LAST DINOSAURS | Live at Jimmy's Den (U18s)
On the closing show of their Australian-wide Wellness tour, tropical indie pop-rockers Last Dinosaurs played their final gig at what could perhaps be their hungover best. In the heart of Northbridge lies Jimmy’s Den, a musical enclave home to intimate gigs – of which the evening’s stage would belong to the boys, and their tour family.
The Jensens and Palms each played a ripper opening set. Whilst some chose to spectate from a distance there was no denying the lot were a foot-tapping feast. The Jensens effortlessly eased the crowd into a groove with their dance moves and vivid rhythm. Considering they kicked off with their signature tune ‘Fears’, The Jensens were – quite simply, and ironically – fearless. The Palms’ set followed in similar suit, and again the appeal of arduous coastal rock induced the nodding of heads, to make for an equally compelling stage presence.
The eager wait for Last Dinosaurs was up, and the much-anticipated boys filed their way onto stage to mark an hour-long reverie. They opened with the first track of Wellness, ‘Take Your Time’, and warmed up befittingly by the time the chorus ensued. ‘Weekend’, a distinctive favourite, followed in encouraging manner and transitioned into ‘Karma’. This was executed so well it managed to conceal the disparity of the tracks. Surprisingly, the setlist included significant dose of In A Million Years. The crowd received the familiar sound with nothing short of vigour; this exact ‘catchy indie’ guitar niche had come to win their adolescent fans over, ever since it debuted. It was through their immensely upbeat songs, such as ‘Evie’, ‘Honolulu’ and ‘Apollo’, that the boys engaged the audience with vivaious flair. Drummer Dan Koyama’s energy was inimitable – alongside cathartic guitar relief via Lachlan Caskey and Michael Sloane, who accompanied on vocals. Such an unmistakable dynamic had loyal gatherers on their toes, comfortably singing along to old school Last Dinos.
True to the band’s nature, many songs invested in more crestfallen lyrics. I was frankly looking forward to the entirety of the Wellness album strung in order. However, domineering volumes depreciated the profound lyricism to an extent. The other shortcoming was the lack of fluidity during transitions, yet to the fault of none as the guitar pedals demanded a great diversion of attention. Sentiment washed over and ‘Stream’ found its recognition through its lush, garbled riffs. As promised, ‘Wurl’ played beautifully into ‘Wellness’. With Sean belting out, “Oh do you want to get out of this world, with me?”, the show reached its heartfelt peak. The words of the two songs, and later on ‘Always’, were met with teeming emotion. It seemed closed-eye Sean mirrored the audience, as they too were lost within the opulence of Wellness’ tidal melodies.
Tribute was paid to their own crafted electronic soundscape, as well as decadal artists of influence – of which Last Dinosaurs remarked, was not “from our generation”. The four seamlessly dug into their rendition of the late Michael Jackson’s ‘Rock With You’. The cover transmuted into a medley, featuring Jamiroquai’s ‘You Give Me Something’. Through these covers, Sean’s voice shone through, in unison with honed instrumentals.
In succession, the boys picked up the pace with renowned tracks ‘Andy’ and ‘Zoom’. This was to the audience’s enthusiasm once again, as the band sent everyone dancing. At end of their set, the crowd was left chanting for an encore – which saw the Dinos’ members obliged return, and weary smiles plastered across their faces. They settled on ‘I Can’t Help You’ for the finale, with the line “Don't you know how lucky you are?” mimicking my own frame of mind.
Aside from technical difficulties hindering their performance, Last Dinosaurs’ ability to put an ethereal spin on well-known hits topped off their revival of circa 2012 classics. Atmospherically speaking, the four delivered, and ended the ‘Wellness’ tour on a high note.