Live Review

Pierce Brothers, Flynn Gurry & Jack Bratt @ The Zoo

Entering The Zoo for the last time before it closes permanently was tough. Leaving was even harder, with my partner remarking feebly, “Bye Zoo” as we descended the stairs to Ann Street at the end of the night. For Thirty-Two years The Zoo has been a lynchpin of the Brisbane music scene, providing the citizens of Brisbane with live music, several nights a week; since 1992, when grunge was still the biggest thing in music. Despite the obvious sadness imbued by The Zoo’s upcoming closure, tonight’s Pierce Brothers show, which also featured Flynn Gurry and Jack Bratt, was an uplifting evening of music performed to a packed crowd.

It was heartening to see so many attendees arrive earlier to catch show opener and local Brisbane boy, Jack Bratt, perform his particular brand of gravel-mouthed blues. Bratt’s a skilled guitar player, with a raspy but soulful voice and this combination was more than enough to capture the attention of the crowd. Most enjoyed his performance from the comfort of their seats, but those who did congregate to the front grooved along for much of his four-song set.

Flynn Gurry is a young performer from Warrnambool, Victoria who started his career busking on the streets of Melbourne. He has one EP, Weather & Dogs?, under his belt and has recently released a string of singles, evidence that a new album is just around the corner. Flynn appears to be generating some waves in the folk-pop field. Despite his youthfulness, he is a charismatic performer who knows how to engage an audience, many of whom were keen to chat and purchase some merch at the end of his set. Heartwarmingly, Flynn’s parents and partner were in attendance and he obviously received the approval of the Pierce Brothers, who jumped on stage during his final song, a rousing rendition of Mumford and Sons I Will Wait.

Tonight’s performance was the last show of a lengthy Australian tour to celebrate the release of Pierce Brothers’ latest album, Everything Is Bigger Than Me. Described as energetic folk, the brother’s live show was a sight to behold. Jack and Patrick, the titular brothers, know how to motivate a crowd, with Tonight’s audience responding eagerly to the group’s energy, packing the dance floor and singing and dancing along for the duration of the set.

Genevieve & Amsterdam, two early songs and crowd favourites, received a rapturous reception, with the audience singing every word in sync with the band. Studio, Bottle and Hollow, three recently released singles off of Everything Is Bigger Than Me were also warmly received. Clearly, those in attendance are just as familiar with the boys’ new material as they are with their old. Overdose, the final song of the main set, also provided the first of the encore. Both brothers briefly walked off stage as the crowd continued to sing the song’s refrain, they then returned to deliver an electrifying final chorus and a powerful, two-song encore.

Pierce Brothers gave a lot of love to the crowd, but what they gave they received back tenfold. Tonight’s gig truly did feel like a big celebration, a fitting send-off to a lengthy, but successful tour. Online footage of the group seems to indicate that this level of energy is not reserved for special occasions, but the default setting for the brothers, who appear to be the Energiser Bunny reincarnated as a folk duo. Their enthusiasm was infectious and the crowd lapped it up eagerly. It was a real joy to take the time to look around and see the smiles on the faces of an audience openly enjoying themselves, a gig I’m sure many will talk about for weeks to come.

Word by Nick Stephan

Photo courtesy of piercebrothers.com

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