The Zoo Goes Anti-Social: Waxflower & Semantics – Gig Review, 22nd August @ The Zoo, Brisbane QLD

The Zoo Goes Anti-Social: Waxflower & Semantics
The Zoo, Brisbane QLD
August 22, 2020

Here in Queensland, things are on the way back to normal. Well, they were until we got a whole 9 cases overnight, which got us wondering if we’d be stuck at home again. Thankfully, while private gatherings have been impacted, businesses operating under COVID-safe plans remain unaffected. I was stoked to finally be able to check out The Zoo’s Anti-Social live music series featuring two of Brisbane’s great upcoming punk rock acts, Semantics and Waxflower.

I’ll give you a quick rundown about how it’s all played out: essentially there are less tickets available so the venue has to put on two sessions, which means the bands play twice, taking it in turns to headline. What made the show even more worth its value, was the venue spend provided in the ticketing fee. I went along to the second session, which saw Semantics play first, followed by Waxflower. After lining up (1.5m apart), checking into the venue (while this check-in system is crucial to COVID tracing, I feel like it is definitely phasing out the good ol’ fashioned pub crawl – checking in everywhere is tedious) and getting your temperature checked, the staff led each group to a designated table and handed over our “venue spend” (or drink cards, if you will).

The beauty of a smaller gig in a setting like this is the venue ensures that everyone is seated before the first band plays. There’s no punters waiting outside in line as the band begins to play. Once we were all seated and drinks in hand/on the table, Semantics kicked off session two with a raucous punky set. Having never seen these guys before, I was definitely impressed at how they still managed to get the crowd dancing in their seats. Had it been a show pre-COVID times, these guys would have been a mosh party with punk anthems ‘SDE’ and ‘Drunk’. Kinda reminding me of fellow Brisbane legends Violent Soho and Dune Rats, Semantics are following similar antics and are one to watch, that’s for sure.

Following the lads is the more mellowed-out poppier Waxflower. This four-piece have had a whirlwind time in their very short career, from opening for Canadian pop punk act Simple Plan to gaining an international signing with Rude Records – all without an EP or album! The band played a short but energetic set of their entire current catalogue of songs, and even threw in a cover of Snow Patrol’s ‘Chasing Cars’ to add to that early 2000’s pop/rock nostalgia. While the band don’t quite have the riotous energy of Semantics, they still had the crowd singing along in their seats with their infectious choruses to show for it.

Well, there you have it. My first gig since March 2020, and I feel that after tonight, there is a place for live music in these times. Absolutely back what the Zoo are doing to keep business running as best they can. Hell, it may even inspire venues in NSW and VIC to do something similar once things are a little more tame. Queenslanders, I encourage you to jump on The Zoo’s website here and see if there’s any artists that tickle your earbuds. The Zoo Goes Anti-Social makes for an ideal first night out in the Valley since…forever.

Gig Review By Tamara May (@citylightstam)

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