Brisbane, you got a mini-festival

A More Perfect Union – Riverstage Brisbane

Saturday 24 November 2018

Gang of Youths - photo Bec Harbour
Gang of Youths – photo Bec Harbour

A collective howl went up from Brisbane earlier this year when Gang of Youths announced their Australian tour and there was no date for Brisbane. It was quickly followed with a message to wait as there was something special in store for Brisbane.

Then we waited, finally on August 8 Gang of Youths announced they would be doing a mini-festival, A More Perfect Union at the Riverstage with Publique, Charlie Collins, Thelma Plum, Luca Brasi and Jack River. It predictably sold out in about an hour.

Publique kicked off the festival. They were a great opener, with an urgent jangly guitar sound. You should always get and see opening bands, you might just see something you like.

Charlie Collins played a great set, her easy-going country-tinged music a great soundtrack to kick back with on the Riverstage lawn and enjoy some food and drinks.

Thelma Plum gave us lovely anecdotes about growing up in Brisbane and going to gigs among other things, her amazing belter of a voice filling the amphitheatre.

Luca Brasi took us into the late afternoon, with their usual high energy offering, this is a band that enjoys what they are doing and it shows with the audience pressed up against the barrier trying to get closer.

Jack River has just released her new album, Sugar Mountain. The crowd lined up to hear favourites such as Ballroom. As with all the acts on for this festival, people were lined up at the stage singing along with whoever was on stage at the time.

The crowd was getting excited to see the headliners Gang of Youths and it was all too much for some (saw several people carried out of the crowd by security). Dave Le’aupepe is an amazing frontman, as Jack River said, you’re all going to see some sexy dancing next.

They dedicated “Heart is a Muscle” to Dave’s recently departed father and zipped through a ‘best of’ set that kept the crowd engaged and singing at the top of their lungs.

It was a different innovation to have a mini-festival and one wonders if the lack of a larger venue in Brisbane contributed to that. The line-up was great, once again get there early you might just see something amazing and support acts work just as hard as headliners and deserve your support. Gang of Youths are the ultimate live band and have honed their craft since I saw them last at Splendour in the Grass in 2016. Go see them, they are also a band with a social conscience (see their anti-Via GoGo posts on social media) as well as a band that puts on a great show.

Brisbane, you got a (mini) festival, the opportunity to see some great up and coming artists and some amazing established bands thanks to Gang of Youths.

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