You Am I @ Freo.Social
Saturday, October 5, 2019
You Am I, fronted by the inimitable Mr. Tim Rogers, are bonafide Aussie rock legends, and always put on a hell of a live show. And with their buddies, hometown heroes Jebediah, you’ve got yourself a huge double bill of 90s alternative legends. With three sold out WA gigs over the weekend, the bands proved they are still going strong and are as dynamic as ever. There’s a lot affection for these two bands, and it’s obvious they have a long-standing affection for each other, too.
Jebediah are a great live act. They put in 100% every show – Kevin Mitchell sweating up a storm and screaming into the mic, and their secret weapon, the bundle of bouncing bass energy, Vanessa Thornton, who Rogers later explained he met “a million” years ago at the Dunsborough Tavern, and got on well with right away.
“Hi, we’re Jebediah, since 1995,” said Kevin Mitchell to introduce the band. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long, as the band still have such a youthful enthusiasm. While they were the opening act (“we’re just the appetiser” as Mitchell put it), the way they played and the way the crowd went off and sang along, you would have thought they were headlining.
They started strong out of the gates with Lino from their ’97 debut Slightly Odway, an album that saw them explode onto Australian scene after winning the National Campus Band Competition.
While they have a deep catalogue of many great songs – the big (read: older) hits still get the most reaction. They’re just great songs. Animal still rocks. Leaving Home is a huge, triumphant track. Probably their biggest hit, Harpoon, is a beautifully tender song, and got a big singalong, before they rocked the hell out of the finale, their classic Jerks Of Attention.
You Am I took the stage in all their glory, with Rogers sporting an open, frilly red shirt “that your grandma would wear”. He commented he was a little sore from playing footy across the road earlier in the day. Rogers had copped a hard tackle in the Reclink Community Cup – an annual AFL match for a great cause, pitting the Newshounds (comprised of local media personalities) against the Bandgropers (made up of members of local bands – including a special import in Rogers).
The set was heavy on their latter era classic, 2006’s Convicts, which they just released on vinyl for the first time. They had been doing an album tour for it over east, and we got pretty much the whole thing, bar a couple tracks. It’s a hard rocking album with the sort of songs that sound their best live and loud.
After a few tracks from Convicts, they set the crowd off with the opening riff of Mr Milk,a highlight from their ARIA Award conquering Hourly Daily. The band rock and roll like a well-oiled machine, though Rogers gave Davey Lane a bit of a stare down when he forgot to do his backing vocal part (the two sharing a laugh afterwards).
The boys were in fine form, with Rogers’ trademark shining wit and banter on full display, along with his rock star moves, grooves and energy. Rogers is a national treasure, and he fronts one of the best damn rock ‘n’ roll bands this Great Southern Land has ever produced. The boys tore the tin roof off Freo.Social and there was a heady vibe in the air all night. You could feel the love in the room, and hear it too, with some deafening cheers and screams.
Highlights from Convicts were the rollicking Gunslingers, and Constance George with its exclamation “She’s got soul”, which Rogers dedicated to Thornton; and an underrated tune of theirs, the Convicts album closer, I’m A Mess, which featured an awesome guitar outro from Davey Lane.
Rogers looked genuinely upset as he dedicated a song to Kim Shattuck, singer and bass player from The Muffs (who recently sadly passed away) whom he had played with, and had a great time with in LA. Heavy Heart took it down a notch, and was an unexpected soft and tender moment – such a classic ballad.
The mighty How Much Is Enough and Cathy’s Clown rounded a out a great set, before the one-two punch encore of Rumble and Berlin Chair that had the faithful punters throwing themselves around with reckless abandon.
As Rogers’ succinctly put it: “Wood. Steel. Voices. Hands. Heart. What more do you need?” God bless the fuckin’ lot of us.