Live Review

We Set Sail, Melaleuca and Apparitions @ The Zoo

Felt a bit weird that on my drive in to the Valley to see We Set Sail that fireworks were going off. Not weird because they always bloody happen at Victoria Park for a reason unbeknownst to me. Weird because it is was We Set Sail’s final show after fifteen years as a band. Like for every one of the four hundred people that piled into the sold-out show at The Zoo, We Set Sail has been a consistent part of my life for over a decade and bidding them farewell was still a bit surreal. However, if fireworks are part of celebration, then that encapsulates this show.

Apparitions kicked off the evening and they’re one of those bands I know I’ve seen play before or maybe I’ve been Mandela Effected into that line of thinking because I’ve seen their name on many a poster. Regardless of whether it was the first time or the twenty-first time, Apparitions are brilliant. Mid-to-high paced emotional punk was the perfect way to blood the night and the last three songs of their set were particularly strong. I listened to the band's 2017 EP to death so it’s like greeting myself from six years ago. Quality sad bastard shit to warmly welcome the night of sad bastardry.

Going from a band deep in the annals of my mind to one I’d not even come across, Melaleuca packed some serious punch and would be the perfect touring companion for Rozwell Kid. That is if Rozwell Kid are still around and ever decide to tour again. I miss Rozwell Kid, they made great use of the vocal harmonies: weaving them in between songs that I’m now listening to on repeat to reverse engineer them in my own head. The on-stage banter stepped up a notch between Apparitions and Melaleuca including the choice line of “our songs sound happy but I can assure you we’re all depressed pieces of shit” and some odd story about Harrison Ford and Paul McCartney that I can’t remember? Either way, a great set from a great band and one that I’m glad I saw.

When We Set Sail took the stage, I wasn’t even thinking that it would be their last show. I was just real bloody excited to see one of my favourite bands again. They began with a supercut of all the movie clips they wouldn’t be using in the set before bounding into the first few songs. How they went this long without any companies pinging them for copyright is both impressive and kinda funny. Each song of the set itself was introduced by the appropriate movie clip and hearing them pulled together for a live show from three albums and a parting gift on an EP hit a little different. Through their discography they went: a wall of guitar driven emo washing over those in attendance. Small, dismissive movements of crowd interaction were met with massive cheers and applause. Not dismissive in a downplaying way but in a way that if it was too deeply gotten into, the emotion would boil over. For me, that emotion boiled over when the familiar figure of a booking agent in a Jameson hat took stage and continued an old tradition from when the band played at Crowbar. Then it sunk in, man. Closing with Animal, Mineral, Vegetable and everyone belting out “you’re like a wave”, We Set Sail wrapped up their final show.

A good mate of mine made the trip down from Toowoomba for this final show and his exact words were “I’m fucking sad they’re breaking up but fuck I’m glad I saw them”. He’s spot on. It was sad to see We Set Sail for the final time but the past ten years of my life has been infinitely enriched by them. From seeing them countless times at the now defunct Crowbar, to having the listening experience of a carefully crafted and delicately weighted album where everything contributed to a whole, to laughing every time I heard the sound bite from Forgetting Sarah Marshall…We Set Sail, I won’t forget you. Thank you.

- Matt Lynch.


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