In what is becoming something of a Melbourne tradition, one of the finest bands this country has ever produced – Weddings, Parties, Anything – held their annual Grand Final Eve show at The Palace.

Featuring the welcome addition of MC Brian Nankervis from TV’s Rockwiz, the Weddos, as they are affectionately known by the large and passionate crowd in attendance, were ably supported by relative newcomers Livingston Daisies; who were the first band of the night, with their charming and welcome brand of crunchy power pop, and the venerable Even, set the promise of a great night’s music.

Even warmed up the crowd, and the three piece are a class act who couldn’t put on a bad show if they tried.

Guitarist/singer Ash Naylor was in remarkable form, illustrating why this act is held in such high regard.

Armed with great tracks like “Black Umbrella”, “No Surprises”, “Stop And Go Man”, along with new tracks like “To The Lights” and “Watcha Gonna Do?”, Even were an inspired choice as support.

Having split up some years ago, Weddings, Parties, Anything have, over the past few years, have annually reconvened for a gig on Grand Final Eve.

Led by the inimitable Mick Thomas, tonight was a reminder of how vital and important the band have become in regards to the shape and style of Australian music and its evolution over the years.

Tonight was a fan’s dream as far as the set list was concerned, with a great selection of the band’s vast back catalogue. “Ticket In Tatts”, complete with a shower of coins from the audience when they sung the line ‘ten cents to the dollar’, was a standout.

Other highlights included a sterling cover version of a track by Canadian band Lowest Of The Low, “Rosy And Grey”, the storming “Knockbacks In Halifax” and, of course, the all-time classic “Father’s Day.”

The band continually impressed with their musical prowess and dexterity, especially multi-instrumentalist Jen Anderson, who really shone during a lovely duet with Thomas, “Two Ships”, during one of the encores.

The first song that really made an impact in their career, “Away Away”, sounded as fresh as ever. Apart from their own singular and striking material, there were some astute choices of cover versions, such as that of “Wide Open Road” by The Triffids, and the delightful and heartfelt “One Perfect Day”, by long forgotten Australian one-hit wonders, Little Heroes.

The evening ended with the heartbreakingly beautiful “For A Short Time”, a haunting and incredibly affecting lament for friends and lovers who have since departed.

Emotionally, it’s one of those tracks that has the ability to kick you like a mule. A sensational night and a reminder of one of the most important bands this country has had the pleasure to produce.