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live music review: the vasco era, adelaide unibar, 26 nov 11

The city of churches was shaken to its very core and for a change, it wasn’t because of an untimely earthquake.

The Vasco Era and Papa vs Pretty, who have recently been touring the country and causing mayhem on stages around Australia, treated Adelaide to a truly captivating show on Saturday night. In recent times, Vasco Era have released a new video for their single ‘Rock and Roll is the only thing that makes me feel good’ and have also been working to release a new album.

Papa vs Pretty who themselves have also been quite busy, releasing their debut album, United by Isolation, which has received a very positive critical response as well as much airplay on Australian radio.

To open this evening’s festivities were Adelaide indie rockers: The Shiny Brights who, despite the small crowd, took advantage of the stage and put on quite a charismatic performance.  Never standing still and always entertaining, they remained energetic and optimistic despite the limited crowd response.

With The Shiny Brights finishing their set, the crowd seemed to double instantly and punters took their place by the stage barrier in anticipation of Papa vs Pretty.

The lights dimmed and with the cry of a distorted guitar the lighting hit and the members of Papa vs Pretty took the stage much to the delight of the crowd. It was as though each and every punter dropped anything they might have been doing and were immediately immersed in the music. The band seems to have a raw power which demands a certain respect from anyone watching.  Playing through their new album and rarely standing still, there were many fancy stage lights to add to the intensity of the performance, at times perhaps even taking attention away from the band.

The group seemed to encounter several problems with their instruments and equipment, however this was quite quickly overcome by a few witty jokes and seemed to present a good chance for audience interaction. Aside from the technical malfunctions, Papa vs Pretty put on a very strong performance proving exactly why they have been gaining such a strong reputation on the Australian music circuit.

The excitement continued to grow as the level of sobriety decreased, possibly because of free promotional shots being given out.

Vasco Era took the stage with charismatic front-man Sid O’Neil greeting the crowd and hitting the first few notes of ‘Honey Bee’. The crowd instantly reciprocated the energy of the band and as expected, a nice mosh pit broke out. New single, ‘Rock and Roll is the only thing that makes me feel good’ predictably got a very positive response, as did ‘Child Bearing Hips’.

Of course, as is expected at a Vasco Era show, you might just be lucky to be treated to something a bit unique. In the case of this gig it was front man Sid O’Neil asking which particular cover they might like to hear, which wound up being Sid doing an acoustic cover of the Elvis classic ‘Only Fools Rush In’.

Playing through a wide variety of their repertoire, Vasco are one band who  are never boring to watch; performing with utmost energy and enthusiasm, they are everything you want in a live experience and more.  To finish their performance Vasco Era were joined by Papa vs Pretty on stage and concluded by doing a rendition of the Hendrix’s classic – ‘ Voodoo Child’, which left the crowd in awe and wanting more.

It is always a pleasure to see Vasco Era live, especially with a catalogue of awesome new songs. Like a good wine, this is one band that only gets better with time.

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