April 4, Enmore Theatre
Stuff that fancy electronic music, forget about the flashing lights and explosions. Take it back to the sweaty, gritty, Australian pub.
Hunters and Collectors easily sold out two nights at the Enmore Theatre but the legendary Australian band belongs nowhere better than the local.
It's hard to compete these days, when the music world reinvents itself every five minutes. (Even the Hunnas themselves have been reinvented through the recently released album Crucible, a collection of the band's best songs performed by the likes of the Living End, Birds of Tokyo, Neil Finn and Paul Kelly.)
Many fans would argue it's not even a competition - what could beat good, old-fashioned rock music? But on stage in front of a packed Enmore Theatre, it was difficult for the pub routine to cut it.
Seven band members, including the three-piece horn section, pumped out hit after hit with the same volume, the same intensity and the same emotion. There was the obligatory ballad (What's a Few Men?), the sing-alongs (Holy Grail and Throw Your Arms Around Me) and the popular nods to both the mid-'80s peak (Stuck on You and Say Goodbye) and the end (True Believers from their last album in 1998).
Mark Seymour, dressed in black, was thrashing around, the band was getting sweaty and it was all good fun. The guitars drove hard in Blind Eye, Seymour's voice pierced loudly over This Morning and the crowd lapped up Dog, as the hard-workin' classic mushroomed into an all-out extended rock-a-thon.
But there was something that stopped them from ever tearing the roof down. The show never quite left safe ground - but perhaps that was the aim. Forget that modern-day greed for bigger, better and newer each time. Does a live show need to be anything more than a great night out with a great band? If only we were in the pub.