I struggle with Thursday night gigs. I wake up pretty early in the mornings for work, then generally have to travel up to an hour into the venue. That means that after the gig, it’s an hour home, then back up for work four hours later. It’s a tough slog, but when the show is worth while, it becomes a little easier.
This one was definitely worth it. Not just for Danko Jones, but for the opening acts.
The Credits kicked off tonight’s proceedings, and this was a first for me. Having never heard the band before, I am now a fan. Their brand of raucous rock n roll meets pop rock sensibility and borderline classic metal flourishes made them an entertaining opening act, and the perfect fit for this gig. With some support, The Credits could have a great future. Now to get my hands on their recorded work…
Next up is The Vendettas. A Melbourne band – one that I have fallen completely in love with since hearing their latest single, Slinging Mud. These guys are the real deal. You hear that in their recordings, but you FEEL it when you witness them live. The band is tight, ridiculously so, and frontman Steve Redden is even better as a live vocalist than he is on record. They deliver a short set, but one that gets their message across – they are here to rock, and they take that very seriously. I’m not sure what the landscape of Australian rock looks like in the future, but The Vendettas will certainly end a big part of it.
Now, the main event – Danko Jones. Energetic, raucous and enigmatic. For me, Danko Jones is one of the most underrated rock bands of our time, and seeing them live (again) reaffirms that in my mind.
Opening with I Gotta Rock, the band sets the tone for the fast paced set that follows. They rip through three tracks before Danko addresses the crowd – and when he does, he proves that he’s an engaging and funny frontman. First he tells us that the first three songs were full of mistakes, but lets us know that that is fine because “rock n roll should never be 10 out of 10, it should be six out of ten at best.” He then goes on to promise the crowd a “four out of ten” show tonight.
Well, he doesn’t stay true to his promise, because this is an epic set of deep cuts and singles – easily an eight out of ten. Possibly higher.
The energy is high, and the crowd is completely into it – as they should be. Danko Jones could easily be as big as the Foo Fighters one day. Their songs are infectious and huge, and have so much mainstream potentially… it’s baffling to me that they’re not played on the radio (at least here in Australia).
It’s a fantastic set, and never better than final number, Rock Shit Hot. Danko Jones are a killer live music experience.
I Gotta Rock
Fists Up High
The Twisting Knife
I’m In A Band
Forget My Name
Code of the Road
Gonna Be A Fight Tonight
Dance Dance Dance
Full of Regret
I Think Bad Thoughts
Burn in Hell
My Little RNR
Rock Shit Hot
Review by Shayne McGowan.