(Photo - Kristy Smolcic)
Brissie band, The Grates, have been making albums and causing ruckus for almost a decade now, and it is not till you see their live show that you realise why they are still around. That is also when you realise how many of their songs you actually know. Although that fast paced indie/alternative rock sound has been done tenfold, The Grates certainly break away from any kind of monotony. Their front woman, Patience, solely achieves this.
The packed out room at the sold out show, taking place at The Corner Hotel, definitely had an intriguing crowd. Noticeably older, their fans had no shame parading around in bright and vibrant, and a little wacky, apparel. However before they could take to the stage we had to endure the support act Straight Arrows. They were the ultimate garage rock band, and looked like a group of mates jamming in their parent’s home. With more yelling than singing, they were not particularly unique but brought a lot of energy on stage. This was not, however, reciprocated by the audience who seemed to have little patience (see what I did there) in waiting for the headliner.
As I had never seen The Grates live before, I did not know what to expect, which could not be said for the rest of the crowd. The curtains stayed shut as they broke into their first song, ’19-20-20’, and they finally pulled them back just in time for the chorus, revealing Patience in the most amazing pink, furry jacket I have ever seen. With an encouraging cheer from the crowd, the band brought an astonishing amount of energy and had the most incredible stage presence. Patience did not stop for a second from the moment she stepped on stage, whether it be fly kicking, swinging the mike stand over her head, or crowd surfing.
Although it is not just her active stage presence that should be noted, as her vocal range was very strong and her voice carried great power to it. Their appropriately fitting short, fast and fun songs just kept coming one after another as they brought out a huge set list compiling of new and classics, hits and a few for the more dedicated fans. The mosh pit that had started early on was starting to really pick up momentum by the time they played ‘Like You Could Have It All’, as Patience had no problem controlling the crowd, including making every howl. She barely took a breath in between each song as hit after hit was pulled out, such as ‘Science Is Golden’ and ‘Trampoline’, which by then the crowd had really started to lose their shit.
We were given a short break and a moment to catch our breaths with ‘Turn Me On’, but this did not last long and then everyone was straight back into it. By the time ‘Burn Bridges’ came on, it was anything goes at The Corner and I had pretty much forgotten why I was there, I was having way too much fun. The Grates left the stage, but no one moved and it wasn’t long before the chants of encore erupted. Proving they could not resist the call, the band stepped back on stage to give it everything they had. Between the epileptic lights, the crowd surfing from the support band who joined them on stage, and Patience rolling around with her jacket over her face, I will admit, things were just plain weird by the end of the show. But the whole time you could not take your eyes off her, Patience made the show feel so personal and held her energy for the whole set. I’m making sure I am front and centre for their next gig.
Written by Jess Vaia