A band has a tough gig. No, really.
Only the best make it on to private jets, secure platinum plaques, and enjoy retirements funded by royalty cheques. Playing in a band is a job. It takes hard work and lots of live shows.
Sometimes bands do a bang-up terrific job, and other times they just, well, do their job.
And tonight, Bob Moses showed up to clock on. Getting on stage, night after night, is not easy.
Perhaps I’m thinking this because I myself am tired, or perhaps because I only receive a dollar coin back from a ten-dollar note for a VB.
Perhaps, if only, because I can’t shake the assessment that the group standing on stage are not having real fun themselves?
Whatever the reason, I do not stay to see the prerequisite encore. Nor am I the only one to make an early exit.
This is not all to say that Bob Moses were bad exactly. They are Grammy-nominated after all. It’s just that the performance was just that, a good performance. Orchestrating hype at near-precise interludes, they manufactured joy and did all the courteous things bands must do: thank the crowd, get the right city name and say, if they’re from out of town, they should visit more often. It’s like visiting the family at Christmas.
They did their job. They did it well. Granted.
But it was as if the whole show was something produced expertly by a marketing team. To be supercut and used for a Spring/Summer campaign for a nameless brand. The band, appearing tonight like an ASOS-Kings of Leon, were in town for a slot at Strawberry Fields.
A rapturous and raw cover of “Breathe” by the Prodigy kicked some life into the hour-long set with urgency. A neat party-trick of theirs.
Their music is soundtrack friendly (that’s a good thing) which can sometimes be hard to translate live. Even more so when that music is described as straddling the line between dance, pop, and rock—a difficult balancing act.
On the other hand, the opening act, Nyxen, held her own as she weaved and looped her melo-tronic sound before the still-filling venue.
Perhaps, after all, the hardest job is making it all look easy.
Where: 170 Russell, Melbourne
When: Friday November 29.
Reviewed by Darby-Perrin Larner
Photo sourced from socials