Moose Blood ‘2018 Australian Tour’ @ Corner Hotel, Melbourne

It had felt like an eternity since I had sat up late in bed listening to Moose Blood’s new album, I Don’t Think I Can Do This Anymore for the first time. Its lyrics had me audibly “aww”-ing countless times throughout its runtime, and I had been dying to see it live ever since then.

This feeling of love was evident in the air as everyone rolled into The Corner Hotel last Sunday night. Chatting excitedly amongst themselves and constantly checking their watches, it was smiles all round as the anticipation for some fantastic live music was shining through all attendees.

Fever Speak opened up the proceedings with their passionate and vibey hard alt-rock music. Their rough and funky instrumental combinations mixed with the passionate gravelly vocals to form one huge ball of sound, flying at you and surrounding you with atmosphere. Having seen them once before, I knew what to expect, but was still taken aback by the skill of the drummer. Doing his own thing the whole time, he was playing as if he was by himself on stage, yet it worked perfectly with every other aspect of the band. It kept the instrumentals grounded in a way, and was prompting a few crowd members to dance. Although the movement from the crowd was lacking for most of the set, they still received a warm reception from the audience.

Fever Speak introduced their new member Jake, announcing they were now a five piece, and played a new song. Echoing and moody, it was promising to say the least, so keep an eye or two out for that on the horizon. Towards the end of the set they launched into a huge instrumental section, which went on for over a minute and shot their stage presence to it’s peak. Throwing themselves around stage and releasing all their final energy through this section, it was like a huge climactic final chorus to a play, leaving everything they had left right there on that stage. Dramatic, overwhelming, and overpowering, as the guitar licks and heavy drumming made them feel like they should be playing a stadium. Closing the set with that did them wonders, and although I’d seen that before as well it still had me dumbfounded at just how damn cool it was.

Terra were up next, and were full of energy. From the word go on one side of the stage, they were moving and grooving around stage, fully lost in the music as they seemed to be in their happy places. In contrast however it was a bit unusual, as two members on the other side playing bass and guitar appeared to be cramped into a 2 metre or less wide space, so they were fairly limited. Unsure as to why this was, it certainly made the set look odd as the guitarist on the other side had half of the stage to himself. Obviously this didn’t hinder the sound, as their rocky post-hardcore had heads banging and hips moving. Multiple people were passionately singing along through every song, and vocalist Cassie Sutton was clearly playing off them and rising to her element. At this stage the room was filling up, and Terra definitely gained themselves a few fans this evening.

Next up were Hundredth. Being fairly new to the band I could tell they were going for a huge overwhelming atmospheric performance, using the lighting and their sound to really convey that. There was a lot of crowd love for the alternative band, with people getting lost in the music and dancing as if in their own world to the tight instrumentation.

For myself, I found the set hard to get into, finding that the vocals lacked passion and the stage presence lacked energy. I would have loved stand-out moments to draw me into this set, but it just didn’t happen.

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Finally it was time. Moose Blood were about ready to close the show. The room was buzzing, and as soon as they stepped out on stage I found myself surrounded by screaming girls, all overwhelmed by the sight of the talented British musicians. I scampered away to find myself a better spot and planted myself right in the middle as they launched into “Honey”. From the first note to the last, the passion from the crowd was incredible. With earplugs in I could comfortably hear nearly everyone singing along, myself included, and the loving vibes echoing through the room were surreal. It was a very happy environment, and there surely couldn’t have been a single person in attendance standing still throughout this set. The boppy catchy instrumentals were executed to perfection, and the vocals were as adorable and soothing as they are in recording.

“Bukowski” prompted one of countless massive singalongs, and planted a smile on the face of every band member that would stay there for the rest of the night. So far from home, they said they could not believe how many people were here, and said that it was amazing to be on the other side of the world and hear this many people singing their songs. They were just gosh darn cuties. Moose Blood danced around stage and kept the vibes as wholesome as they could be, smiling as they did so. “Haven’t I Told You Enough” was prefaced by vocalist Eddy with “this song is about my incredible daughter”, and lead to one of the more touching songs of the evening. My favourite off the new album, it was fulfilling to see that everyone else in attendance loved it too. Lights shone through the venue and illuminated the huge smiles on everyones faces, matching perfectly the ones beaming out of every band member on stage.

“Is everyone having a nice time?” We replied with a huge cheer, getting a laugh out of Eddy as he sincerely thanked everyone for coming, before saying the sentence I had been waiting for all night: “This one’s called “Knuckles”.” I love this song so much, there is no other way to put it. I obviously wasn’t alone too, as myself and seemingly every single person in the room belted the words out as loud as we could, in what came to be 100% the biggest singalong of the night. I really think they should have closed with “Knuckles” and ended on a huge high, but they ended the set with “It’s Too Much”, lowering the pace and sending some moody vibes through the room. People still sung along, and the lights and smoke combined to execute the atmosphere of it perfectly. They wished everyone a good night and told us to get home safely, and that was the end of a hugely beautiful set.

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[Photos of Hundredth and Moose Blood @ The Triffid, Brisbane, courtesy of Rowan Donohue.]

Josh Hockey

Melbourne based music journalist who is ridiculously passionate about music, and spends every possible moment listening to it, seeing shows, and of course wearing the merch.

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