The Jungle Giants – The Tivoli

The Jungle Giants – The Tivoli Brisbane

Written by Harry Bain

Photos by Travers Southwell


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Friday night at the Tivoli is a good a time as any to see Brisbane band The Jungle Giants, who were well into their 2018 National tour which has seen them rocking out all over the country.

Doors opened at 7pm with the first support act, Evan Klar, coming on at 8pm. Klar was joined by his four piece band and was complemented by an extraordinarily clean mix which accentuated his powerful lifting guitar lines, as well as a mesmerising double drumming act that sounded awesome. The second support act, Alice Ivy, took to the stage at about 9pm. She was full of energy, bounding around the stage with her telecaster slung over her shoulder as she played with her MIDI controller and drum pad, producing some really cool sounds.

The support acts had properly hyped up the crowd and by 10pm the venue was filled out. The booze was well and truly flowing too, with a few rowdier members of the crowd rearranging the furniture to see over the mass of people crowding the balconies, much to the dismay of security.

Flashing lights worthy of an epilepsy warning built up to The Jungle Giants’ entrance at 10pm, the band took to the stage but it was not to last as a technical difficulty with the drummers electronics had the band turning back around, delaying the show by 5 minutes. Not a big deal though, with frontman Sam Hales laughingly describing it as “the biggest cocktease of 2018”.

The band bounded straight in On Your Way Down which was accompanied by an intense lightshow and the impressively endearing dance moves of lead guitarist Cesira Aitken which were worth the price of admission alone. The moves continued on into She’s A Riot and Anywhere Else followed by Sam Hale professing his love for Brisbane and the Tivoli, recounting stories of backstage antics and of himself and bassist Andrew Dooris crying in the crowd “right over there!” at a Bon Iver show years ago.

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You’ve Got Something saw multiple rectangular constructs on stage illuminated in a pulsating blue neon which, coupled with the smoke machine, seemed like something out of this world. At one point Hale climbed inside, stretched upwards, and lifted his guitar above his head bathed in smoke as if influenced by some godly spirit. It was very cool to watch.

Andrew Dooris flexed his muscles with a meaty bass-line leading the band into Quiet Ferocity and he would do so again during an intense solo with drummer Keelan Bijker before I Am What You Want Me To Be. Dooris deserves a lot of credit for his performance, he was often front and centre and the audience loved it. The moment he fell to the stage as if slain in the spirit and kept playing without missing a beat had everyone cheering.

The crowd went even wilder for Bad Dream which had Hale practically murdering his guitar whilst hitting some impressive high notes. The song was followed by a quick thank you to everyone for coming along, and then it was on to the final song of the nightUsed To Be In Love which was just as explosive and intense as what came before it. After the crowd practically begged, the band returned for an encore and then the night was over as quickly as it began.

It was an impressive feat that despite having done the same show the night before at the same venue, as well as having performed almost everyday since the beginning of April, nothing was even remotely stale about this performance. The Jungle Giants appeared as fresh as they would have been on the first day of the tour. Their work ethic is truly remarkable and it’s great to see a Brisbane band attracting such attention and acclaim. It was a fantastic performance, the band is tight and sounded live just as they did on the record. If you ever get the chance to see The Jungle Giants, do it.

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