Thee Oh Sees at Howler (Melbourne)

Where else would you want to be on a Thursday night but crammed into Howler with garage rock overlords Thee Oh Sees? Delivering what can only be described as an explosive night of live music, Thee Oh Sees with support from UV Race and Terrible Truths proved that the louder and more aggressive the music is, the better.

Terrible Truths combines Joe Alexander, tightest drummer you’ll ever see with the call and response vocals of Rani Rose and Stacey Wilson to create a sound that balances dissonance and cheer effortlessly. While they are a band of few words in between songs, the trio always make for a fun time live.

With the call out for UV Race lead singer Marcus Rechsteiner made by drummer Daniel Stewart the band unleashed their frenzied music to an overwhelmingly encouraging crowd. Set highlight ‘Life Park’ is the perfect ode to the hipster suburbs of Melbourne and always inspires some amazing dancing from Rechsteiner.

Thee Oh Sees live shows have a reputation of being loud, wild and dangerous. With two drum kits set directly in front of the stage, the impending onslaught of sound was intimidating. The sound was indeed powerful, but rather than wash over you it allowed for the different instrumental parts to be heard and appreciated.

Arriving on stage 15 minutes early (pretty much unheard of in music) the band launched straight into ‘I Come From the Mountain’ from 2013’s Floating Coffin. Lead singer John Dwyer greeted the crowd with genuine delight over selling out a second show in a row at Howler. Dwyer was in a playful mood despite having his mic stolen the previous night. “You’re headed down a dark path darling, don’t steal” was his advice to the opportunistic fan. Fellow band members were mopping their brow after each song, clearly putting every ounce of effort into their live performance. Moshing, crowd surfing and stage invading ensued, with the masses going crazy upon hearing the opening cords of each song.

With a catalogue as extensive as Thee Oh Sees choosing the perfect set list must be a great challenge but one the band pulls off easily. Crowd favourites ‘The Dream’ and ‘Web’ received the most raucous response and led to a fair amount of broken glass on the band room floor.

The energy displayed by the band throughout their set is testament to the fact that garage music is by far the most exciting kind to witness live. While most ears were probably ringing well into the next day, there’s no denying that this was a gig totally worth it. Long live Thee Oh Sees.

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