The Factory Theatre, Sydney NSW
29th July, 2017
Supported: Columbus, Harbors and Undercast
Every once in awhile a concert will surprise you; A band will curate the perfect combination of supports, the perfect set-list, the perfect venue to achieve a memorable night for all involved. Real Friends knocked it out of the park.
Despite Real Friends coming all the way from America the vibe was very local, most likely due to the nature of the venue. Factory Theater along with The Metro are just those venues that you’ve inevitably seen you’re local favorites play in at one point or another.
This local vibe was only solidified by the first support Undercast. With half of the venue already full and a crowd energetically ready to party, the 5-piece put on one hell of a support. With set combination of new material and hits from their second EP Temperamental which notably had a number of people singing along (A rare occurrence for a first support). Overall the boys successfully warmed the crowd up and left with some new fans in tow, wondering where the new lineup and new music will take them.
Another common player in the local scene swiftly followed. Melbourne based 5-piece Harbors promised to hype the crowd even more. Front-man Tory Robertson, perfecting the art of audience interaction through a few mic grabs and a constant need to be as close to the edge of the stage as physically possible. Every song seemed incredible personal and you could see his urge to be as level with his audience as possible; opening up about mental health and his own personal struggles. You can’t help but respect the guy. Once again the crowd knew most of their set-list and capping off with fan-favorite ‘Pulling Teeth‘ was just the cherry on top.
Next up were the comparatively subdues and emotive workings of Columbus. The venue is just about full at this point, the crowd hanging on to every emotional word. Pits opened, heads were effectively ‘banged’ and even those who had no idea who the band were, couldn’t help but dance to a few of their more spirited tracks. It’s not hard to see Columbus as a solid support for the international emotive-rock band.
Speaking of… it was finally time.
The excitement of the audience was palpable, the lyrics of each fans favorite Real Friends song on the tip of their tongue; ready to inevitably cry or turn to their friend with that look of “We’ve sung this poorly in your bedroom an embarrassing amount of times”… That last one might just be me. Giving the fans exactly what they wished for, the lights went out and the traditional guitar ringing followed by an appropriate amount of screaming proceeded to welcome the smiley 5-piece who looked just as excited to be there as the crowd; taking a moment just to soak up the energy of the room before jumping into their opening song.
Through a set-list of nostalgic bangers and top jams, the boys played with a passion and energy that solidified the night as one to remember. Notable gems ‘Loose Ends‘ and ‘Sixteen‘ displayed the full energy of the crowd who were off their feet so often I was convinced the floor was going to cave in. Front-man Dan Lamberton, danced around the stage, enveloped in the vibes of the crowd as he showed off his immensely unique vocals; mastering the art of emotional manipulation as everyone tries not to cry as they scream, fan-favorite ‘I’ve Given Up On You‘.
As I mentioned before this gig had a local vibe. Well if you weren’t convinced before, as Real Friends left the stage for the traditional ‘encore’ show and dance, the lovely boys of the Sydney band With Confidence (who not to mention just sold out their Sydney date for their upcoming national tour) casually stroll on stage and smash out their hit ‘Keeper‘ and every single person in that room knew every word. That is the sign of some local legends right there.
But after that small surprise, Real Friends wrapped it up with ‘Summer‘ and a heartfelt speech about mental health which due to recent events had everyone hanging off every word.
And with that it was done, the last minute merch was bought, the cloakroom line grew and everyone headed home with a smile on their face and a warm heart.
Real Friends – Australian Tour 2017
with Columbus and Harbours
31st July – Perth, YMCA AA
1st August – Perth, Rosemount Hotel 18+
2nd August – rAdelaide, Fowler’s Live AA
3rd August – Melbourne, The Evenlyn Hotel 18+
4th August – Melbourne, Arrow on Swanston AA