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BLUEJUICE

Bluejuice - Photo by Rachael Barrett
Bluejuice – Photo by Rachael Barrett

The Love Junkies
Capitol
Friday, September 26, 2014

Bluejuice’s 13-year story is finally coming to an end, bogged down in a quagmire of band politics, hurt feelings and a couple of rather angry interviews from frontman, Jake Stone, aimed at fellow vocalist, Stavros Yiannoukas. The band’s farewell tour was always going to be a coin toss between nostalgic adieu and thinly-veiled breakdown and so hordes of fans filed into Capitol to see whether the band could keep it all together to pull off a farewell show worthy of their legacy.

Beginning the night was local super trio, The Love Junkies. Frontman, Mitch McDonald devoured the stage, howling vocals over jagged, fuzz-laden guitar lines. The crowd, swollen and gorging on dark grunge-inspired tracks such as Maybeline before moving on to rockier numbers, such as Black Sheep Blues.

Bluejuice juxtaposed the malignant energy of The Love Junkies, replacing their bitter ’90s garage rock with fluoro-clad (literally, in this case) ’80s revivalism. S.O.S. had the crowd up early, with Stone hyped up on audience energy, shouting the band’s infectious lyrical hooks through the mic. Bright pink lights shone over the fluorescent green stage equipment as Stone removed his shirt and began to flick water into the crowd. Stage right, Yiannoukas stood more subdued than his counterpart, staunch yet largely unmoving through songs, decked in a grey shirt that proudly proclaimed “Last BJ.”

The band blasted through songs, jumping and prancing their way through numbers such as Ain’t Telling The Truth while Bluejuice’s Ghostbusters parody music video saw the band members zapping snotty, narcissistic antagonists before moving on to a series of television parodies at the start of Aspen, New York.

Anthemic harmonies, explosive drums and thick basslines characterised the set. However, while the band managed to keep energy high, there was little dynamic movement until the end. The interaction between Stone and Yiannoukas was still visibly awkward, though jovial enough, while synth lines steadily backed songs like Shock and the pair even joining together to elicit a call and response from the crowd during Work.

Towards the end of the set Stone raised the hype once again, crowdsurfing while upright before climbing up onto Capitol’s balcony using fans, before being coaxed into jumping back off and launching into a reggae version of Lana Del Ray’s Video Games. Finally, as the set finished off, the band got audience members to climb onstage for the obligatory performance of Vitriol, sending fans into moshing paroxysms and head-banging.

As the band finished up they were called back out again for an encore. Band members threw glow sticks out into the audience and partied with the crowd before turning down the lights and rocking out Broken Leg to a sea of fists clutching the brightly-coloured rods while their respective owner’s sang along to the lyrics. As the light came back on the band walked off to continue drinking along with fans. A fitting end to over a decade of debauchery.

SHAUN COWE