Hands Like Houses
170 Russell, Melbourne, Vic
February 4, 2021
Supports: Agnes Manners
It seems that all Victorians are making up for lost time now that we are finally out of lockdown and live music is upon us once again. In light of this, alternative heavyweights Hands Like Houses took advantage of the situation and hit the road to tour the country.
Kicking off the festivities was Agnes Manners. Even though this show was only their third live performance since forming, each of the group’s members let their experience as professional musicians shine through as they delivered a captivating set. Frontman Matt Gravolin makes it hard to take your eyes off him, his clear, well-defined vocals and his strong presence make him an absolute pleasure to watch. Back up vocals from guitarist CJ left a powerful impression on the socially distanced crowd.
It was then time for Hands Like Houses to hit the stage, beginning the first half of the set with a semi-acoustic performance, offering fans the opportunity to witness these tracks in a different light. During the first song frontman, Trenton Woodley forgot some sections of his lyrics; however, he managed to maintain a sense of professionalism once he began singing again. Guitarist Alexander Pearson had difficulty tuning his guitar between songs, with vocalist Trenton making jokes about the situation such as “This is my favourite song”, luckily the crowd didn’t seem to mind as they were laughing about the situation as it happened. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with the lighting effects used during the first half of the set; I could barely see the musicians standing at the rear of the stage, with fog machines making it even more difficult.
After a short break, the band came back with their electric guitars and began a to play a cover of Fuel‘s ‘Shimmer’, with a vibrant electronic screen behind the band, which managed to turn a relatively mild crowd into a (socially distanced) sea of moshers. By this point, I could see every musician clearly, and seemingly everyone around me was having a magnificent time. The band went on to debut their track ‘Stranger’ to a live audience, which was received well with singalongs and dancing. The band finished off the set with ‘Half-Hearted’ as an encore.
Hopefully, this is one of the first of many standing live music shows that we can enjoy in the foreseeable future; the time ahead isn’t secure. Still, we can definitely enjoy experiences like this show that are beginning to happen now.
Hands Like Houses are a powerful and influential band at the moment, with regular daytime mainstream radio play and a large fanbase around the country. They may have started off this set a little rusty, which is understandable considering the massive break they had just had from touring, but they outdid themselves in the end.
A Tale of Outer Suburbia
Hands Like Houses