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SPRING LOADED @ Red Hill Amphitheatre gets 10/10


Spring Loaded @ Red Hill Amphitheatre

w/ Grinspoon, Regurgitator, You Am I, Jebediah, Frenzal Rhomb
Saturday May 14, 2022

10/10

If you’ve ever fancied curating a gig based on the mixed CDs of your late 90s/early 00s teens, then you should have been at Red Hill on Saturday night for an evening of nostalgic, you could even say classic, Aussie bands. Spring Loaded, which was more wintery than the name suggests, has been very slowly (thanks COVID) making its way around the country with a stacked line-up that saw Grinspoon, You Am I, Regurgitator, Jebediah, and Frenzal Rhomb whipping out sets of their greatest hits to the delight of a few thousand dedicated and sopping wet fans.

Frenzal Rhomb

While some people ran for cover during the initial downpour, true Frenzal fans were down the front being welcomed by the night’s MC Lindsay McDougall, before he picked up his guitar and his band opened with a cover of We Built This City.  Then they cracked on with a thirty minute set of the short, fun, and fast songs they’re known for, including You Are Not My Friend, Never Had So Much Fun and Punch in the Face. As energetic as ever, they were the perfect warm up on a cold night.

Jebediah

Playing to a hometown crowd, Jebediah could have easily headlined, with the general consensus being they were best on ground. Touching on every single album they’ve released, they began with Fall Down followed by Jerks of Attention, Animal and She’s Like A Comet. When Jebs played our unofficial national anthem Leaving Home the crowd went predictably wild.

Given the median age, it was pretty novel to see a mosh pit form, complete with crowd surfers! But it was Harpoon that had the biggest singalong as the heavens opened again. Someone in front of stage chose that moment to hurl dozens of glow sticks into the air to an audible “aww” from patrons, and as corny as it sounds, it seemed everyone was having a moment.

Regurgitator

The common theme of the night, besides the pure nostalgia, was how we are all ageing. Regurgitators’ Quan said it best though when mid set he announced “I put my back out sneezing. Fucking love that ibuprofen!” Despite any age related injuries, the Gurge seemed sprightly as they tore through their catalogue of hits like Polyester Girl, Bong In My Eye, I Wanna Be A Nudist, and the song we used to get in trouble for singing as kids, I Will Lick Your Arsehole. Traversing between rap-rock, indie-rock, and straight up pop, they took the punters on a sonic time travelling journey that culminated with two tracks from Unit, Black Bugs (an absolute highlight) and ! (The Song Formerly Known As).

You Am I

A change of pace was in order as You Am I took the stage. Never one to disappoint sartorially, Tim Rogers was sporting a bright red, western inspired suit, and ready to kick out the jams, starting with 1998’s Rumble. Although he sounded a tiny bit hoarse, being the ever enigmatic front man he is any rough vocals were forgiven by the enamoured crowd.

Their set focused on earlier releases, as was the order of the day, and it was a pleasure to hear songs like Cathy’s Clown and Purple Sneakers live this many years later. Who Put the Devil In You was another standout, but they performed an inexplicably fast version of Damage which disappointingly rendered it almost unrecognisable. Saving the best until last, they closed with Berlin Chair, which remains one of the best songs ever written. Big claim, but one this reviewer stands by.

Grinspoon

Not to be outdone by Tim Rogers, Grinspoon’s Phil Jamieson was sporting striped pants, sunglasses and his signature megaphone, like some rocking Beetlejuice and Willy Wonka hybrid. Kicking off with DCx3 from their debut album, Grinners’ set was a good injection of rock into the night. Just Ace went off and the mosh pit engulfed more punters in time for tracks like Hard Act To Follow and 1000 Miles.

Jamieson, and in fact the whole band, were in fantastic form, throwing scissor kicks and whipping the crowd up with Ready 1. Slowing down momentarily for a ballad or two with Minute By Minute and Chemical Heart, they ended the night back at the beginning, with two tracks from Guide To Better Living, Champion and More Than You Are, a rollicking finale for a night of genuinely awesome music.

Grinspoon

Two decades may have passed, but every band was on form. As for the crowd, all you needed to do was look back from the stage up the auditorium steps to the sea of smiling faces singing along and realise something a little bit magic was going on. Even in the rain.

SHANNON FOX

Photos by Adrian Thomson

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