WORDS + IMAGES BY TARA CAMPBELL
It still feels surreal that live music is back.
It’s been just over twelve months since I worked with Australian alternative rock band, The Rubens, since that, a lot has changed… a pandemic, the decline of live music and a new album by the boys. I approached the gig with a sense of excitement, met with a lot of anxiety. The last show I shot in a photo pit was March last year, and although I had shot gigs since then, there was still this voice in my head.
‘What if you’ve forgotten how to take good photos?”
Mia Wray hit the stage, kicking off Newcastle’s mini festival at Bar On The Hill’s new outside area. Instantly members of the crowd flooded to the barrier to witness this excellent up-and-coming artist. Mia is an artist that I’m familiar with, but had never seen her play before. I’ve been missing out. With high energy and an obvious fanbase already, Mia absolutely crushed it with every moment of her set. As much as Mia deserves the credit, her band deserves just as many accolades, meeting Mia in energy and sound.
Now, everyone that knows of Alice Ivy knows that she never disappoints. I would even go as far as saying that she, joined by Luy Amiel is one of the best live acts in terms of getting crowds excited and pumped up. Her set was iconically Australian in all the best ways, and it instantly transported me back to festivals back in pre-COVID times. Not only is Alice Ivy smashing it, but she’s killing it with her live show. I look forward to catching her again!
The Rubens are one of Australia’s biggest bands. For the past ten years they’ve worked their way up in the music industry, perfecting their music and stage presence as they go. I’ve been a fan of this band for quite some time, and definitely have to say that the 0202 era is my favourite so far. There’s something so special about seeing a band seamlessly mix their ‘classic’ tracks with brand new releases, and having everyone know every lyric. The Rubens always put on such a solid show, with energy that shoots through your whole body infecting you with an infinite feeling. I thoroughly enjoyed their set, from the perfect start with Muddy Evil Pain all the way to my personal favourite bridge by the boys, God Forgot. Tracks including Masterpiece, Freakout and Live In Life got the entire crowd singing along after not being able to for such a long time.
After a tough twelve months, this gig felt like one big hug, bringing everyone back and reuniting the music industry. The night is one that will stick with me for such a long time, with The Ruben’s set being one of my all-time favourites.