GIG REVIEW: The Jungle Giants @ The Croxton Bandroom

Jungle

Touring for their 3rd studio album, Quiet Ferocity, The Jungle Giants brought power and energy to the stage all night long. The Croxton Bandroom was pumping on Sunday night, filled with fans and friends alike of the acclaimed indie-rock quartet. Before the acts began at 8:30, everyone was already getting down to even the background music played through the room, as we awaited the start of the real party. The band’s new record promised a synth-based dance party for the night ahead – and true to form, they did not disappoint.

The Jungle Giant’s brought two vastly different acts on tour with them to support their shows. The first of the two, Heaps Good Friends, turned out to be an absolute riot to party with, particularly bassist Nick O’Connor, who was interacting with the audience with nothing but complete swagger and friendly confidence. Every member of the band was oozing with stage presence and life that genuinely could not even be matched by The Jungle Giants themselves. The band had a half hour set to showcase their talent, and they did so with energy and grace, even embracing mistakes by teasing each other onstage, showing dynamic chemistry and completely engaging the whole venue.

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Sibling duo Lastlings brought together their indie-electronica music style with an extensive light show, creating a really interesting atmosphere. As fantastic as the band was musically, with mellow toned vocals and dance driven beats, overall the light show felt like the main spectacle. As a live band their stage presence was lacking, but nonetheless they pumped out an amazing set. Props particularly go to Joshua Dowdle, for his flawless live sampling and mixing through every song.

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The Jungle Giants were met with massive vibrancy from the crowd, which they shot right back at us with a seamless set list of classics and fresh tunes. Parting with the tradition of opening with new music, the instant fast paced guitar of 2012 hit She’s a Riot opened the set, turning the floor into a frenzy of dancing, screaming, singing fans. Despite the insane range of stylistic choices in the band’s discography, the set came together and flowed immaculately through the whole night, with a surprising prominence of old hits from the previous two studio albums.

About midway through the set, the band made a choice that was completely unprecedented, but worked dramatically in their favour, as they staged In the Garage to showcase bassist Andrew Dooris and drummer Keelan Bijker for all their work. The piece was accompanied by psychedelic green light and smoke machines, bringing the full effect of its wicked vibes, flaunting the talent of the band’s less prominent members. The crowd soaked up the tune, even without any lyrics to sing along to.

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I cannot stress enough how perfectly this Brisbane band put together an awesome show, and managed to light up the Croxton, even on a Sunday night. Frontman Sam Hales was constantly up close and personal with the audience, giving everyone on the floor a connection, while the rest of the band interacted more with their instruments and each other, pulling us into their familial-like relationship. The Jungle Giants are a band anyone on the Aussie music scene can genuinely feel at home with; they wrap every individual audience member up in their contagious smiles and bring us all together for one thing only – the music. Awesome gig, from start to finish.

Alice Curtis

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