The Hi Fi Bar was once again packed to the rafters, and the city onlookers were once again mesmerised by the line out the front of the bar: the trademark of the Hi Fi.
Royston Vasie took the stage a little later than most would’ve liked. However they won the crowd over with their infectious 70s rock’n’roll. The songs had a real fun feel which had the early birds in the crowd bobbing and tapping their feet. The backup singer sang like Dan Sanders from Gyroscope on one poppy rock song that sounded as if it could’ve come from Gyroscope’s discography.
The harmonies between the lead singer and the backing vocalist worked really well. The drum and bass were tight and while comparisons to The Pixies (which are mentioned on their website) may be a little stray, Royston Vasie nonetheless has an exciting future ahead of them.
I’m not sure I can say the same about co-headline act of the night Papa Vs Pretty. The triple j favourites are musically talented however their songs weren’t that enjoyable. They were a couple of songs that sounded almost exactly the same, with a simple key change the only difference. I tried to like Papa Vs Pretty but after fifteen minutes I just wanted them to finish up so I could enjoy TheVasco Era.
Finally, The Vasco Era hit the stage at 10.45 dressed in a colourful selection of clothing; bass player Ted O’Neil even donned a poncho. They opened their set with ‘Rest my Head’; halfway through the song and the guys were true to their word and started changing clothes.
Sid turned the microphone upside down and sang on his knees as Ted bounced and thrashed about. Michael Fitzgerald was great on the drums as usual; his brutal bashing of the cymbals early in the set was quite a show. ‘Honey Bee’ had the fans in the mosh pit going crazy while the laid back and poppy (by Vasco’s standards) ‘Oh Sam’ had them singing along.
The band left the stage as Sid asked the crowd who they wanted to hear. Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley were the overwhelming favourites. He kept everybody happy by playing half of a Dylan song and half of Elvis’ ‘I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’; which had everybody singing together in harmony.
Sid’s screams and growls were at their Cobain-esque best throughout the night, and the wine swigging was reminiscent of the other early 90s rocker Eddie Vedder.
‘Rock and Roll is the Only Thing That Makes me Feel Good’ was a crowd favourite, the cheers and jumping of everyone in the mosh pit proved they clearly agreed with the sentiment.
Although Vasco Era didn’t play a Nirvana cover, they didn’t disappoint. The final song of the set was a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Voodoo Child’. The fans were satisfied, and maybe a little tired, by the prospects of these young bands.
– Matt Naqvi