Images of Artists taken at live concerts

Live Review: The Preatures tear down The Met (19/09/2015)

This is my first review of a band playing at Brisbane’s The Met, a place I’m barely familiar with due to its frightening lack of tap beer and abundance of EDM that just isn’t my regular cup of Earl Grey. Tonight though I’m braving the strange and the unknown for a look at the Sydney rock and roll act swiftly making a name and blazing a trail for themselves around the country, The Preatures, as well as some special guests of theirs as they touch down in Brisbane for their Cruel Tour.

The set times are unfathomably early for a Saturday evening, with opening act The Furrs going onstage at 7. After navigating my way through two separate Uber drivers who just cancelled my pickup for no reason (they can do that?) as well as a pretty sizeable line outside The Met trying to get in, I end up missing what must have been the shortest and sweetest of sets from the band.

I’m Incredibly disappointed that I missed them considering how fantastically singer Gabriella Cohen slayed her set at BIGSOUND just last week. In any case, The Furrs play a mesmerising, bluesy brand of rock with a liberal dose of 70s nostalgia and they’re an act you should do your absolute civic duty to check out should the chance arise, flaky Uber drivers be damned.

I am thankfully not going to miss Brisbane band The Creases. They’ve been one of my favourite local acts of the last 12 months and every time I see them live they seem to get better and better. They play a setlist full of belters, from the infectiously jangly I Won’t Wait, to How Long ‘Til I Know and Gradient from the EP of the same name right up to latest single and crowd-pleaser Point. The Creases create a massive wall of sound and their vocal harmonies are so on point.

The band squeeze in a rendition of David Bowie‘s Let’s Dance that is up there with the best cover songs I’ve heard all year, the growing crowd obliging their request and getting all kinds of funky as the band absolutely hammer a classic out of the building. Static Lines is their set-closer and its live arrangement is a supercharged end to a great set that the headline act is going to have to work real hard to top.

And boy, did The Preatures deliver the shit out of this one. The top rafters are packed to the brim and the mosh pit is an absolute sardine tin so I have to settle on a spot with a limited view of the band, but what I could see whenever the 6’6 gentleman in front of me did the courtesy of moving his head was the same unbridled and high energy performance crowds have come to expect from frontwoman and overflowing fountain of talent and charisma, Isabella Manfredi.

The amazing record that was last year’s Blue Planet Eyes translates so comfortably to a live environment, there’s an extra bite to the guitars and Manfredi rips into her vocals with an added splash of aggression. Somebody’s Talking gets everybody dancing. So does pretty much every song the band run through. Rock And Roll Rave hasn’t been played in a more appropriate venue than this one and Two Tone Melody cuts the set down the middle real nicely, allowing everyone sweating out on the dancefloor a sublime sounding breather, Manfredi’s vocals are nothing short of amazing all set.

She dedicates a through the roof version of It Gets Better to a dude in the front row who is apparently somehow falling asleep. I salute his prowess in that department, he must be deaf or on painkillers given the sheer volume and energy of the set going on in front of him. Manfredi asks everyone if they’re ready to dance and the band drop their sparkling signature tune Is This How You Feel on the crowd like a bomb. The moshpit is visibly shaking and everyone goes positively apeshit when guitarist Gideon Benson gets to sing his part of the second verse. There are a pair of girls standing next to me who haven’t stopped dancing once all set. Not even once. Hats off to the pair of them.

And if I thought The Creases had given us one of the covers of the year earlier this evening, The Preatures absolutely smacked me for six and gave me all of the Splendour 2014 nostalgia goosebumps when the opening riff of Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again blasted out of the amps. They’ve been playing it as part of their live set for over a year now and according to Manfredi it’s being retired after this tour (boo). It’s a rip-roaring cover but I’m worried for about five seconds that the relatively young crowd (it’s an all ages gig) aren’t going to be steeped enough in Australian rock lore to know the customary response to The Angels timeless chorus. Those fears are put straight to bed though and I’m a little sheepish for doubting the crowd in the first place, Manfredi asking whether she’s ever going to see our faces again and absolutely everyone hollering back the appropriate response of ‘no way, get fucked, fuck off!’.


They end their set with a rapturous run through of Cruel, the good old time rock and roll vibes getting every last person with a soul boogie-ing right out of their shoes. The Preatures run back onstage for another crack and play us a brand new track that I didn’t quite catch the name of and then end their encores with their first hit Take A Card. I’m a little disappointed to see more than a few people heading for the exits while the soulful and raucous party that is this song is still playing out. This was the tune that introduced me to The Preatures and it is still my absolute favourite, but different strokes and all that I guess.

What a great night all up though, a showcase of some of the best young bands in the country, all on the upswing. The Preatures are an amazing live act, a troupe of disgustingly talented young musicians fronted by a vocalist who takes all the best qualities of the premier frontwomen of years gone by in the vein of Marie Fredriksson, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett and the late Chrissy Amphlett and brings them roaring into the 21st century, still as relevant and as powerful as ever.

Bring on the future for all of these bands. Hot damn.