Fed Square Live
7 October 2010, Federation Square, Melbourne.
The Push is bringing top independent music acts and emerging talent to Melbourne's Federation Square. Fed Square Live is a series of free all-ages gigs, featuring indie rock, dance music, blues and roots, world music and folk for your listening pleasure. The shows will be held every second Thursday from 7 October 2010 until 21 April, 2011.
The first Fed Square Live event on Thursday 7 October 2010 was kicked off by Skipping Girl Vinegar and Jonathan Boulet.
Skipping Girl Vinegar is an alternative indie pop band that consistently goes above and beyond merely playing through a set. Every piece of musical equipment was decorated with vines, flowers, cut-out pigeons and owls. With such fine attention to the smallest details, they put on a very engaging performance of new songs and old favourites for the hundreds of people who had gathered to watch.
Front man Mark Lang provided amusing commentary throughout their solid set. Anyone who signed up to Skipping Girl Vinegar's mailing list was given a piece of homemade Mars Bar slice by keyboard player Amanthi Lynch. It must have been a pretty tasty slice, because the first girl to try a piece rated it 9.8 out of 10, and triple j had reportedly rated it 10 out of 10.
The Melbournian five-piece's new single "Wasted" has been on high rotation at triple j. Its live rendition was well received, and Mark explained it had been written about a big night at the infamous Corner Hotel in Melbourne.
Halfway through the set, Mark paused onstage to give away an old cassette tape that the band had found while trawling through op shops for old things and random objects. Apparently this was not the first time he had given away random cassette tapes to audience members.
During Skipping Girl Vinegar's performance, a lone old man appeared and began dancing at the front of the stage. Arms outstretched, he took large steps forward, then put his hands on hips before doing martial arts moves and karate kicks, and then back to swaying with the music. The crowd was very amused.
A young boy ran out of the audience to stand next to the old man and copy his dance moves. Then other spontaneous people started running out of the crowd and doing the same moves next to them. Everyone in the crowd was laughing and cheering, and gave them a well-deserved round of applause when the song had ended.
Skipping Girl Vinegar provided ample singalong moments with infectious, toe-tapping good tunes. Old favourites from their debut album included "River Road' and the crowd-pleasing "Sift the Noise". Mark Lang had wanted to inspire "bonding in Melbourne", and by the end of the set they had well and truly achieved it.
The second feature act was Jonathan Boulet, coming all the way from northwest Sydney to play his first all-ages show in Melbourne. From the moment his band started playing, they began dancing like there was a party on stage. The lyrics, "I will soldier on" reverberated across Federation Square, with many young people eager to hear Jonathan play his folk pop tunes live after hearing him on triple j.
Although Jonathan played all of the instruments on his debut album himself, his band was solid and complimented his earthy and joyous style. Daniel Cunningham from Jonathan's other band, Parades, stood in for a missing member.
Songs like "321 Ready Or Not" and "Ones Who Fly Twos Who Die" inspired people to get up and dance. The lone old man returned to dance with a young girl, and was again joined by a few eager others. For the most part, Jonathan's songs were laidback and the audience kicked back on the pavement to watch. A new song was played as the sun began to set over the city.
At last was the song that many in the crowd had been waiting to hear: "Community Service Announcement". As the opening chords began, young people swarmed the stage to dance and sing along. It was a treat to hear it being played live and loud across Federation Square.
The next Fed Square Live shows are sure to be just as amazing! For upcoming dates, exclusive news, updates and behind the scenes footage of Fed Square Live, check out the Federation Square website (new window) or find it on Facebook (new window).
4.5 out of 5.
For more gig reviews, check out our Reviews archive.
Articles Written by Ruth
Reviews written by Ruth
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