Live Music – Jet
Venue: Taronga Zoo
Date: 16 February 17
Surrounded by the vibrant verdure of Taronga Zoo on a Thursday evening, reunited Melbourne-rockers Jet produced a nostalgia-inducing display of noughties garage rock.
Sydney locals Wild Honey opened proceedings, employing their spacey indie-pop to establish a mellow atmosphere, whilst simultaneously arousing visible anticipation from the sold-out crowd. For many of those in attendance, this would be their first time seeing Jet perform live, as the band’s disbandment in 2012 was half a lifetime ago for many of the younger spectators joining their parents. The band took the stage to an overwhelming round of applause from both the seated picnickers towards the back, and the more energetic fans in the standing area.
As to be expected, they heavily plundered their incredibly successful 2003 debut album, took moderately from 2006’s Shine On and only the very best from 2009’s Shaka Rock. Opening with “Last Chance” and “Get What You Need”, both from their debut album, Jet had picked up where they left off from their last Sydney show six years prior.
Frontman Nic Cester, sporting a Jim Morrison-esque beard and leather jacket, unfortunately gave way to multiple false starts throughout the show and general rustiness. These minor imperfections were far from distracting, however, and added further charm to what was already a sentimental spectacle.
With powerful anthems “She’s a Genius” and “Rollover D.J.”, both performed at the front end of the set, the band opted to exchange heavy riffs for an acoustic guitar and piano. A substantial collection of mid-tempo ballads all clumped together in the middle of the set created somewhat of a lull; a revised setlist order should definitely be on the agenda.
At last, the famed tambourine made an appearance. Calling upon an audience member to play said tambourine, the iconic opening bass line for “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” echoed throughout Taronga. Audience members young and old made their presence known, enthusiastically dancing and singing along. A band having such a song in their arsenal is almost cheating; it’s a sure-fire way to get any crowd moving.
Following the rise in energy, the band proceeded to close out the set with hard-hitting favourites, “Rip It Up” and “Cold Hard Bitch”. The final track of the 23-song setlist, “Lazy Gun”, had the audience echoing Cester’s ringing vocals, as this night of nostalgia came to a close.
It wasn’t a perfect concert. The band was rusty at times (as to be expected), and the spacious venue wasn’t particularly suited to the style of music. Despite these minor setbacks, audience members were provided with what they had come for – the long-awaited return of Jet, and the music that made them famous.