GIG REVIEW: BLUR | ROD LAVER ARENA | MELBOURNE | 28.7.15

(Photographer: Kristy Smolcic)

It's been a long time coming, but Brit-pop powerhouses Blur have finally returned to Australia after almost 18 years. Though they might have let fans down last year after they pulled out Big Day Out a while back, fans have shown little disappointment after they were let down and have since forgiven them. This time they return to Australia for the annual Splendour In The Grass festival. 

Frontman Damon Albarn is full energy - liquid courage probably - but even after all these years in one of UK's most successful bands, he shows no signs of slowing down. He strolls onto the stage and sprays the audience in water - getting the crowd soaked and probably a few of the photographers up front too. Of the reasons why he is one of the frontmen out, his interaction with the crowd is always a top priority. During 'Parklike' he even got some die hards fans up on stage with him to sing along and dance along with them. Again, maybe it was the alcohol, but they guy is a legend and loves to perform. Another old favourite that sent fans into a frenzy was cult classic 'Song 2' - which saw the whole general admission section of Rod Laver Arena form a massive mosh pit, a true pleasure to watch above in the seats section - though I did kinda feel envious of them down there too.

Though they treated fans to many older tracks, their newer material from The Magic Whip also received mass amounts of love. Newer tracks played during their set included ‘Ghost Ship’, ‘Go Out’, ‘Lonesome Street’, ‘My Terracotta Heart’, ‘Ong Ong’, ‘Pyongyang ‘, ‘Thought I Was Superman’. Damon shared a few stories during the night of how he came to write the album, even stating that it was when he was here in Melbourne for his solo album last year that he had a revelation and began writing.

After a high energy set, they returned for their encore - including ‘Stereotypes’, ‘Girls & Boys’, ‘For Tomorrow’ and ‘The Universal’.

As mentioned earlier, it’s their interaction with the crowd that created a great concert environment. They’re experts up on stage and have rocked the biggest stages in the world during their many years. Their interaction with each other as well as their back-up singers was also incredible to witness. If you caught Blur on their current Australian tour, count yourself as lucky, it might be some time before we see these legends returning to our stages. 

Written by Amy Smolcic

PHOTO GALLERY: 
BLUR | ROD LAVER| MELBOURNE | 28.7.15
Featuring: JAMIE T
Photographer: Kristy Smolcic

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