Friday was a very special day, not only for Trophy Eyes, but for fans of Trophy Eyes. After recently playing a supposedly unreal small show in Sydney where they did the same thing, they made their way to Melbourne to treat fans to a night of old songs and reminiscing. They had vowed to play the best songs from every release before Chemical Miracle and oh boy was everyone excited. The show had sold out in under an hour, so everyone in attendance was in the upper tier of passionate fans of the band.
As everyone slowly streamed into the venue, the excitement was there from the start. Pinkish Blu got us off to a smooth start, with a very funky and chill sound. They were very relaxing to listen to, as their soft and mellow instrumentals gently led us into the storm that would be the rest of the night. (Because it was hectic, not because it was bad.)
Pinkish Blu’s ringing guitars and mesmerising vocals combined with the off-beat insane drumming to take the vibes to a very different place than I was expecting. I felt like I was on a beach, and with their music I could feel the sun on my face and practically hear the waves splashing against the rocks. They made me wanna dance, and although they only currently have one song released, I am very excited to see what they do next.
The night was in a way an unofficial launch show for Bad Juju, as their brand new EP Hidden Desires had come out earlier in the day. I had seen them the week before at the UNFD Changes Showcase, and was excited to see them again. They have a unique sound that is a strong mix of punk, hardcore, and alternative, and I really enjoy their music.
Their set started off a little rough, but to no fault of their own as the sound quality of their guitars sounded questionable. That quickly got sorted out, and they brought it for the rest of the set. Vocalist Russell Holland was great, with the punk/hard vocals and a good amount of energy. They brought the pace back up, and the crowd was greatly appreciative of it. The combined guitar work created a noticeable amount of movement in the room, as peoples hips couldn’t help but to wiggle from side to side. Their song “Moving On” was the biggest hit of their set, and people were practically jumping over each other trying to get into Russell’s face to sing with him.
Bad Juju were a good warm up, but nothing could prepare everyone for what was about to happen. As soon as Trophy Eyes got on stage the room went wild. The sweat was dripping off everyone from the word go, as the enthusiastic fans turned half the room into a pit. It was difficult to keep track of what was going on, as arms and legs were flailing around everywhere. It seemed that the onslaught of crowd surfers was never ending, and the singalongs were something special.
“Bandaid” has always been one of my favourite songs live, and Friday’s instance was no exception. That chorus, I swear I nearly lose my voice every time. Trophy Eyes treated us to some of their old belters, like “May 24”, “Convalescence”, and “In Return”. They also pulled out some of the best from Chemical Miracle, surprising me especially, by playing “Heaven Sent” and “Chlorine”. They were understandably some of the bigger singalongs of the night. “Chlorine” especially was huge. It seemed like everyone in the room joined in for that one, as I could hear the singing coming from all around me… “Water, ran from my body…”
Every song was another workout for the crowd, and the room started to get very very hot. There couldn’t have been a person inside that wasn’t sweating, yet that didn’t slow the energy one bit. Everyone sang, everyone moved, and everyone was in it together. As John and the rest of the band got more and more pumped up as the set went on, so did the crowd. They closed the set with “Hourglass”, and that ended what was an absolutely crazy set. It was 100% one of the coolest events I’ve been to this year, and seeing such a huge band with such passionate fans in The Workers Club was something special. I hope the band enjoyed it as much as we did.
Something else cool happened after Trophy Eyes finished playing. Everyone chanted “One More Song” for a good 3-5 minutes, and in a last ditch desperate attempt to convince them to play one more everyone in the room started singing “You Can Count On Me”. Hearing all those voices singing that song – when they haven’t even played it live yet – must have been very special to Trophy Eyes, and it was certainly special for me to be one of those voices singing along.
All photos courtesy of Albert Lamontagne.