Factory Theatre, Sydney NSW
January 5th, 2018
Supported by; Run Marlowe & The Deep Blue
I’m sure you’ve heard me bang on about The Million before; the central coast natives ended 2017 with one hell of an EP (review here) and a show-stealing support set with international pop band Never Shout Never. In general just a good time for everyone involved and 2018 shows no signs of the party slowing down; Starting the new year with a bang the boys are back with a Sold Out headliner in Sydney and a performance that proves exactly why they deserve to be there.
I want to cut Run Marlowe a little slack because being the opening act is always rough; those who actually turned up early enough to catch them are saving themselves for the headliner, people are still walking into the venue and the alcohol isn’t flowing yet. Despite the lack of crowd participation, these guys had a pretty tight set and thematically worked really well with the rest of the bill. Front-man Lewis Clark is clearly very talented and held a charming, warm demeanour that made it impossible not to enjoy yourself at least somewhat. Single ‘Where I’ve Been’ had a particularly upbeat response and the boys left the stage with a pleasant vibe behind them.
Next up came fellow coast band and WoS:P alumni The Deep Blue. It wasn’t really a huge surprise to see these guys on the bill; they fit incredibly well with the headliners sound and have an interconnecting fanbase which worked in their favour. Despite only have two singles out they managed to devise a tight set combination of Originals and a cheeky couple of Catfish And The Bottlemen & The Killers Covers that managed to win over any of the crowd that may not have been paying attention beforehand. Front-man Blake Wares stage presence is somewhat of a spectacle on its own, the way he holds himself on stage, despite being reserved is very intentional so you can’t help be a tad mesmerized or at the very least intrigued. New single ‘Sleep In‘ was a notable highlight of the set. Nevertheless, I definitely look forward to watching these guys grow this year.
It’s notoriously hard for a Newcastle or Central Coast band to break into the Sydney scene, so for The Million to walk out to a sold out venue was a very big deal. This gave the entire crowd and band alike a shot of adrenaline and the place went off the moment the boys walked out in their matching tracksuits.
Opening with ‘We Can We Should’ off of their 2nd EP Hydration Station served as the perfect build up. The party vibes that practically ooze out of Hydration Station translate beautifully live. Front-man Jacob Thomas is already jumping up and down like a madman and the crowd is already covered in sweat. This party atmosphere continues through pop anthem ‘Wanted’ and still yet to be released banger ‘Again’ (which as a side note is a perfect example of how dedicated their audience is because half the room still knew every word) My personal highlight was Thomas revealing he could casually spit a rhyme with a surprisingly good cover of The Black Eyed Peas ‘Let’s Get Retarded’ which of course included his signature kangaroo like jumping.
I feel like this is a good place to pinpoint where the vibe transcended to insane in a super out of the blue fashion. The peak of alcohol consumption combined with the energy of the band meant that there was a risk the floor was going to cave in halfway through their set (again). Prefaced with a “This song is ironic” the hype continues into ‘Don’t Sweat It’ and the crowd sings back every word in a glorious fashion. At the peak of their sweaty glory the boys run off stage and a voice from above claiming to be your conscience begins to talk and no ones really paying attention which is sad because the few that actually listen to it share the same expression of amused confusion as we all take a breath and prepare for round 2.
The boys come back sporting their signature polos and look a lot less like they’re about to pass out as a result. Warming the crowd back up with sensual slow jam ‘Stay High’, Bass player Tamon Mashimo is riding on such strong vibes that it’s contagious and the room for a moment turns into a bunch of single people dancing like they dropped acid at Coachella and every couple in the room sucking face… it was truly heartwarming. It also included Thomas letting everyone know what cuckolding was just in case you’d missed the reference (thanks for that). This was followed by a rather upbeat and light-hearted cover of ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’ and a rather nostalgia filled performance of ‘Autumn’ which was quite the special moment given they don’t make a habit of playing the acoustic slow jam. Appropriately it was treated with flashlights and swaying.
‘I’m Not Feeling It’ has become somewhat of a classic for a hundred different reasons. Is it their best song? No (No ones first ever is). Does that stop everyone from opening up a pit? Absolutely fucking not. You may go and listen to the song and wonder “How does one mosh to this?” and I honestly would not be able to tell you, but it happened and it was magnificent.
In my humble opinion the best was saved for last. ‘D.M.S’ and ‘Headcheck’, were prefaced with the banter that the boys are known for and illicit a very similar response to that of ‘I’m Not Feeling It’, however this time with more people on shoulders and the assurance that if there had been security inside the venue, someone would have gotten in trouble. It ended with a bang as everyone expelled the last of their energy and the sweat was practically visible in the air.
The Million are just one of those bands that have this small but dedicated following for years and then all of a sudden they blow up and honestly think this night was an indication that 2018 will be the year that happens. The talent of every member coupled with the phenomenal chemistry and charm makes them such a tight unit and an absolute pleasure to watch. I look forward to continuing to watch these guys kill it consistently.
Review & Gallery by Bree Vane. Please credit Wall of Sound and Bree Vane if you repost.
The Deep Blue