Download brings the most amazing people together. The sideshows, do it even better. Tonights trio of bands absolutely nailed what a Sunday night gig should feel and sound like. The Tivoli was packed out tonight with fans young and old to come see the greatest cover band of all time, Me First and The Gimme Gimmes.
As the night kicks off, Victorian punk trio Von-Stache just nail every bit of their set. Short, fast, loud. That's exactly what you get with this band and before you know it, their set is finished but we're all left with a desire to see them again in the near future.
Next on the bill is Dicklord. What.The.Actual.Fuck? How have i missed this band in all my years. Front woman Jade is insanely active with her energy and the sound and lyrical context with which they provide is other-worldly. I have seen a lot of punk bands in my time, local and international, but this quartet just smashes everything away and truly encapsulates what Aussie punk is all about. I have fallen deeply in love with this band and i'm keen as hell to see them again, and damn soon if possible.
The stage is set, the lights are brought down and as the Gimmes come onto the stage, there is thunderous applause. The backdrop resembles a 70s variety show and with the band in matching gold on black suits, you know the showmanship is going to be simply amazing.
Kicking straight into the Cher classic ‘Believe’, Spike Slawson & Co are ready to tear the roof off The Tivoli tonight. When you think about how to explain a Gimmes show to someone, it's best to just say, ‘you know your favourite ____ song? Well, they do it better’. It's not too long before they have everyone in the crowd bopping along to the beat of every song. As they deliver a massive 1.5 hour setlist with breaks between to amuse the crowd with their own brand of comedic prowess, it's no wonder why every Gimmes show sells out. It's just full on, body thrashing, balls to the wall fun.
Playing through a string of other people's hits, with everything from Dolly Parton's ‘Jolene’ to Blondie's ‘Heart Of Glass’, the Gimmes put on a show that makes you just want to dance your arse off and when your body screams ‘NO MORE!’, your heart and head just go crawling back for more. Spike brings his own special charm to each show and when he busts out Billy Thorpe's ‘Most People I Know’ one the ukulele, he has the whole crowd in the palm of his hand and singing along to every lyric. The way that Spike oozes pizzazz fronting this band is second to none. He sings to a crowd, but it's more like he's singing directly to you. His comedic banter with the audience and fellow band mates makes the whole evening even more memorable. Seeing Dave Raun play drums has always been awe-inspiring, but tonight he's absolutely brilliant. Being the reason i picked up a set of sticks many years ago, i cannot help but bang along to his beats on my legs while i stand in utter joy of witnessing him play once more.
I've never actually seen Scott Shiflett play with The Gimmes before but after just one show, i want to see more of him on the line up. The depth he brings to every song with his amazing lead guitar work leaves me speechless (there was a couple of times while shooting the show that i had to remind myself as to why i was there and resume my photography duties). Couple his lead guitar with Joey Cape's rhythm work and every song just hits you right in the dance centre of the body. Jay Bentley from Bad Religion brings an insane energy to a Gimmes show. Constantly moving and jumping around, he always adds and amazing feel to the show with him and Spike feeding off each others showmanship.
Closing out the set with Boyz II Men's ‘End of the Road’, the Californian quintet came, saw, conquered and found a special spot in each and every person's heart and soul. Come back real soon lads, Brisbane misses you already.
All images (c) JD Punisher Photography