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Die! Die! Die! @ Annandale Hotel
15/04/2010 + Kelly Clarkson @ Acer Arena - 17/04/2010

I've always been envious of people with narrow musical tastes. No, really. It means they can focus all their attention on a handful of artists, zeroing in on their work to the point of obsession. I'm personally spread far too thin, with my interests covering basically all the high points that exist between Marf Loth and Peter Andre.

That's the main reason I spent the majority of last week prepping for two fairly exciting, but very different, shows - Die! Die! Die! at the Annandale Hotel on the Thursday night and Kelly 'fucking' Clarkson at the Acer Arena on the Saturday.

Our lust of New Zealand punk trio, Die! Die! Die!, probably doesn't need to be explained anymore. You're probably sick of hearing it and we're almost certainly sick of typing the words 'farking awesome ay' over and over. We've pretty much used up all our energy/vocabulary explaining our lust for them over the past few years, as well as plenty of hours seeing them perform live - or more accurately 'tear the ass out of a weak venue'.

Their show last Thursday was a little bit special, however, as it was the first chance (in Australia at least) to see them perform material from their forthcoming new record.

Die! Die! Die! iPhone Photos!
Die! Die! Die! iPhone Photos!

When I arrived at the Annandale Hotel I was greeted by the chaotic goofiness of Fait Accompli. It's been a while since I've seen them play, but not too much has changed. They're still somewhat aggressively upfront, still noisy to the point of almost being indecipherable and still wearing council worker uniforms.

Ok, so that last bit might have been a bit of a surprise, but it also formed as a suitably distracting discussion topic between my beer-squilling compadres and I, as we over-examined the lack of continuity of the trio's set, which contained few high points or memorable moments. And, before you say anything, I'm fully aware that holding these guys under a magnifying glass and critiquing the obvious filth probably means I don't 'get it'.

The middle slot of the night was reserved for Howl - a bunch of bratty, anorexic yelpers from Brisbane Ballarat. I'm sure if I was spastic drunk at a vomit-worthy Kings Cross cunthole club at 4am then I might find some element of their trashy party-shambles style to get into. But, it was a Thursday night. It also didn't help that they spent a large portion of their set demanding the audience 'party up', move forward, uncross their arms, shelve some pills, drink, get their stomach pumped etc etc. It's Sydney yer cunts.

Die! Die! Die! had similar problems getting the audience suitably motivated to smash the place apart, destroy everything/one in sight and unleash all the bottled-up 9-5 angst. Even without the expected "holy fuck I might have to go to hospital later" element, the trio's performance was still thoroughly enjoyable. They did, however, seem slightly disheartened by the crowd's response (the "you are the politest crowd we have ever had" comment was especially disheartened for loyalists like myself).

The band sprinkled a handful of new songs throughout the set, including the blistering new single We Built Our Own Oppressors. The old favourites, especially the Blue Skies and Out Of The Blue back-to-back special, sounded just as amazing/fresh and even though their time on stage was far too brief (only around 40 minutes including encore), it's highly doubtful the band left any of the (sensible) patrons in attendance disappointed with the performance.

Clarkson

Two days later, I trekked out west with a much more responsible adult (ie. The Wife), for a completely different concert experience - Kelly Clarkson. Because I feel I may not have been completely honest with everyone who assumed it was The Wife dragging me along to this (and not vice versa) I just want to official go on record as saying - I was the one most keen to go to this show out of the two of us. This was my idea, my (private) Facebook event, my circled date in 'our' Twilight calendar, and I'll be damned if - despite a slow patch in the middle - it wasn't a fairly brilliant show.

Ok, first things first.

I hate going to Homebush. I avoid the place like the KKK avoid Harlem, Kings Of Leon avoid their credible past and Wavves avoids those tough 'stache bros from The Black Lips (they're gonna smash you dude!).

Homebush. Shithole. A soulless pit of badly organised car parks, big empty spaces and void of anything that has even overheard the word 'character' muttered on the train.

Speaking of trains, they weren't running on the night. Because, basically, they never run in Sydney. It's part of the city's charm. So, we drove out to the Western Entertainment Complex, parked on level 9 of Car Park Multiplex 12, a spot we would take about 45 minutes to exit from once the show had finished.

Wait wait wait. I'm still getting miles ahead of myself. And ranting like a bitch.

We arrived just in time to catch the end of Eric Hutchinson's warm-up performance. He's best known as the guy who once had a song feature on Packed To The Rafters. A fact I become aware of when he closed his set with a rendition of the song and all the 30-plus desperate housewives around me proceeded to scream like idiots and fanny grind the chairs in front of them.

During his performance, Eric also treated us his own rendition of A Tribe Called Quest's Can I Kick It as part of the break-down/closing on one particularly unmemorable song. Yeah, that actually happened.

Clarkson came on stage at 9:15pm, which, amazingly, was exactly the advertised time she was supposed to start. I was already loving the whole pop show experience (um... choc tops!) but punctuality always scores high in my books. She then proceeded to rip into a few of her newer songs, before showing off a more guitar 'heavy' rendition of early favourite Miss Independent and a nice reworking of Never Change. A few badly chosen covers - most notably the Keith Urban and Kings Of Leon tracks - dogged the middle portion of her set, as did a fairly stagnate acoustic melody where Clarkson tried to cram a bunch of rarer numbers in to please the die-hard fans/stalkers who were currently following her around the country.

The highlight of her performance was always going to be the modern pop classic - Since You've Been Gone. It didn't disappoint. Clarkson, in true show-woman move, saved the song for her encore, sandwiching it between her latest single All I Ever Wanted and a fairly awesome cover of The White Stripes' Seven Nation Army (which, as I have explained to friends who love Jack White, might not have been all that 'awesome' in their books).

Clarkson

Comparing these two shows is impossible so I'm not even going to bother. BUT... maybe if we took a mix of the intensity of Die! Die! Die!, the Annandale Hotel's shitty/dirty unpretentious charm, KC's ecstatic/adoring fans, a short beer queue and maybe a large selection of snack options and, well, maybe we have the recipe for the best show ever.

Filed Under
Articles
Die! Die! Die!
Kelly Clarkson
Howl
Fait Accompli

 

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Comments

bella

the best part of die! die! die! was watching jonny's little face light up when the band came on stage and then pissbolt to the front of the crowd to take iphone photos <3

1 decade ago

bella

p.s
MARF LOTH!!!

1 decade ago

Sean

Die! Die! Die! should open for Kelly Clarkson next time around.

1 decade ago

(nobody)

KELLY CLARKSONS A MUSICAL GENIUS MUTHA FUCKA

1 decade ago

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