A mate messaged me this morning about how there’s only one voice that always makes her stop what she’s doing and pay attention to the source of the sound. She was referring to Wil Wagner of The Smith Street Band. We then discussed how his pipes are so powerful and commanding, yet so friendly, comforting and familiar. The perfect conversation to psych me up for (hopefully) some new noise from the Melbourne four piece later that day.
Smithies are known for having varied, plentiful, excellent support acts, and tonight was no exception. Kicking things off at The Factory Theatre was Brisbane band FOREVR. The experimental poppers wowed us, but in a melancholic way. A fellow punter stated that if FOREVR was a person, they’d be the mate you constantly check in with to see if they’re ok.
Next up was Grim Rhythm, a sweet instrumental band. They rocked. Energy levels were high by the end of their set.
Final openers The Nation Blue crunched through their tracks; swinging guitars around and smacking us in the face with their political views and heavy tunes in a fantastic way.
The Smith Street Band were welcomed to the stage with an eruption of applause. The crowd was oh so happy to see them and, judging by Wil’s big smile in particular, the feeling was mutual.
‘Death to the Lads’, the tour’s namesake, was first up. Beer was sprayed, hands were raised, heads banged, and the chorus was chanted with heart. Perfection.
From the brand new to the quite old, following track ‘Sunshine and Technology’ kept froth levels high. Less circle pit and more dance floor during this number, including a little boogie from the frontman.
We danced through ‘Surrey Dive’, then were greeted with the familiar opening of ‘Ducks Fly Together’. What an emotional jam. The crowd sang so loudly and so beautifully; I’m surprised the roof didn’t fly right off.
Wil announced that they have a new record ready to be unleashed on the masses in early 2017 through their own, new label – Poolhouse Records. Hooray! We were treated to a fresh track (no name mentioned) that had never been played in Sydney before, about people that date musicians. It was fantastic and made me so hungry for the new LP.
We moshed and sang through a few more tracks before reaching fan favourite ‘Young Drunk’. Wil told us that this was the first tour in a long time they hadn’t closed with that song, and that they weren’t sure if they knew how to continue after it. He needn’t have worried.
They smashed through several more songs spanning all releases, including ‘Wipe that Shit-Eating Grin off your Punchable Face’ – a track still just as powerful today. ‘Throw Me In The River’ was introduced as a party song (ha!) and we got the “2016 version” of ‘The Arrogance of a Drunk Pedestrian’ in which an Uber – not a taxi – driver was referenced.
The band felt refreshed and excited. We left physically drained, but full of joy.
Death to the lads; long live The Smith Street Band.
Witness the glory for yourself with our HD recording of the band here.
My name is Jared Leibowitz and in 2013 I started a photography page on Facebook, just wanting to do some parties, I then had a friend hit me up to shoot his band, and I thought it’d be a cool idea. During 2013 I started to shoot smaller bands then eventually got in contact withLearn more about Jared Leibowitz