Never Shout Never
Oxford Art Factory, Sydney NSW
December 3rd 2017
Supported by: Arborview & The Million
Oxford Art Factory on a Sunday night. While most are preparing for the dreaded beginning of the work week, fans of Missouri natives, Never Shout Never are lining up outside of the venue (Some since mid-day) in hopes of getting the coveted position of barrier. The vibe of the venue definitely had the relaxed air that comes with a Sunday night. With about a 50/50 split between dedicated fans and those who were casually looking for their fill of nostalgia, the boys managed to successfully cater to all parties.
First up came Arborview; who fit so nicely on the lineup and provided such a perfect warm up for the audience that it had to have been fate. The pleasant little pop punk band provided the crowd with an energetic set of originals including triple j unearthed hits ‘Wake Up’ and ‘Leave Today’ and a spirited cover of Fall Out Boy’s ‘Saturday’ which captured the attention of the few who may not have been entirely invested. The boys honestly reminded me of a young All Time Low so I’d definitely recommend you keep an eye on that bunch because they have huge potential.
By the time Central Coasts The Million walk on stage, the venue is a little over half full and the energy is steady. Opening with ‘We can/We should’ off of their newest EP Hydration Station (review here), the boys chemistry immediately wins over the audience. With a level of showmanship and energy that easily translates into a venue of that size, they have the crowd dancing in seconds. With a handful of fans who know every word, the promise from front-man Jacob Thomas that he’ll make direct eye contact with someone for an entire song and the familiar crowd pleaser ‘I’m Not Feeling It’, the band have their set down to a science and it’s absolutely no surprise they knocked it out of the park once again. Finishing with single ‘Headcheck’, the boys walk off with smiles on their faces and some new fans in tow.
Never Shout Never came out and got right into it: having met them earlier that night I wasn’t surprised that they gave off a Sgt Pepper era Beatles vibe and were very clearly high as fuck. That being said, it kind of set an odd tone for the night. Despite the crowd having a ridiculous amount of excitement the boys never matched it entirely. Their technical skill was ridiculously clear through their performances of fan favorites ‘Trouble’ and ‘CheaterCheaterBestFriendEater’; I’ll be honest anyone who can play the harmonica successfully is impressive in my book.
The audience sang back every word to every song as one would expect from an anniversary tour. What was new this time however was the taking of requests; about halfway through the set, frontman Christofer Drew threw it to the crowd for suggestions and as you can imagine the screaming the ensued was more violently ear-piercing than a one direction concert. How the boys still have their hearing left after doing that all year is beyond me. This also opened up the opportunity to a handful of people to continue to yell out their request as the next song played, which was a bit of a shit show. To their credit however the fact they know their entire 10 year discography by heart still is impressive.
The requests varied from ‘Jane Doe’ all the way to ‘Here Goes Nothin’ and each elicited the same response from the crowd. The vibe continued to be the rather pleasant tone that the playing of a ukulele brings and the band continue to dance a little bit but never really get into it.
And then it happened…
As someone who wasn’t hugely familiar with the band’s entire discography I was pleasantly surprised that I knew every word of their encore. ‘Can’t Stand It’ was on every emo preteen girls iPod playlist back in the day and even if you don’t realise that it’s by Never Shout Never I bet anything if you played the song you’d realise you’ve heard it. Needless to say the crowd went nuts, the band finally picked the energy up and they ended with one hell of a bang.
The band put on a great show, and although it was the definition of fan-service, the boys showed off their technical skill and universally loved discography in such a way that made it clear why they’ve lasted 10 years with such a dedicated fanbase.
Review & Gallery by Bree Vane. Please credit Bree Vane and Wall of Sound if you reuse.
Never Shout Never