“This is our Ferris Bueller…our coming of age.” After getting a whopping four songs into Triple J’s Hottest 100 this year, it’s safe to say that The Jungle Giants are really hitting their stride. Frontman Sam Hales made the Ferris Bueller comment at their triumphant Sunday night gig at Sydney’s Metro Theatre, one of a string of four sold-out shows at the venue. It was an energetic gig full of crowd singalongs and tight musicianship, and it left the crowd on a huge high.
Unfortunately I didn’t make it to early opener Evan Klar, and missed the beginning of Alice Ivy (thanks Sydney Transport!). For what it counts, I did hear rave reviews of both acts from the rest of the crowd as I was exiting the venue. From what I saw of Alice Ivy, though, made me very impressed. Having loved her most recent album, I was interested to see how it would translate to the stage. The high energy sampling queen did not disappoint. Her original tracks were interspersed with a few crowd faves, which ensured those who made it early enough to see her were pumped and ready by the time The Jungle Giants began. Coming off the back of one of the best Triple J Like A Version’s this year so far, it was clear that Alice Ivy is definitely one to catch if you get the chance.
Although they came onto the stage twenty minutes after the advertised set time, The Jungle Giants more than made up for it with a pretty well-polished set that still managed to feel incredibly fun. The elaborate lighting set, mimicking the cover of their latest album Quiet Ferocity, caught everyone’s attention as the band walked on stage. The intense energy created in these first few seconds continued throughout the entire set, as the band launched through hits like ‘She’s A Riot’ and ‘Anywhere Else’. It was obvious that the whole band was having a great time performing. While the lighting tended to focus on Hales, the moments that showcased the rest of the band were some of the best of the night.
New tracks ‘Quiet Ferocity’, ‘Blinded’ and ‘Bad Dream’ landed well with the crowd but by far the biggest engagement came in the well-known tracks. ‘You’ve Got Something’ was accompanied by a huge choir of crowd voices, which in itself is quite nice, but the band took it one step further by adding an original live touch to the track. Some bits were slowed down, others had added parts, and it was a great reminder that seeing The Jungle Giants live isn’t just like listening to their record. They’re energetic and enchanting, and although each set may be polished, that doesn’t mean it’s boring. They’re a band in their prime, and they’re loving it.