Midnight Juggernauts

Midnight Juggernauts

with Young Men Dead and YesYou

There are gigs that make you love a band and gigs that make you love live music. And then there are gigs that just make you love life. Despite not knowing a whole lot about Midnight Juggernauts, I was pretty keen to head along, but in retrospect that seems a little naïve. This was one of those experiences that had me wishing it could go on forever and buzzing for days. I would've planned to follow the band around the country, and go to all their shows. Given the impracticalities that would entail, I’ve settled with reliving the night by having both Midnight Juggernauts and the two support acts on repeat.

We arrived early, a bit too early in retrospect, but this gave us a good opportunity to scope out The Zoo. Surprisingly, I had never actually been before, despite its consistently impressive line-up of independent live music in Brisbane.

Fast forward a half hour chin-wag later, and the atmospheric sounds of Young Men Dead took over the venue. Although the crowd was still thin, the beguiling combination of driving tribal drums and glittering synths piqued the interest of the audience. Although we stayed back near the bar getting wild on passionfruit soft drink, a small crowd moved towards the stage, with a few particularly enthusiastic show-goers totally letting loose on the dance-floor. The crowd size stayed fairly stagnant, which was a bit of a shame, but in saying that, those who did arrive early enough to catch the show responded well to Young Men Dead’s inimitable sound. They really impressed me and I’ll definitely be hunting them down again soon.

A week filled to the brim with university assessment had left us weary, so we snuck out between sets for some caffeine to get us ready for the crazy dancing that was sure to come. When we got back to the venue, YesYou had already taken to the stage. The crowd had grown, and the infectious indie-pop dance beats had encouraged fans to get up onto their feet and start grooving. The atmosphere had become quite electric; both fans and the band obviously having a fantastic time. New single Amsterdam was a highlight for me, as was Frivolous Life feat. Marcus Azon, perhaps the band’s best known song, which rounded out the set. YesYou gave a fun and energetic performance; a superb set that got everyone dancing.

A sense of anticipation settled in as we waited for Midnight Juggernauts, and so it should have. The show marked the band’s return after a three year absence, and it was obvious that Juggernaut fans had been waiting for this moment. The restlessness erupted into shouts and cheers as the band appeared.

Midnight Juggernauts distinctive sound was there from the get-go. The mish-mash of genres is hard to define. It’s psychedelic. Prog rock. Sci-fi pop. Electronica. Who knows? It’s somewhat indescribable and that’s what makes it so, well, Midnight Juggernauts-ish. The set list featured a bunch of new tracks from the highly-anticipated upcoming album, set for release in mid-2013. There were heaps of old favourites too and both proved to be equally popular with the crowd.

'Ballad of the War Machine', the first track to be released from the bands upcoming album, has been receiving a lot of airplay lately. It garnered a huge response from the crowd, most of whom chanted eagerly along. I – somewhat shamefully – have to admit that this was the only song I knew all the words to, so for four or five minutes I enjoyed truly feeling like I belonged in the avid mass of fans. The dance marathon that went alongside the sounds of Into the Galaxy was another high moment, but in truth, most of it was pretty amazing.

The show ended ten minutes before midnight and the crowd took this as a clear sign that enough raucous yelling would drag the band back on stage. It worked, and back out they came to treat us to a couple more musical gems.

The show wound up and the lights came back on, but the buzz certainly didn’t leave the air. It was a fantastic show from a fantastic band, and if this is any indication of the upcoming Midnight Juggernauts' album, then it’ll definitely be on my to-buy list.
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