Photos by Damien Crocker (@damien_crocker)
Opening the night was Sydney-based indie rockers Sports Bra. These self-proclaimed queer pop dreamboats put on an eye-catching and invigorating set. The audience seemed to connect with their sounds, at the very minimum, everyone was bopping their head along to the beat whilst others were jumping up and down and going crazy at the very front of the stage! One lot of lyrics stood out to me throughout their set and it was “I’m not f**king your mother, I’m not your f**king friend, and I don’t owe you a single goddamn thing” which is from their song, ‘Leather Jacket’. These lyrics are so empowering and shows how truly badass Sports Bra is both on stage and off.
After a short break, the lights went dark and the audience started to cheer, each member of La Dispute quickly made their way on stage and got right into the night’s festivities. Frontman, Jordan Dreyer’s voice ringing out throughout the venue, its raw emotion was easy to hear and sounded better than any of their recordings.
The American band thanked us for all coming and Dreyer told the crowd “Perth is a very special place to us, it’s incredible to be able to make friends on the other side of the world simply by chance and then continue to be the best of friends for years and years later, we are fortunate enough to do what we do and make friends all over the world but Perth is one of those very special places that we will always do our best to come to on tour”.
La Dispute played through the majority of their new album but also through in some of their old-school classics like ‘I see everything’ which really brought the fans out into a frenzy, a mosh pit opened up during one of the songs and drinks were flying through the air, it was a fantastic atmosphere to be in. Everyone was having the time of their lives and the band put on an incredible show. Every one of the members was spot on never missing a beat, string, note or tune throughout the whole set and they blew me away with how talented every single member of the band was and how much energy Dreyer had. He never seemed to stand still, dancing and jumping his way around the stage throughout their songs and the audience was being fed off of that, with each song more and more joined the mosh until the whole room was jumping and bumping into one another.
Dreyer made several speeches throughout the night but this one was the fans favourite judging by the cheers, tears and screams of joy you could see when looking around the venue.
“Create an atmosphere where everyone feels safe and free to be who they were born to be, this is a strictly no tolerance zone for homophobia, transphobia, sexual harassment, racism, fascism…so thank you for being f***ing amazing. We look at music more so as the community the music creates rather than the music itself and that these shows are some of those safe pockets. We have to all make an effort to not be complacent that it’s not enough to show up, to just be apart of a subculture, I’m not saying it doesn’t apply to us because it does but it’s really easy to just be on an island and I want to say thank you for being to open to these issues with us”.
To close their set, La Dispute decided to skip the usual ritual of rock bands where they go off stage and hide until the audience cheers enough for an encore. Instead, they just played through their last three songs and once again, thanking the enthusiastic audience in the poster covered venue for being “f***ing fantastic!”.
Members of the band started to leave the stage until only guitarist Chad Sterenburg was left who performed a stunning guitar solo to finish off the truly memorable set. La Dispute are definitely one of the best touring bands around at the moment and I couldn’t recommend seeing them more!