with the reggae-loving Brisbane Crowd.
Their latest album, “Ziggurats“, is available through Amazon.
Listen: The Beautiful Girls – Learn Yourself
Update: It’s just occured to me that this will be my last post until after Christmas. So, best wishes to you and yours over the festive season. Keep on keepin’ on, and catch you on the other side.