Words – Georgia Corpe
Photos – Zach Hogg
The Smith Street Band and their esteemed record label Poison City came together earlier this year to put on the I Love Life Festival; a mini-fest full of some of TSSB and Poison City’s favourite bands from the US and bringing along some local talent, touring only Brisbane and Sydney. Today it is Brisbane’s turn to get moshing, and what a perfect way to spend your sunny Sunday afternoon in beautiful Brisbane.
Opening up proceedings for the mini-fest is local hard hitting two-piece Walken. With a very distinct alt-rock sound, using a series of pitch-shifted and octave modulated guitar effects, these guys bring the ruckus with an abundance of intense, heavy riffs and thumping drums. It is alway admirable seeing two musos make so much noise on stage, and these guys are no exception. Showcasing a bunch of songs, likeable to other local two-piece DZ Deathrays and the original gruesome two-some Death From Above 1979, Walken successfully fire up the early birds.
Sydney based band Oslow are next up on the evenings bill, showcasing their spacious emo-rock tunes to the punters of the I Love Life Festival. Oslow’s music brings a particular mellow vibe to the the night’s lineup, playing songs from their recently released double a-side 7” It No Longer Concerns Me, impressing the crowd with their awe-inspiring musicality and talent. Although probably not as enthralling as it would be at their house shows, the Sydney quartet put on an interesting and dynamic set, bringing a fresh vibe to tonight’s proceedings.
As The Tivoli’s doors become increasingly flooded with amped up fans, The Sidekicks take to the stage with their catchy indie-rock tunes. Hailing from Ohio, encompassing the states signature north-east American indie-rock sound, the fellas pick up the pace and get punters dancing with a set full of hits from their 2015 record Runners In The Nerved World. A real stand out of the evenings set is their super catchy tune Everything In Twos as well as their cover of Prince’s classic Kiss. A great bunch of passionate dudes playing infectious indie-rock tunes; a recipe for delight. Be sure to check these guys out soon.
Next up on the night’s bill are Long-Islanders Iron Chic. Bringing their enthusiastic emo/punk-rock tunes, the much anticipated presence of these guys get people swarming to see what all of the fuss is about. After these guys released their most recent LP The Constant One back in 2013, they have become one of the most sought after punk rock bands in the States. Showing off their embracing vibes, with the crowd starting to feel more like a community then a bunch of strangers, it was no surprise how these guys have managed to create hype for their live shows. Another gem amongst the I Love Life Festival’s lineup.
Imagine Bright Eyes on crack. Okay got it? Then you got Andrew Jackson Jihad. Phoenix’s own folk-punk group get the crowd all row-ed up for the headliners, boasting their catchy and lyrically intelligent tunes. Not only are these guys talented and vibrant, but they are without a doubt one of the most entertaining acts on the evenings lineup so far. Lead signer Sean Bonnette captures the audiences attention with his charisma and ability to spit rhymes like Kendrick is a standout of the bands live act, keeping the crowd entertained from start to finish. As if the crowd aren’t already in love with AJJ, our brains explode as Bonnette closes the set with a fit of somersaults and a generous serve of chroming to himself, bandmates, and front rowers; a hard act to follow for headliners, TSSB.
The Smith Street Band finally take to the stage, closing out the festival with their classic and unmistakable Aussie style punk-rock. It isn’t often you see The Tivoli taken over by admiring and restless fans, charging into the mosh pit, jumping on each other, crowd surfing the entire set and practically treating the venue as the boiler room at Splendour in the Grass, but then again it is not often that an Australian band produces such passionate and glorious music. As every chorus is treated like an anthem, and every song executed with the ferocity as if it was their last, it became abundantly clear why TSSB are one of Australia’s most beloved bands, and one which we hope make music for many years to come.
Unfortunately, Modern Baseball were unable to attend the I Love Life Festival due to mental health issues, with TSSB lead signer Will Wagner paying homage to the band as well as the circumstances of their absence. Hopefully we get to see them next year!