The last time The Wombats played in Perth, they filled Metro City. This time they were taking on Red Hill Auditorium, and one of the biggest Perth audiences they’ve ever played to. It was the perfect night for a gig out at Red Hill, and spirits were high despite it being a Thursday. Everyone was keen to see their favourite marsupials back on Australian soil.
Pop darling Eves Karydas, formerly Eves the Behaviour, kicked things off for the night, with her beautiful voice carrying well across the amphitheatre. The sun had just set, and her tracks Couch and Further Than The Planes Fly went down a treat.
Cloud Control were next to take to the stage, putting the crowd into a trance with their dreamy vibes. It was clear the audience loved them, with a dedicated group chanting out for Doug (Wright). The band played all the fan favourites including Rainbow City and Scar.
Finally, The Wombats‘ Murph, Dan and Tord took to the stage and opened with Cheetah Tongue from their latest album, Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life. Colours and cartoon wombats exploded onto the screen behind them, and the crowd exploded with energy.
Next the band launched into old favourites Give Me A Try and 1996 before getting back to the newer tunes. They played Black Flamingo, before giving Ice Cream its live debut. Emoticons was a hit as always, and Lemon To A Knife Fight got everyone dancing again.
The cutest cartoon wombat/bee hybrid burst onto the back screen whilst the band played their latest single Bee Sting, before the stage was lit up pink for Pink Lemonade, which had the best stage lighting scheme of the whole set, despite the song being a rather unexpected setlist choice.
Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves) ensured that no one was standing still, and the dancing only got madder when a someone in a wombat costume appeared on stage and the trio launched into Let’s Dance To Joy Division. The back screen showed visuals of Joy Division’s timeless Unknown Pleasures album cover, before it transformed to include little wombats among the waves.
After a brief moment, specifically set aside for the encore, Murph returned to the stage with an acoustic guitar and did a beautiful, acoustic rendition of Lethal Combination, featuring a big sing along from the crowd. Tord and Dan then re-joined Murph on stage for set closers Turn and Greek Tragedy.
The Wombats put together one of the more perfect setlists; it included all of the hits, all of the great songs from their new album, and I wasn’t disappointed about not getting to hear any particular tracks. Their stage back drop and lighting were incredible and all of the colours looked amazing on the huge stage and with the beautiful backdrop of the auditorium. The sound was perfect no matter where in the auditorium you were standing.
The crowd didn’t miss a single word and were singing along, including some of the more unexpected tracks like Ice Cream and Pink Lemonade, and there were a whole lot of people dancing the entire time, including me. It was a heck of a party for a Thursday.
Photos by Paul Dowd