Thursday, April 12, 2007

Fishbone Melbourne 11/04/2007

aM i gOinG CrAZy oR IS iT ThE woRLd aRouNd mE?
Fishbone Soldiers, what a night we had at Billboards The Venue in Melbourne, Australia on the 11th April 2007.

The highly anticipated return of Fishbone to the city of Melbourne. Not since Living Colour hit our shores early last year have I been so pumped to see a band play.

Doors opened at 8:30 on the dot and the queue out the front made their way into the basement of darkness that was soon to be lit alight with the flair of The Bone. I hit the venue with the lovely CF, who likes a little of Fishbone thanks to me.

But first the Resignators hit the stage for a 45 minute set that included a bit of brass focused punk rock. The six band members pumped hard and I found them to be pretty good but the sound quality wasn't the greatest and that may have let them down. I wasn't fussed as I wasn't there to see them (sorry guys, I mean no offence)

Around 10pm I made my way up front to get as close to my rock gods as possible. Few musicians make it into my Rock God category, the members of Living Colour and Fishbone are definitely at the top of the list.

You see I first heard about Fishbone back in 1993 at school when I regrettably hung shit on a guy (RB) for liking a band called Fishbone. Then one night I was up late watching Rage (Aussie Music Video Show) and saw a mad film clip for a song called Everyday Sunshine. The life in the video and the energy in the song got me hooked. I was from then on a Fishbone Soldier.

Now back to the review of the Melbourne Show. Angelo Moore made his way out to stage alone, checking the cables, saxophone straps, speakers etc. It was unusual to see a band member do this sort of thing, but in no way did the crowd mind.

The chants of 'Fishbone is Red Hot' were coming from a section of the crowd, followed by Dr Madd Vibe (Angelo Moore) hitting the microphone and telling the story of Rock Star. I loved it as it was unique and he is a magical story teller. Have to say as well, the 'Yeah' and 'Oooowww' he did were the most entertaining 'Yeahs' and 'Oooowwws' I have ever heard in my entire life which pleased not only himself but the legion of loyal fans in the darkness in front of him (and to the side as I was)
Other members of the band slowly started moving onto the stage and picking up their gear. Then it all broke lose with a personal favourite Sunless Saturday. I heard an acoustic version of this song and loved it from then on. The concerts version was definitely not acoustic, it was Hardcore Bone at their most exciting best.

The hits kept coming, I guess if you have been going as long as Fishbone there are a lots of gems to choose from. As you can see from the set list picture they had a great mix of stuff we all love and stuff we are going to start loving from their new album, 'Still Stuck in your Throat'. (Which I was lucky enough to purchase pre-show)

Although I cant find a dull moment as it was all high intensity the highlight songs were for sure 'Everyday Sunshine', new hit 'Let Dem Ho's Fight', 'Beergut' and the farewell song 'Party at Ground Zero'.
Angelo was at his entertaining best, decked out in all black with his customary hat. He was belting it out with so much vigor his veins were popping out of his face. The man is an entertainer, does it all with more energy than 100 locomotive's. For the entire 3 hour set he didn't slow down to take a breath once. He rocked when he sung, he rocked when he played the sax, he rocked on his waaa waaa theremin thingy, and he was all over the stage and crowd when he wasn't doing any of the above. He never stopped.
Keyboards were being run by the very entertaining, Dre Gipson. He was a mad man and I love it. Often he seemed to be sick of being behind the keyboards so he jumped up front and sang a bit and then jolted himself into the crowd for a bit of surfing. I enjoyed the youthful energy he bought to the experience.
Rocky George, was the Lead Guitar and had one hell of an Afro. Seemed to be out about a foot from his head. He seemed very reserved and didn't see much of him, but he was cool.
Norwood Fisher on bass is a star wearing an American Junkies 45 singlet. With his unicorn single dread on his head he rocked away all night. I loved it when the dread went crazy and danced on his head. I love how he loves the women, you rock mate.

