TOWNS, OK Hotel, Frankie Sunwagon @ The Gov, Adelaide 6/6/2021

Once again, Adelaide had the privilege of watching and interactively experiencing SA’S great TOWNS. This wholesome duo played for us on Sunday night at The Gov and were responsible for a full crowd of smiling faces. Aston, the lead singer and Dan the animated and amazingly intriguing drummer never fail to bring the entertainment to all of their gigs.

Described as “two friends making music”, these indie rockers gave us the perfect end to our week with sing-a-longs, their standard talk-show vibes, and anecdotes. They joked around with us until we giggled our way out of the venue by the night’s end.

First up were another one of Adelaide’s own, Frankie Sunwagon. This indie group exuded both melancholic and groovy soft-rock songs that had the crowd in awe, especially from the lead singers whimsical and beautifully controlled vocals. The second band of the night were OK Hotel and they excited fans, getting them warmed up for TOWNS.

As Aston and Dan started playing their intros, crowds of all ages stopped what they were doing and bee-lined to the stage to get that first glimpse of the guys. Admiration and respect for the duo as awesome people (not just musicians), stems from their consistent acknowledgement of the land we are on and their mention of loved family members and friends during all of their performances. Dan cheered on with the crowd as he told us his dad was there “watching him tonight”. Then the two let us know that they’ll even sign our “permission slips for work and school tomorrow”. The formalities of the night were done. We were ready to party.

Stardust and Boring were played and then out of nowhere, the guys skulked away into the dark, re-emerging wearing red capes. The two swapped roles in a brilliant and upside down version of TOWNS. Dan came alive as the front man, performing the sickest, exhilarating punk song. His bright, long, purple hair blurred around the stage as he sang into the audience. Aston’s drum beats thrashed around and we all screamed for more. Hopefully the fabulous mix up happens even more in future live shows, because the boys play punk well enough for us to be addicted to this added edge.

Phone lights moved in eerily magical and unified sad waves as the boys performed Bleach, then they invited OK Hotel back on stage and performed a cover of Jimmy Eat World’s The Middle. Swimming, the bands newest single was engaging and already had the crowd singing along to the lyrics. They ended the night with their signature crowd favourite; a compilation of TV show theme songs from Daria, Friends and Malcolm in the Middle.

I Don’t Mind was a hit again, and audiences agreed. One fan yelled out “They’re so fun, I love them!!” An ode to a loved one came in the form of an emotional rendition of Phantom Planet’s California. Safe to Stay was the much anticipated encore, where the crowd simultaneously crouched down before Dan lovingly screamed out to us; “BE CAREFUL! 1, 2, 3 JUMP!!” We all jumped up and rocked out to TOWNS final send-off song.

This beautifully chaotic pop-punk outfit are full of colour and energy, who make the crowd feel safe every time. TOWNS is an all-round genuinely talented band who consistently bring fun, theatre, love, comedy and catchy as hell rock tunes!

Live Review By Zara Zampaglione

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