What’s Goin On: GRINSPOON @ The Tivoli

By Gabrielle Zgrajewski


This review is about the 20th Anniversary of Grinspoon’s Guide to Better living album concert. The air was a mixture of sweat, air-conditioning, alcohol and screaming. Meanwhile, on the floor, a mixture of drunk 40 year old men, more sweat, more alcohol, water and nostalgia. 

To start the night, Brisbane band Good Boy warmed up the stage with good tunes and green shorts. As the three piece band had previously opened for Skeggs, on their own tour and now in the lineup for Splendour in the Grass, of course the crowd were in for a treat.

With energy from both lead singer/ bassist Rian King and guitarist Tom Lindeman with a few groovy moves from drummer Stu McKenzie, the passion was driven into their music with songs like “Green Dress” being played greater than ever before.

Next up, the surf rock duo Hockey Dad were on stage, with equally as much energy. Bringing in the crowd, Zach and Billy put on their best show, playing much loved singles alike “I Need a Woman” and “Seaweed”, you could start to hear a few more young punters in the crowd, singing in the background.

As always, it was a delight to see Hockey Dad play, despite the confusion of venues which created a little joke on stage amusing the audience.

As the masses began to load onto the dance floor of the Tivoli, excitement rose for the awaiting of Grinspoon; turning into a roar of screams as the band made a grand entrance on stage. The audience were packed like sardines breaking at the brim of the barrier, but the band- especially Phil, looked amazed and excited to start what would the the very tip of the iceberg for the night.

Starting out with songs like “Pressure Tested 1984”, “Sickfest” and “Balding Matters”, it was a blast from the past, reviving the Guide To Better Living album that was released 20 years ago. Both Phil Jamieson (vocals) and Joe Hansen (bass) shared great chemistry on stage throughout the performance- interacting with each other whenever possible. Meanwhile Pat Davern (guitar) and Kristian Hopes (drums) made their chemistry on stage with their instruments and the audience, as well as their other band members throughout.

Finishing up what seemed like early, the lights blacked out and the crowd though that the show was over, before being greeted back with the band on stage for an encore starting with “Protest”, then their most famous song “Chemical Heart”. “1000 Miles” and “More Than You Are” also featured in the encore, losing Phil’s voice in the sea of voices yelling lyrics at the stage.

Apart from being what will be a part of music history, the light-show and confetti cannons contributed to creating a memorable night for all as the light-show contributed to the effect of the music, emphasising the heaviest and most important parts of each song. Whereas, the confetti cannons contributed to the “one last hurrah” of the last song played during the encore.

Overall, if you’re one who loves 90’s grunge rock, definitely try to see Grinspoon if you ever get the chance to, as they are a pinnacle in Australian music. Although, if you’re small and do not do well in mosh pits, do not go to the barrier, I repeat do not go in the barrier. It’s a jungle in there.

A small gallery will be uploaded shortly. 


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