LIVE SHOW REVIEW + GALLERY // BUGS + Melaleuca, Teenage Joans (Oxford Art Factory)

WORDS AND IMAGES BY MATTHEW WADDINGHAM

A night full of friends, covers, new songs, jokes and dancing gave a diamond like shine to BUGS late show at Oxford Art Factory last Friday.

The air was full of anticipation as we entered the dance floor of having seen nearly everyone brave enough to beat the cold rave about the early show and how the late one should be even better. The venue quickly filled before Brisbane four-piece Melaleuca took to the stage and set the feel for the night with their indie rock songs about love, loss and on-stage banter.

Melaleuca oozed confidence and a knowing of what they were doing on stage as they played both old and new songs and lived up to their Spotify Bio which is simply ‘We make big music’. They could also double up as a comedy group in between songs as they talk about raw tuning, Newcastle Potentially being Gods Country and the cuteness and stigma around ferrets.

Taking the stage to celebrate the release of their Debut EP a week prior, Adelaide duo Teenage Joans came stomping out with sweet and smooth opener Ice Cream. Continuing that energy through the entire set they create an energy with hit songs that made it hard not to smile and hug friends as they played a set that was complex but had a simplicity to it that allowed for so much versatility and interaction between the audience and members on stage. The set ended with a mix of energy as they charged through Three Leaf Clover to having the audience scream out the ending to “Something about being Sixteen’

Having had a fun and high energy feeling set from both Melaleuca and Teenage Joans the stage was set for BUGS, Brisbane heart throb trio who came on stage to cheers and scream and the opening bass line to their Single Old Youth Feeling. Like any good headliner they asked for everyone to be respected and gave thanks to the support acts who had done such an amazing job of setting the tone of the evening.

It was hard to imagine that the show was at reduced capacity as the amount of energy that was in that room during their set was immense. The band gave so much interaction taking patrons hats and throwing shoes to standing mere centimetres from each other’s faces in between lyrics. The night was cold outside but everyone’s hearts were warm with the catchy pop rock that was happening in front of them as people rode others shoulders to laughing and questioning the comparison of in-ear monitors to Animorphs Yeerks.

Wearing their hearts on their sleeves the band debuted new song Decisions, a heartfelt track about the hard choices one has to make in life and love but quickly brought the energy and excitement back up as they played the highlight song of the night Seriously. The night was brought to an unfortunate close as they closed out the set with their cover of Mallrat’s Charlie a fan favourite. Their departure was met with screams and cheers for an encore but Charlie felt like the right place to end the night.

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