Performing on 6th August 2011 @ Governor Hindmarsh
With a slew of national shows and a much talked about performance at Splendour in the Grass, Gomez graced an appreciative audience with their presence at the Governor Hindmarsh on Saturday evening.
Aside from a heavy touring schedule, the boys from Gomez have been busy promoting their new album, Whatever’s On Your Mind, which has received a very warm reception from both long time fans and critics alike since its release.
Unsurprisingly, the show is sold out, as is made evident punters stream through the doors as soon as they open and fill out the venue to the brim. Punters excitedly chat to one another, mostly about favourite Gomez albums, and a Gomez banner is appropriately planted across the back of the stage. Several red lights appear, making the stage seem larger and like one you might see at a larger music festival.
As the night went on, it was time for opening act, Leader Cheetah, to take the stage. The Adelaide band took the stage with a swirl of 60s sounding guitars and the distinct vocal stylings of Dan Crannitch, echoing classic influences of artists like Neil Young and Eric Burden. The crowd is rather taken with the group just a few songs in, and everyone seems fixated on the stage, giving the group a warm hometown welcome.
The group play through a repertoire of their work, often jamming on songs with extended guitar solos, and promoting their upcoming album and national tour. Leader Cheetah in this instance ticked every box for an opening band: they were engaging, warmed the crowd in anticipation of Gomez and in doing so, hopefully gained some well deserved new fans.
The anticipation for Gomez continued to build as the stage was set up. After forty or so minutes, the lights dimmed, the red wash changed to pink, the crowd roared and Gomez made their way onto the stage. They instantly grasped the crowd with the opening track ‘Bring it On’, and the audience was immediately smitten. As the song progressed, the audience began to dance and bop along; it was hard to see anyone standing still.
Gomez continued their set by playing ‘Hamoa Beach’ and ‘The Wolf’. It seemed that with each song, the crowd reacted accordingly, particularly when the group played ‘Get Myself Arrested’, resulting in many screams and an enthusiastic sing along from the crowd. At one stage, front man Ian Ball even commented on the crowd’s dedication: “Gee, you guys know all the lyrics”. The band’s interaction with the crowd made the show seem more intimate; it is not very often that you see a crowd sing along to each and every song.
Notably the group played an amazing live version of ‘Sweet Virginia’, a mesmerizing live ballad which served to create an immersive atmosphere. After the strong performance of ‘Sweet Virginia’, the group seemed to shift its dynamic. A few band members commented that it was a Saturday and that it was time to start the party. The group proceeded to play a variety of their faster and more upbeat work, including songs like ‘Airstream Driver’ and ‘Ruff Stuff’. To add to the already strong set list, the group played a rarer track, ‘Waster’: a very pleasant surprise, and a treat for fans of Gomez’s back catalogue.
The group finished their set with ‘Options’, however it was very obvious that the group was coming back for a much appreciated encore. Gomez was greeted with a great deal of enthusiasm as they made their way back on stage, first playing ‘How we Operate’. Though it was well received, it was as the group hit the first few notes of ‘Whippin’ Piccadilly’ that the audience exploded with a wave of liveliness and energy. It finished the show on a very happy note for many punters, and left the crowd feeling very satisfied.
Gomez performed a startling set list, encompassing a variety of their older and newer work. It is clear why the band is so well received around the world; they are a treat to see live and leave no one disappointed. Hopefully it won’t be too long before Gomez grace Australian stages again.
- Matthew Mercieca