Live Review: Middle Kids, Metro Theatre

Middle Kids are a darn good band.

I first discovered them supporting The War On Drugs last year and was instantly a fan. It’s a unique blend of indie-rock with some interesting elements producing a fresh sound. Their debut album ‘Lost Friends’ came out early 2018 and is packed full of radio-friendly rock hits that rarely miss the mark.

After spots on various festivals throughout Australia, most recently Laneway Festival, Middle Kids embark on their nation-wide tour in support of ‘Lost Friends’, including a two-night stand at Sydney’s Metro Theatre. With tickets a steal at $40, I happily rock up for the band’s first night on a cold, but calm Tuesday night.

The crowd is an interesting blend. The majority are young, Triple J loving punters who are all in good spirits for a school night – yet as I look around there’s plenty of older crowd too. The venue is close to filled, not quite sold out but enough for standing room to be a luxury only. 

Middle Kids enter to much cheering and applause and immediately launch into crowd favourite ‘Never Start’ which is a perfect opener. The masses and in full voice, screaming back at singer/guitarist Hannah Joy Cameron as she twists and frolics through the opening number. Cameron is a treat to watch – quirky, unique and exciting, as everyone frontman/woman should be. There’s a hint of Stevie Nicks to her style, and plenty of Florence Welch.

Following ‘Never Start’ is another big-hitter in ‘On My Knees’ which is even more well received by the audience. It’s clear that the debut album has been given much airplay on local radio, and obviously the bands tiresome work on festivals and support slots has seen their fanbase grow immensely.

There’s an interesting dynamic in live shows which always piques my curiosity. A lot of bands I’m interested in add an element of improvisation to their sets, as well as changing up songs by extending sections or adding breaks or interludes to highlight various members talents and so forth. There are a select few however, who are happy to just to get up there and bash out their songs in their album format. Sometimes it can be quite bland and feel a bit stale, but some bands do it well – most notably bands like Jimmy Eat World or Death Cab For Cutie. The songs can stand on their own. Middle Kids fall into the latter, and it’s a testament to how good their debut is that there is no need to add anything to provide the audience with a great set.

With the news of a new EP on the horizon, the band delivers two previously released tracks from it (‘Salt Eyes’ and ‘Real Thing’) as well as a brand new track in ‘Beliefs and Prayers’ which is quite a good little track that definitely builds anticipation for the upcoming release. No doubt the highlight of the show for me, however, is personal favourite ‘Mistake’, which is the only song of the encore for the night. It’s a fantastic track and it’s received incredibly well.

Middle Kids are on their way to becoming one of Australia’s premier indie-rock bands. Was tonight a perfect gig? Not by any means. There’s still that hint of excitement about how they go about their live set, which will only improve as the band matures together. There is room for improving the cohesiveness of the set, instead of just playing a collection of songs. Tonight was for myself and many others, a great introduction to a great band who hopefully will be around for years to come.

3.9/5

Middle Kids, The Metro Theatre, Tuesday 9th of April 2019

  1. Never Start
  2. On My Knees
  3. This Love
  4. Salt Eyes
  5. Maryland
  6. Hole
  7. Tell Me Something
  8. Edge Of Town
  9. Beliefs and Prayers
  10. Fire In Your Eyes
  11. Old River
  12. Real Thing
  13. Don’t Be Hiding
  14. Lost Friends
  15. Bought It
  16. Mistake

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