Gig Review: The Vaccines | Melbourne | 3.1.19

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Back in town to celebrate their album Combat Sports as well as their electrifying single ‘All My Friends Are Falling In Love’, The Vaccines put on a powerful performance for revellers at Melbourne’s Croxton Hotel Bandroom on Thursday night.

They made their way onto the stage with the sounds of Queen’s ‘I Want To Break Free’ beaming from the speakers, making it an epic entry for a show that was about to become the most thrilling Thursday night we were all about to have in a while.

Due to The Vaccines’ expansive catalogue and history of creating firey hits, the order of the setlist could have gone in an array of directions. Ultimately, they ended up curating a dynamic setlist that weaved in their more notable hits like ‘Wetsuit’, ‘Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra)’ and ‘Nørgaard’ with the impressive sounds from their more recent album Combat Sports — consequently pleasing early fans of the band, as well more recent additions to their strong fanbase. 

The show opened up with ‘Your Love Is My Favourite Band’, which features on their recent album. The buoyant nature of the track slated the precedent of what they were trying to achieve with their show — a room full of grooving bodies, and possibly a few awkward moves or two. Vintage fans of The Vaccines would have been elated by their next track ‘Teenage Icon’, which sent the room wild. 

An unexpected set highlight came in the form of ‘Dream Lover’, which appeared on their album English Graffiti. The track is a sultry number that took on a whole new life in a live environment. Though it wasn’t the most upbeat track they performed across the course of the night, their performance of ‘Dream Lover’ was utterly captivating and provided a moment that I wish I could bottle up and savour for eternity. 

‘Let's Jump Off the Top’ may not be officially released yet, but that didn’t stop fans from enjoying every second of it. After this, they launched into their recent single ‘All My Friends Are Falling In Love’, which is an absolute anthem live — their performance of the single also included a fun singalong.

Towards the end of the initial part of their show, they performed ‘I’m Over It’. Not only is it one of the best tracks from Combat Sports, but the short and punchy track is also a beast when played live. There wasn’t a single soul in the room who wasn’t yelling out ‘I’m Over It’ throughout the chorus, and it was an energetic moment for a show that featured many instances of pure ferocity from both the band and fans. They then left the stage after ‘Family Friend’, leaving us all wanting more desperately. 

After a moment of reprieve, they made their way back to the stage to close out the night with ‘Put It on a T‐Shirt’, ‘Nightclub’ and slow-burner ‘All in White’, putting a full stop on a dazzling performance that will be impossible to forget. 

Written by Amy Smolcic
Photographs by Kristy Smolcic (Folio)