The Presets

w/ Architecture in Helksinki and Van She

It's about time we started getting some decent shows on the coast. It's been a while. Besides festivals, most of the big stuff happens up in Brisbane. So, it was great when The Presets decided to add a Goldy show to their tour. But seriously Gold Coasters- you need to start supporting your live music scene a little better. If we can't sell out a Presets gig at the Convention Centre, its no wonder other bands by pass our little haven.


Although the Convention Centre is a bit of a strange place, not quite designed with big gigs in mind, it didn't do too bad as Gold Coasters of all ages filled the dance floor and packed the seats. Bring on more all ages shows. Why should us 18+ guys be the only ones who can catch the sporadic music scene on the coast?


I got there a little late, just grabbing the last song or two of Van She. I love these guys. Although the crowd was just starting to arrive, 7.30pm is obviously a little early to be there for most coasties, who were probably still in front of the mirror getting that blowave just right,, but the boys were doing a pretty good job to warm up the crowd.


And it was a bit of a GC fashion extravaganza. We had everything from coastal grunge, to overstyled new wave and everything in between. The board shorts mixed with the Sass and Bide, the heels with the hightops. It was almost worth it just for the fashion show.


Although it was an all ages gig, the bars were still open and everyone graciously filed out between acts to quietly down a bevvy or two. A short break later, and the guys from Architecture in Helsinki hit the stage. It's not the biggest stage at this place, and it was a bit of an effort to fit on all 7 of them, with their keyboards, drums, sax, trumpet, guitar, bongos.....


Their version of Womack and Womack's Teardrops got the crowd jumping, but that was just a teaser as they then launched into That Beep. And line dancing has never looked so cool, as the seven of them filed to centre stage and pulled a few dance moves for the crowd. Unfortunately, with such a packed guest list, and three bands performing in a limited time frame, the warm up acts didn't exactly have long sets, but they both sounded great. And I was impressed with the light show, very cool. And as Kellie announced just before she left the stage "Next up is the Presets, You're gonna lose your shit over that."


But some people are probably better suited to buying a DVD and sitting in their lounge rooms rather than coming to gigs. We got told in no uncertain terms by a young lady (?) who came down from her seat to let us know that we HAD to sit down and not stand up and dance. Come on, it's The Presets..


Who sits down and watches the Presets? You have to stand up, you have to dance. Thankfully, the rest of the auditorium got to their feet and grooved. Obviously she wasn't going to be losing her shit this evening. The young lady in question, a little peeved at the refusal of our whole row (and the rest of the place) to sit down for her, retreated to her seat and just sat there all night, jiggling a little to the music. The funny thing was, we weren't even in front of her. She was in the next row over and a couple of rows up.


Sort of lucky she didn't get up and dance though. The girls extremely large assets weren't very well supported, and it could have proved catastrophic if she started jumping around.


We did check with management on the issue of standing/sitting though. There are some venues that do insist you stay seated during a performance. The Gold Coast Convention Centre was not one of them that night. And with the exception of one or two punters (some guys there were chaperoning their kids, so we'll forgive them. Good on them for taking their children to cool shows), most of the auditorium were on their feet.


But, back to the important stuff.. The reason we were all here. The Presets were about to come on!


The dance floor filled up, a sea of glo sticks. The lights dimmed and the anicipation mounted. Then the first bars of Talk Like That filtered through the speakers.The lights came up, and the crowd went a little wild as Kim and Julian appeared out of the smoke and The Presets adventure began. The dancefloor all seemed to be jumping in unison, as they screamed "Uh Oh!".


The crowd were bouncing. A couple of punters remembering the dying art of crowd surfing, just keeping out of reach of hungry security. A few shoulder sitters were out there. Cool, but not fun to be stuck behind. The stage was a sea of poles of dancing light and UV with a huge block of lights decending behind the boys. Arms were in the air.


About You Boy was awesome, with Julien sounding great on vocals. I was a little worried as there had been reports of shows cancelled as the tour was getting too much, but not tonight. He was great. And Kim was a little more active than I'm used to seeing him. Not just drumming tonight, but playing on keyboards and xylophone, dancing and jumping around inciting the crowd to yell and jump with him.


The boys made there way through Are You The One, If I Know You, This Boy's In Love, A New Sky and a few other favourites to the crowd's delight.


At one stage I felt like I was stuck in a Dr Who moment, as the music was pretty much reminiscent of the opening theme to that show. Even the trippy light show was similar to how the show used to start. I did feel that the momentum of the concert wavered a bit at times. They seemed to lose the audience a little during some of the instrumentals and slower stuff. Nothing like a bit of variety, but at times the intense connection between The Presets and their adoring fans seemed a little lost.


Their final song of the set (before the obligatory encore) was My People. If this song doesn't get you jumping, you have serious issues. (Although the girl in the next row over still refused to get up and dance, the jiggling just got a little more intense)


I found the encore a little too trippy for my liking. Anywhere pulsing the speakers before The Presets urged us to "Go hard, you got one last chance to dance before you go home."


I love the Presets. The energy that their shows produce is amazing to behold. The crowd reaction, the dancing and jumping, the sea of waving arms is awesome to watch. The last time I saw them play was Splendour last year, when I snuck up onto the DJ stage and watched the crowd go wild. This wasn't the best gig I've seen them play, but it was still pretty good. They are an amazing live band, although at this gig there were times I felt I was stuck in an 80's rave party.

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