A lot of people write comments praising the virtues and energy of being a part of the audience at a live show.
‘Nothing beats it,’ they often say.
Maybe so, but what about when the audience sucks? It is undoubtedly exciting to drive into a show with the night’s headliner’s album blaring from the stereo wondering which songs they will play, how they’ll sound live, and imagining the hits performed on stage whilst in the midst of a room packed with the like-minded, all jumping, waving, and pulsing at just the right moments. So often lately though, this isn’t what eventuates, and an audience of alleged fans suddenly devolves into a beast focused on little more than elbowing its way as high and forward as possible.
So it was refreshing to walk into a steadily-filling Hi-Fi Bar to see the floor starting to fill with people actually dancing to little more than the piped music filling the air between sets.
The Hi-Fi Bar, Melbourne, August 26, 2011
Boys Boys Boys! came out and were perfect for those already on the floor to keep going with. It turns out they are a Perth group and they encouraged the dancing with their own choreographed moves. The three front-women wore matching sequinned outfits whilst the boys in the band played a kind of pop-rock that reminded me a little of The Harpoons.
They were followed by a solo act calling himself Disasteradio, who seemed to keep much of the audience in hysterics, and I suppose I can understand it. I mean, I get it, he’s fat. I just didn’t think it was all that funny. His kind of laptop electroclash is getting to be kind of run-of-the-mill lately, and there was little to set himself aside from anyone else, a fact highlighted by his vocals mixed beyond comprehension. But I guess he provided an acceptable routine to while away the minutes before the headliner.
When Regurgitator emerged, they were clad in matching skeleton costumes – which is apparently still all the rage in the local performing industry – and backed, as promised, by animated footage. The opened powerfully with their crude favourite I Will Lick Your Arsehole. They continued on to power through a set focused mostly on the classics from their first three albums, which ensured everyone was happy. I was glad to hear Blood And Spunk from the grossly underrated Love And Paranoia album, and the samples from the infamous new album were promising. All Fake Everything covered a lot of ground and made me want to rush over to the merch stand to buy the much-hyped badge-format album (but it had sold out earlier) even though I couldn’t tell whether its introduction was paying tribute to, parodying, or just ripping off Procol Harum’s A Whiter Shade Of Pale.
Despite Polyester Girl getting tiring when it featured on pretty much every seasonal compilation in 1998, the night’s hyper-speed punkBeat rendition breathed new life into the song. After an extended encore featuring The Song Formerly Known As and a Kong Foo Sing/Pop Porn medley, few would have been left with any doubt that Regurgitator are most certainly still around and, even better, still going strong, amidst so many local groups of their era calling it quits.