Now I’ve never seen Eskimo Joe before so I was hoping from everything I’d ever heard about them being a great live band was true, guess there was only one way for me to find out and that was to head to The Enmore on a rainy Saturday night in Sydney and check out these boys from WA…
Opening band the 6 piece Fire! Santa Rosa, Fire! Gave us their blend of beautiful folk vocals in the midst of soft rock guitars and driving drums. How do I describe what I was hearing? I’d like to say soothing, tranquil and it was a pleasure to hear a new band produce such music that was so easy to listen to. I’d like to call them as close as they could be as Australias answer to Florence & The Machine
Frankie & The Heart Strings from the UK gave us their blend of rock with an Arctic Monkeys meets the Strokes kind of vibe. The most mesmerizing thing was their frontman who’s dancing was phenomenal. Musically they got the crowd pumped and ready for the main act.
Kicking off with ‘Sarah’ and a rousing set of applause Eskimo Joe quickly hit their strides and the crowd were in for a treat. Frontman Kav Temperley had the crowd in the palm of his hands within seconds with a simple “shhhhh” the crowd volume level dropped to practically silence which is a pretty good effort. Straight in to ‘New York’ followed by ‘Echo’ from their newest release ‘Ghosts Of The Past’ which received a good reception, always a tough ask for the new material. This was Eskimo Joe’s 5th time at the Enmore and they took us back to ‘Songs Of The City’ to throw in ‘Older Than You’ which gave us the best reaction of the night so far. As this was the launch of the album in Sydney it was time for some new ones. ‘Speeding Car’ was everyones ‘Hey I don’t know this one so I’m going to talk to my friend’ song which always annoys me, but the ones listening took every word in and loved every second of it. ‘Ghost Of Me’ is my favorite from the new album and it translated perfectly to the stage, I’m pretty sure I even saw a mini mosh pit start. Kav tells us it’s time to pick it up and tells us this is where tomorrow you tell your friends “So they played ‘Foreign land and shit got fucking real” and belive me, it did. Guitarist Stuart MacLeod showcased his talent in ‘Childhood Behaviour’ Followed by a pretty cool cover of the Roy Orbison classic ‘Crying’ and then in to ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ and ‘When We Were Kids’ which is sure to be a quintessential Eskimo Joe song in the future and is already a new crowd favorite. The biggest crowd sing along came in the form of ‘Love Is A Drug’ and I must say this is one of my favorite Eskimo Joe tracks. Crowd song along favorite ‘From The Sea’ gave us a sea of singing ‘oh oh oh oh ohs’ was the crowd participation part of the evening as the band leaves the stage.
Ooh encore… ‘London Bombs’ followed by of course ‘Black Fingernails Red Wine’ complete with ‘Would I Lie To You’ intro and as the crowd goes crazy for the song they realistically came to hear (I must say count me in there too) but oh no that’s not the end. We get one more, an acoustic driven number and new album closer ‘Sky’s On Fire’ should they have ended with Black Fingernails? Yeah probably but this is a gorgeous song and gets to show the crowd that this band can really write a song, musically the band is great shown here by the massive outro.
I think the one thing that works for Eskimo Joe is the fact thar their music is so accessible and easy to enjoy, they are great players and that makes it for a great night of entertainment and that’s just what we all got.
Venue: The Enmore Theatre – Sydney
Date: September 24 2011
Supports: Fire! Santa Rosa, Fire! and Frankie & The Heartstrings
Older Than You
Ghosts Of ThePast
Don’t Let Me Down
When We Were Kids
Love Is A Drug
From The Sea
Black Fingernails, Red Wine
Sky’s On Fire
Catch Eskimo Joe on their remaining tour dates