– by Michelle Yeong
Thursday night, a bit of a mid-week stress-reliever from assignments, marked the final show of the San Cisco Gracetown Tour with support from Brisbane outfit Major Leagues. Held at ArtBar gallery, the gig was set entirely outside with a swamp separating the crowd from an Elizabethan-esque moat stage.
Major Leagues kicked things into gear with the grungy sun-dazed ‘Silver Tides’ and sent ripples through a once placid swamp. Catapulting the crowd into a haze of 90’s aesthetically pleasing shoegaze tunes, Major Leagues were captivating from beginning to end through their upbeat mix of fuzzed out guitars and reverbed vocal melodies. Their latest single ‘Someone Sometime’ saw lead guitarist Jaimee Fryer step up to the mic and dazzle the crowd with her dreamy textured vocals. Having Fryer and Anna Davidson swapping vocal and guitar duties throughout the night added a fresh element to the set.
As Davidson put it, “feels like there’s something separating us” referring to the swamp barrier of course, didn’t seem to stop the quartet from getting the crowd buzzing off their lo-fi tunes from 2013 EP Weird Season, along with a couple of new tunes (one being about our very own Bunbury). The set wrapped up nicely with ‘Feel,’ which incorporated a nice blend of melancholic angst amongst solid percussion. The vibes that flowed from the lengthy jam towards the song’s close reminded me of that classic scene from The Simpsons where the disengaged youth sway to The Smashing Pumpkins, it was beautiful.
With the band’s name beaming brightly on the Art gallery skyline, San Cisco made a triumphant entrance to the stage, quickly launching into 2011 hit ‘Golden Revolver.’ It wasn’t until ‘Awkward,’ surprisingly performed early on in the set, that encouraged punters to get up from their seats and start shamelessly dancing along to the infectious rhythms. Despite the odd open space environment, ArtBar was the perfect setting for the Perth favourites, the sound was spry and full, the guitars were crisp, and frontman Jordi Davieson’s vocals echoed jubilantly. The four-piece breathed new life into their live performance and brought a punchy-charismatic sound to their new and classic tunes. The crowd grooved to ‘Snow,’ and ‘Wash It All Away’ and allowed the sunny guitar melodies of ‘Too Much Time Together’ to encourage some crazy jiving and feel-good vibes. Saved till last, ‘RUN’ displayed catchy psychedelic roots and walking guitar riffs, proving to be a crowd favourite – though of course, an encore was to be expected.
In between songs, a few of us thought it’d be funny if someone fell into the swamp as there had been a couple of close calls throughout the night. As cynical as it sounds, seeing this would make my night. My expectations were soon to meet reality.
Loud screams filled the open air as Davieson resurfaced on his own to do an encore. Davieson serenaded the crowd with ‘Skool’ a “love song from high school.” And then it happened. Two courageous punters found themselves ankle-deep in the questionable swamp swaying back and forth to the acoustic jam. This started somewhat of a frenzy and as the song went on, more punters jumped in, leaving their shoes and socks behind. To close an unforgettable night, all band members returned to the stage to grace the “swamp-pit” with one final tune, ‘Fred Astaire.’ San Cisco literally rocked everyone’s socks off (sorry for the lame pun but it’s super relevant – I hope no one lost their socks on the way back to shore). New depths were reached, feet got wet, but what a way to end an already exuberant gig.