live music review: two door cinema club, enmore theatre
Two Door Cinema Club – Enmore Theatre Sydney
The boys from Northern Irish band Two Door Cinema Club are the kind of people who make me feel like a notorious underachiever. In their early 20s, being the subject of huge hype after the release of their album Tourist History in March 2010, I wish (not for the first time) that I had some sort of musical talent. It seems that three boys from Ireland have quickly established themselves on the live music circuit, following sets at major music festivals around the world, including Glastonbury and our very own Splendour in the Grass 2010. The substantial lines spilling out from the iconic Enmore theatre in Sydney appeared to be a testament to their popularity. Having seen the trio at Splendour (it was amazing) I had some idea of what to expect. However, the age demographic at this gig was far younger than anything I had expected. Seeing lines of fourteen and fifteen year-olds in the very eccentric Sydney suburb of Newtown, hours before the doors would open, was again a tribute to the popularity of their music. (It didn’t help much with my self esteem either. I’m still struggling with the notion that I’m going to turn 20 this year).
Parades opened the show to a buzzing crowd. Knowing very little about the band, except that it was a Jonathan Boulet side project, I was pleasantly surprised. Evidently talented, Parades launched into a set filled with extended solos and atmospheric, harmonic melodies. The band did not need to remind the crowd that they were not Two Door Cinema Club, as their brand of music provided a distinct alternative to the undeniably catchy songs to come later on in the night. Though Parades received a polite reception, it was unmistakable that the crowd was there for the headliners.
The moment the lights had dimmed, to heavy reverb, inordinate amounts of smoke, and laser light displays, the opening riffs of Cigarettes in the Theatre made it abundantly clear why the band are so popular. It was in that moment that I was glad for my years of moshing experience, because the Irish Trio were relentless. From the opening track their very danceable songs, with catchy licks were well received by the crowd. As the weaker, younger punters gradually filtered away from the front of the mosh, Undercover Martyn followed in an anthemic fashion.
Before the gig had started I was curious as to what songs they would include in their set list. This is taking into consideration that their album ‘Tourist History’, despite having ten songs, lasts for little over half an hour. Relatively unknown songs permeated their set, including a brand new song, Handshake. While the crowd initially perceived this as a welcome break from moshing, it was clear that this was going to be no mean feat, their irrevocably catchy lines and electric riffs made it impossible to stand still.
Something Good Can Work came surprisingly early in the set to the rapturous screams of teenage girls (one of them may or may not have been me). Reverberations from the jumping mosh pit could be felt throughout the Enmore Theatre through the entire set. It was at this gig that I experienced that rare sensation of jumping whether I meant to or not. The Irish Trio were clearly humbled by the reception and gave a flawless performance. However, to look for a flaw in their entire set, would be to point out their lack of live music interpretations. You’re Not Stubborn was the first song which attempted to deviate from the album to include extended solos, which only occurred later on in the set. However, with the strength of their album, this was only a minor flaw. The band later on, closed their set with an a capella introduction into Eat That Up, It’s Good For You.
By this stage, though people were exhausted, ‘two door’, ‘one more song’ and ‘encore’ could be deciphered in the chants from the ecstatic crowd. Come Back Home and I Can Talk wrapped up the festivities providing an excellent end to an excellent gig. Although the heatwaves in Sydney have apparently ended, anyone who was in the Enmore Theatre that night would greatly disagree with you. Although it may be premature to say so in early February, I have no problem in saying that Two Door Cinema Club is a live music highlight of 2011.