Sydney, it is time to put the fun in your Friday night as for the punk-rock super-group known as Me First and The Gimme Gimmes have come to town with all the pizzazz and flare one might expect from these masters of the cover song. If you don’t know what I am talking about then let me initiate you, up front you have Spike Slawson from Uke Hunt, the rhythm section is Dave Raun from Lagwagon on drums, Jay Bentley from Bad Religion on Bass, Joey Cape the front man of Lagwagon on rhythm guitar and filling in for NOFX is Fat Mike and on this whole tour is our nations’ own Chris Cheney from The Living End. Woo man, what a line up, all on one stage belting out the tunes made famous by other more popular artists, tonight’s show promises to be nothing short of a veritable sing-along extravaganza that’s for certain.
I find there are two types of sold out shows in this world, the ones where you go ‘man there is a lot of people in here,’ and then there is the ones where you go ‘man there is whole lot of freaking people in here!’ At the Metro tonight it is the latter, as I inevitably turn up late and clamber to find myself a space to call my own and watch the action unfold. I find my perch with Captain Morgan in hand, the crowd are already well lubricated and packed in tight, the stage lights dim and the chatter turns to cheering as the band take the stage looking all fab in their white jeans and pink silk shirts. Out struts Spike looking more distinguished in his gold jacket and wayfarers, he starts off nice and smooth as he croons us all with the opening to Summertime.
I mentioned earlier that tonight would be a sing along extravaganza and it was, tracks like Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl, Cher’s Believe and Paula Abdul’s Straight Up all sounding fantastic in their punk rock form. Our biggest sing and clap along moment had to be when Spike pulled out his trusty ukulele and played us Crazy for You by Madonna, but, you have not seen anything until you have witnessed the mosh pit that erupts with R Kelly’s I Believe I Can Fly.
From the crazy stage antics mixed in with a cheesy gold back drops that looks like it was bought at a Young Talent Time garage sale, on top of the horrible outfits worn by not just the band but even the stage tech, who we were assured was not a Michael Jackson Hologram, as he escorted stage invaders back to the pit out front. Oh, I forgot to mention the use of the famous disco ball that is a part of the metro decor on I will Survive, it is all part of the absolute charm and insanity of the show. You must also really appreciate the set up leading into certain songs like Jolene or Me and Julio Down by The School Yard which deliver classic one liners and add the overall mockery of the songs they perform, but the band does want you to note they walk that fine line between tribute and cover lol.
The set list closes out with Different Drum and before its end, the rhythm section would have some fun before exiting with the other band members. Now we get into the encore waiting game the crowd know what they want and they let it be known as a chant breaks out three more songs! three more songs! All the stomping and clapping builds as they walk back out, Spike with Ukulele in hand, he requests that we shout out two words first word Uke, second word Hunt. I will let you say that out loud in your head, lol.
Instead of three songs we end up with five, first up is a home grown favourite Xanadu then more disco fever with I Will Survive, but our singing voices weren’t done yet as we get into another great big sweet sing along moment with All My Loving. I referenced Young Talent Time earlier that’s why the place just erupted in song, made me think of my childhood. The guys weren’t done Raking It In just yet as they delivered one of their greatest hits Sweet Caroline and to let us all know our night was over they leave us with End of The Road.
Tonight’s show was an absolute blast! You would have to be a corpse to not have enjoyed yourself, that or you just didn’t get what the band was about and if that was the case then why even go, you should have left room for a fan who understands and appreciates what this punk rock icon super group is all about.
I can guarantee you other shows are going to be just as fun and just as absurd so consider yourself lucky Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, you still have a chance to catch them so I highly recommend you go out and do so.
Review – Chad
Photo Gallery – Peter Zaluzny