Eagles of Death Metal + Kram + The Protectors
Review: Glen Downey
Say what you will about the Big Top at Sydney’s Luna Park, there’s no denying the effect of showing up to a gig with carnival lights ablaze, ferris wheel in full effect, chock full of crazy post-Anzac Day crowds and rollercoasters rattling the cotton candy out of screaming patrons.
On stop number two of the Australian leg of the Eagles of Death Metal’s Heart On Tour, Kram took the stage after Sydney up-and-comers The Protectors to play an eagerly anticipated set. But despite an energtic performance, technical problems, a busted snare and a few too many slow numbers meant he and his band didn’t quite hit the mark.
The crowd that had now amassed under the Big Top at the halfway alcohol barrier erupted as Jesse Hughes led the Eagles to centre stage behind one of the best ‘staches in rock.
From the get go, they were ready to have fun. After all, as Jesse exclaimed, “There’s a fucking carnival outside!” The set was a good blend of old and new, with Hughes using breaks to spin shit about his drunken marriage to guitarist Dave Catching or to talk some game on the ladies in the house. A few happily obliged a flash or two to the approval of the band.
But that’s how the Eagles’ rocked. Every cliché in the rock show book was thrown at the crowd, from the hometown love to the stage kicks to the hokey crowd interactions. But the Eagles of Death Metal are so unashamed in their use and so natural in their onstage charm that it comes off as anything but played out.
An awkward solo start to the encore saw Jesse thumbing his way through a Ramones cover and crowd favourite “Cherry Cola” before the band returned to drive the show home with few more Eagles’ crowd pleasers.
While the Eagles of Death Metal record a solid album their appeal undeniably lies in their presence on stage and its one that will be felt by the Big Top crowd ‘til at least the first game of Two Up the same time next year.