Are we currently living in a time where bands of the 90’s and 00’s need to play their most acclaimed and fan favourite albums in full to pack out stadiums? If so, this 90’s kid is not complaining! Silent Alarm, the critically acclaimed debut album for London foursome, Bloc Party, is always an album I find myself returning to so seeing it played in full live at Margaret Court Arena was bound to be electrifyingly epic.
To start us on that wave was electro-pop trio (plus one on this tour), Haiku Hands. From the minute they took to the stage the girls owned it. With their energy levels set to jumping-out-of-your-skin high, the four utilised every inch of their stage setup, even down to the barrier. Singles ‘Squat’, ‘Not About You’ and ‘Jupiter’, paired with their eclectic choreography that screamed Spice Girls, seamless synchronisation vocals, and their coordinated outfits, left the crowd reeling.
So here we are! Nearly 14 years after the release of the groundbreaking album, ready to lose ourselves in the nostalgia. Bloc Party did not hesitate as they entered the stage to a recording of ‘Every Time Is the Last Time’, jumping straight into ‘Compliments’, the final song on the album, a gentle ease into the evening. With one whammy driven shaky guitar strum, ‘Plans’ was announced and it was evident the set list was the album played in reverse. Kele Okereke has made comments in the past about the idea of anniversary tours being ‘cringeworthy’, however he seemed genuinely happy to be in Melbourne and revisiting their monumental album.
‘Luno’, ‘So Here We Are’, ‘Price of Gasoline’ and ‘The Pioneers’ kicked the set up another gear but the real kick was in the form of ‘This Modern Love’. The two note guitar introduction with the crawling build lead to the biggest moment of the night- arms flailing through the air, not one still body in the arena, echoes of ‘jump right’ and ‘jump left’, the confetti canons showering the crowd in pink. And we were only seven songs in!
Louise Bartle shined on drums in ‘She’s Hearing Voices’ matching the styling of the original drummer, Matt Tong. Strobes of blue light capered on the crowd as the foursome launched into ‘Blue Light’ but the anticipation in the room was suffocating at the conclusion, with fans aware of what was coming next; ‘Banquet’. While this song is there most popular I still find it… to take the words right out of the song… ‘so underrated’, and seeing it live further cemented that. This song is damn iconic and the impact live is twofold- like reliving a favourite memory but experiencing that magic for the first time.
‘Positive Tension’ brought the party with a united cry of the lyric ‘so f**cking useless’, yet again making it blindingly obvious that each track off of Silent Alarm is an anthem.
The main set finished with ‘Helicopter’ and ‘Like Eating Glass’, an end to the trip down memory lane, but the encore would serve as another reminder of how visionary Bloc Party are. The six song encore included ‘Two More Years’, ‘Skeleton’, ‘Little Thoughts’, ‘The Prayer’, ‘The Love Within’ and ended on a high note with ‘Flux’. More confetti rained on the crowd as the evening closed and with a roar of applause for the indie outfit. You can bet that the album was played in every car on the way home.
Tuesday 27 November 2018
Margaret Court Arena
Reviewed by Tammy Walters