Curtis Story on Trumpet and Mr Versatility John McKnight (Trombone, Guitar, Keyboards) rocked their part of the stage and being able to pump out the tunes all night was amazing. 3 hours of blowing some brass is amazing. These two also kept on hanging it on each other, which was fun to watch the prank they would hang on each other next.

Finally John Steward on drums was the man. Deep voice king, I was shocked when he spoke. Definitely a man's man, downing the beers and banging on throughout the show.
As mentioned the show went for 3 hours from 10 till after 1. The Roadie was letting them know there was a 12:30 curfew. At 12:20 they were still going hard. At 12:25 there was no sign of letting up. At 12:30 Norwood said something like, 'F*** it, lets play'. And so they did.

They left and I personally didn't think they would do any encore as they were well past the knock off time. But they couldn't let the fans down, they jumped back on stage following Fishers lead and belted out another two songs including the old school 'Cholly' and the legendary 'Party at Ground Zero'.

What a night it was, they left to stage to the applause of the crowd and I think most people were amazed at what they had just experienced. Classic Fishbone. Most of the people had been waiting a long time since they last visited Melbourne back in 1997 (I think it was 1997).

As the lights went on I was able to grab the set list from the roadie which I have scanned and posted below. I was pumped to have scored this and would have left the area a happy man. But on the way out I went to the Merchandise Stand and saw Angelo. I was like a little school kid, nervous at meeting a hero. But was able to get a photo and autograph. I shook his hand and told him what a wonderful show it was.

Then came John Steward, I was able to score a photo and autograph from the superstar drummer, while he swigged back a Heineken.

Norwood also joined the boys for a autograph signing which I was much appreciative of. Also Norwood, I may have blinded you with the flash on the camera, sorry bud!!
Thank you FISHBONE, my musical dreams are now satified thanks to Living Colour and yourself touring to Melbourne!!!

Thanks heap, don't leave it too long between drinks in Melbourne, we would love to have you back.

Also for fans in the know check out my reviews of Living Colours trip to Melbourne last year. 3 Concerts in All.

Tuesday Concert - Awesome show with some pictures
Thursday Concert - Even better pictures.
Wednesday Concert - Didnt go but have the set list


Team Africa said...

Cool report mate - not that I have heard Fishbone much. Will have to give it a go - high energy brass rocks :)

Anonymous said...

thanks for the review... i was on the other side of the was my first fishbone show (I promised a mate i would go as its his favourite band) very impressed by these guys..

Anonymous said...

Hey, i think i went to school with the reviwer... hahaha! And we Both liked fishbone in highschool...

Well i have been waiting for the bone since 1996 cos that show they done at the palace was the most amazing show id ever heard and seen since Living Colour in 93! Back then i was in the mosh and for this show i decided to watch and do the muso thing... im too old and frail now... hahahaha!

Fishbone to me keep confirming that they are one of the best live bands in the world... Still... Amazing!

As a musician i was dissapointed in the sound as i was smack bang in the middle in front of the engineer and was with a few sound engineer friends. I know the venue is not really made for that kind of class of show but we were hearing what the FOH engineer was hearing and we were wanting more drums and balance overall... but you know what... thats just me being picky and i didnt let that spoil the experience...

Overall fishbone's expertise shines through those things and they rocked harder than ever... Thanx Fishbone... please come back soon... the young musicians of today need to see bands like you and learn!

Onski said...

Hey Mr Anonymous 2, the guy who went to school with me. If you are who I think you are then you got a mention in the review, ie Initials RB.

Thanks for the comments to you and everyone else as well. Tell your freinds.


Anonymous said...

Haha... its a small world. Good to hear your alive and well. well... anonymous is useless now hey... haha...

Rock on onski...

hit me up on myspace...

Oxypoet said...

Great review. I am seeing them on May 3 on the Rocks Off Boat Cruise in NYC. I hope they don't sink the boat! This will be my third Fishbone show since September. Readers of my blog may be tiring of the Fishbone-themed posts, but I have to call 'em like I see 'em. If interested, head on over to BillyBlog (

Review of Fishbone at CBGB:

Review of Fishbone at The Knitting Factory, December '06):

Nice to hear from another Fishbone soldier on the other side of the sphere!