Gig Review: Osaka Punch + Majora + Rival Fire + He Danced Ivy

Headliner: Osaka Punch

Supports: Majora, Rival Fire and He Danced Ivy

Venue: The Brightside, Brisbane

Date: November 3rd 2017

This Friday night, Brisbane groove masters Osaka Punch launched their How We Operate single in style. When I arrive, there is already a line of people waiting for doors to open at the Brightside, and I can tell this is going to be an incredible night already. Punters are excitedly discussing the lineup and I overhear some even quote Osaka Punch lyrics. Here’s how it all went down come 8:30 pm.

He Danced Ivy are the opening act tonight. Having seen them perform alongside Caligula’s Horse and I Built The Sky last month, I knew what I was in for, but the majority of the crowd certainly didn’t. And the look of shock and awe on everyone’s faces was my favourite thing of perhaps the entire night. There is a ferociousness about this band and a confidence and ease that is incredibly impressive. He Danced Ivy belong on big stages and on radio playlists.

I was extremely grateful to whoever started minding the light show - it made things feel even more energetic, And I would say this to any band: don’t ignore the lights, the difference they make is immeasurable. The show gets better with every minute. There’s booty shaking, jumping on and off cabs, vocal acrobatics and endless charisma. In conclusion: Hey Triple J, pay attention to these guys.

Rival Fire are up next. I have heard a lot about this band and my excitement is instantly rewarded with a great set. Not only are their songs anthem-like and catchy, but they carry an emotional weight as well. This is already a very varied line up and I instantly wish that we had more of those in Brisbane. There is something for everyone here tonight, and Rival Fire are an absolute treat for any Aussie alternative fan. While not my cup of tea, they are certainly the crowd’s shot of whiskey. They’re tight, their performance is heart-felt and they have fun. A solid party starter, their set gets people moving even more and sets the tone nicely for the next act. And what an act it is...

There is a lot I can say about Majora that would put me in the obsessive fan category, and I’m absolutely not going to spare you. This band is so transporting and cinematic, that if you closed your eyes, you risk forgetting where you are. What’s so captivating about their set is that they are so clearly in love with their own music that it’s difficult not to sway along and get lost into that feeling of pure joy. The mix is impeccable and all the elements are crystal clear, which makes for an awe-inspiring live experience. It feels as though this venue is too small for the enormous sound coming from the stage. Majora are simply put, Utterly brilliant.

By the time the headliner is ready to roll, The Brightside is tightly packed, seemingly at full capacity. It is extremely satisfying to see a local band bringing so many people together, and it’s easy to understand why. There is a sense of humour about this band that is refreshing and universal at the same time, and for an hour, you can really let loose. Osaka Punch dance their way onto the stage and the crowd erupts in a deafening roar. The smiles never leave their faces, and their vicious grooves dominate the room. The energy is flowing, every single person is dancing and singing along. It seems Osaka Punch know exactly where to put a musical change so your body just follows it naturally. These guys must also be super human to be able to withstand the heat during such an insanely energetic set. The temperature hits its peak: it must be 45 degrees inside, even more on stage. It feels like it’s been a long time since the band has graced a stage as a headliner, which makes the night even more exciting and you can tell. Lot of people here tonight have waited a long time for this. The lighting design takes the show to a new level, and everything looks incredible. The band is tight, super entertaining and vibrant and they give everything. The energy they bring into the room is electrifying and infectious and by the time they finish, everyone is exhausted, but smiling like they had the best day of their lives. And that’s precisely why Osaka Punch are so special and so beloved.

This was a night that many will never forget. Every single act was of world-class quality and the night couldn’t have run more smoothly or been any more fun. One of the best shows I’ve attended in recent years.

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