The Living End, West Thebarton @ Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide 9/11/2018
Ah The Living End, these guys are so good! Wunderbar even! Heading in to the show I was trying to recall how many times I’ve seen The Living End over the journey but one thing is for sure is that I’ve never seen them play a dud set in the time I’ve been following them. This tour was about their brand spanking new album Wunderbar which is right up there as one of their best yet. The was a sprinkling of all the fan favs and greatest hits as well.
West Thebarton, boy they have grown in stature and look right at home on the big stage. There’s no doubt there’s bigger things to come for this band playing plenty of tunes off their album Different Beings Being Different. Good things do come out of Adelaide and was great to see a really large appreciative crowd their early to cheer these guys on.
The Living End arrived to a heroes like welcome opening with two bangers off Wunderbar with Wake Up The Vampires and radio hit Don’t Lose It. Chris Cheney asked the question “Adelaide, you know about losing it on the back seat?” Til The End was a ripper and Scott Owen on double bass is the master. What this guy can do on the double bass is freaking unreal. Bloody Mary on their self titled debut effort was silky smooth with Cheney prompting the crowd that it has been a long time since the last tour and that the next one would jog their memories. Roll On did just that proving to be one for the highlights reel.
There was a brief moment of reflection where Cheney asked the crowd if they want to know where they have been replying with Berlin, Sydney, Melbourne and interesting the Bronx cheer when Sydney and Melbourne were mentioned getting a “Don’t Be Cruel” from Cheney. Another new tune Otherside followed by a story about the first time The Living End played at Thebarton Theatre in 1996 supporting Green Day. The precursor to Death Of The American Dream particularly with the shocking events that took place in Melbourne was that it all begins here and that we all need to rally together. After Loaded Gun Cheney did ponder and realised the severity of these songs and that the world is in a pretty weird place asking people to be good to each other.
Up The Junction off Shift I’m sure doesn’t get played often but there was an almighty roar for the start of the anthemic All Torn Down. Drummer Andy Strachan spoke about what it means to be playing on stage at the iconic Thebarton Theatre after being on the other side to witness great shows such as the Hoodoo Gurus, You Am I and Red Kross and drooling over Mark Kingsmill pounding the “fuck out of those drums” knowing he wanted to be in that band. Proton Pill was wicked as well as the hit from Modern Artillery in Wake Up. Cheney thanked Guy Sebastian for sponsor his outfit (check out the killer photos).
With the end nearing it was back to back gold with Second Solution (complete with awesome audience sing-a-long), One Said To The Other, White Noise and the epic Prisoner Of Society which whipped the crowd up in to a frenzy. The encore featured Cheney going it solo on Amsterdam and another gem from Modern Artillery in The Room. The last song of the night Uncle Harry got the crowd involved one last time and singing their way out of the Thebbie and in to the car park. The Living End were fantastic and it won’t be long until we’re making the homage up to Mannum to see them at Sounds By The River.
Live Review by Rob Lyon