There was a real sense of anticipation for UK indie rock heavy weights Bloc Party return to Australia which is just about sold out everywhere. In a big win for Adelaide not only did we get a headline show but it was sold out well in advance and no doubt if a bigger venue was available that would have been sold out as well. There is a real genuine affinity with this band and their Australian fans and after experiencing last night’s show you can definitely see the proof of that. I have never seen Hindley Street Music Hall so packed like this ever and all short of stacking people on top of each other I don’t know how they fit everyone in.
This was a great opportunity for Adelaide band Oscar The Wild who have been doing great things and will continue to do so with their forthcoming EP release She’ll Be Right playing in front of really big crowd. Maybe a touch nervous and a tad excited, who wouldn’t be supporting Bloc Party, they really did whip a storm. Set highlight for me was Kiss Me Aphrodite.
It is hard to believe that Bloc Party were last here back in 2018 at Thebarton Theatre and a lot has changed since then. Similiar characteristics to last time with a haze of lights and smoke, an excitable crowd and an incredible set list. The tough part of the show for the band would have been which songs to leave out. New album Alpha Games was very much front and centre for this tour kicking off with In Situ, You Should Know The Truth and Rough Justice featuring early. It’s the energy and intensity of front man Kele Okereke that demands attention not forgetting the star power of the band in Russell Lissack (lead guitar), Gordon Moakes (bass) and Louise Bartle (drums) behind in.
The crowd really did come alive on Hunting For Witches off A Weekend in the City and Song for Clay (Disappear Here) off the same album. The crowd went nuts on Banquet, if there was space hips were shaking and feet were shuffling to this groove. Kele every so often would check back in asking the crowd if they were having a good time and it was a resounding yes. There were plenty of great moments including Traps, Day Four and Blue. It is great that Alpha Games had its moment to shine as it was definitely a return to some of their very best.
Silent Alarm classics So Here We Are and She’s Hearing Voices were tops and thrown in The Prayer from A Weekend in the City for good measure. One of my favs in Ratchet closed out the main set. As the band left the stage it went quiet for a second before the crowd fired up again chanting one more song. The encore was seriously epic starting with Only He Can Heal Me followed by Kele talking about how much he has missed Australia and that feeling was mutual from the fans. OMG! Helicopter, Flux and This Modern Love topped a killer a show.
The only thing that could have topped this show is having Interpol join them but alas it wasn’t to be. Nevertheless, this will rate as one of 2023s best. I dare say that with the love for Bloc Party in Adelaide and the rest of the country we can only hope that a return visit is much sooner.
Live Review By Rob Lyon