LAST DINOSAURS have been doing so well lately that it’s beginning to get a bit strange – the good kind of strange of course. Not only has their debut long player ‘In A Million Years’, been receiving rave reviews from all over the world since it’s February release – the band recently signed to Fiction in the UK and have announced a European tour, featuring a main stage slot at Field Day. Shit, they’re also billed pretty high on this year’s Splendour In The Grass lineup. So really there should be no surprise that their album tour has been selling like metaphorical hotcakes, resulting in most states getting multiple appearances from the Brisvegas lads. Melbourne was one of these places, with 3 shows selling out – the last of which, a Tuesday night appearance at the Northcote Social Club.
Before I begin, I just want to warn you all that I had seen all the acts of the night before, so get ready for a shitload of comparisons coming at you.
I must admit that I wasn’t that excited to see MILLIONS, as I’ve seen them 3 times in the last year, as I assumed I knew exactly how their set would play out – but boy, was I wrong. I was blown away with the professionalism in their sound and the massive improvement in their stage presence. It hasn’t even been a year since MILLIONS first hit the scene at last year’s Splendour – but I am constantly being amazed by the growth these dudes show.
Their set was filled with their own undeniable take on 50’s Garage inspired Rock, with love stricken tendencies intertwined. But what really took my attention this time around, was lead vocalist Dom. In the past he has been known to have a less than perfect stage presence (which he commented on during the set), but this time around it seemed that he put in a concerted effort to get some banter going between the crowd and band. In my eyes, he was truly captivating, as this came across as slightly awkward and quite hilarious – not to mention that his vocal abilities are second to none in the Australian Garage scene. Finishing the set with the DINO’s putting MILLIONS on their shoulders; it was a perfect opener for what Last Dinosaurs would bring to the Northcote Social Club.
I’m not sure if it was because it was a Wednesday night or because it was their third show in Melbourne, but the crowd was extremely tame for a LAST DINOSAURS gig. Nonetheless, I wasn’t there to watch the crowd; I was there to watch the DINO’s and once again I was greatly impressed with what I witnessed. It’s become very apparent that the band provides one of the slickest live performances of anyone is Australia; equipped with backing projections and tropical grooves – a DINO’s set always takes away to somewhere a lot warmer than Melbourne. An album heavy setlist saw their most prevalent and groundbreaking tracks being performed, with very little production value being lost in the live translation. “I Can’t Help You” was a real highlight as it allowed the band to showcase their more intense instrumental work (which was compared to LIMP BIZKIT by bassist, Sam Gethin-Jones), not to mention Sean Caskey’s yearning vocal ability – and as always they managed to slip in a couple of EP tracks and an iTunes-only album B-Side.
It became apparent quickly that LAST DINOSAURS success comes down to a team effort, with each member working in perfect harmony (as lame as that sounds) to produce such an effortless and smooth sound. But if I was to pick out something in particular, it would definitely be Lachlan Caskey’s lead guitar work. Although he’s barely of legal age, his talent is already immeasurable and was on display on the night – his finger work and control was pivotal to their overall sound. Mix that in with the beautiful melodic vocals of his older brother Sean, groove driven bass lines from Sam and complex drum patterns from Dan Koyama – and you have yourself one hell of finely tuned music making machine.
LAST DINOSAURS have never been fond of encores and tonight was no different, opting to finish the set with their newly crafted duel-cover song of MODJO‘s ‘Lady (Hear Me Tonight)’ verses GROOVEJET’s “If This Ain’t Love” – in which Sean made sure the crowd knew when they were changing songs. Before giving us their two most popular tracks – the old-favourite, Honolulu and the new-favourite, Zoom. These tracks created the most positive response from the fans, with the tame natured atmosphere finally erupting into a dance party vibe. And just like that the hour set was over; I guess it’s true when they say time flies when the DINO’s are blowing you away.
It may not have been the best show I have seen them play, but it is becoming so much clearer that LAST DINOSAURS truly deserve all the recognition in the world. Not only have the produced one of the best Australian albums of the last decade, they have proved their unique take on indie pop will be around for a long time to come.
Words by Tom Hutchins.