If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve heard at least one person have a good old whinge about how “they don’t make music like they used to”; that we’re living in a talentless waste zone and churning out one autotuned no-hit wonder after the other. Classics are a thing of the past, gone are the days of onstage stunts and the total, raw ravishing of one’s ear holes by “real” rockstars; yadda yadda.
Had those people been at Brisbane’s Woolly Mammoth Mane Stage last Friday night, they’d have caught a handful of local acts that rip the jugular right out of that age-old misconception.
The gig, headlined by Brisbane band Street Pieces, delivered throwback after throwback to the supposedly irreplaceable glory days of rock.
Saint Skirts , the first supporting act and fiesty friend duo belted out The Chain by Fleetwood Mac to an appreciative audience. (Appearance-wise, an imaginative mind could summon the image of Joan Jett and Debbie Harry performing side-by-side.)
From this sweet starter act, the audience was launched ravenously into the full-on visual and aural buffet that was Concrete Palms.
Anyone who genuinely believes classic rock is dead would eat their words after a few moments tuning into this heavy Southeast QLD band; they scream, they shred guitar strings with their teeth, they play their instruments behind their heads...or with their feet, in the case of the drummer.
They were entertaining as hell and rattled the Mammoth’s bones; it took all the willpower of the audience (and looming threat of security) not to defy covid sit-down laws and mosh and writhe to bangers like Break My Mind. Starved of musical nutrition after months of lockdown, Concrete Palms quickly satiated our appetites...yet still, we craved more.
Next came Taine Joso - a band that proved something of a palate cleanser, cooling the tempo and guiding us through the Soundgarden of grunge and progressive rock; one could detect notes of Chris Cornell, TOOL, Alice in Chains, and more. Their crowd-pleasing yet restrained intensity ensured we were all salivating again before the headlining act.
How to begin describing Street Pieces ? It’s clear they’re singing on the shoulders of giants. Trying to pinpoint their sound felt like rummaging through a chest overflowing with motifs and monikers of rock and metal artists past. Imagine if Jeff Buckley joined forces with Def Leppard, or INXS travelled back in time and recruited Robert Plant. I heard shades of Warrant seep through tracks like Preacher, and Monster called to mind a touch of Creep by Radiohead.
The band members’ stage personas are glam rockers on casual Friday; shedding the crazy outfits but not the sex appeal. Sprinkle with the notoriously suggestive charisma of The Doors, and they’ve created a sound that’s full Coyote Ugly: made for stripping down and gyrating on sticky floors and bar tables. (In the pre-covid days, we might have been inclined to do just that.)
Before belting out one of their fan favourites, the lead singer let rip a wry, “Are you even f*cking ready for this?!” to his enrapt audience. The sight of band members doing power kicks and throwing their instruments in the air like a rockstar food fight, after a months-long performance famine, has got us so intensely ready for the long-awaited floodgate opening for future gigs. Thanks to Woolly Mammoth and MMK Music Promotions for setting such a legendary benchmark.
MixManiac sound and lighting
Special thanks to Lauren Crabbe, Mike Rankin and Nino Lo Giudice for photographing the night!