Elbow @ Sydney Opera House, Sydney (Sat 25 Oct 2014)
This was my seventh Elbow gig in as many years, with the eighth just a couple of days away. Third time seeing them in Sydney, first time at The Opera House.
We’ve not really been back to Sydney since we moved from there in 2009. There’s been the occasional wedding or work related trip, but this was the first time we’d been back by ‘choice’ in five years.
And when Elbow announced they were playing at The Opera House, we couldn’t think of a better reason to get back to Sydney for the weekend. We’d gotten great seats and we were definitely well overdue to head back, even if for just one night. And it was Elbow. Justification satisfied.
We figured we’d splurge a bit, as this was most likely going to be our last trip away before the birth of Saminator2.0, so we booked a fancy hotel in Circular Quay and had a great view of the Opera House from our room. After an afternoon of catching up with Wifeinator’s brother, we made our way to the venue. Playright, the support act sounded great from the foyer, but alas we didn’t get to see them play. With any luck I’ll be able to get to The Forum early enough on Tuesday to catch their set.
The show, as expected, was sensational, although I’m not loving the fact that Elbow are becoming a band that plays the same set each night. After looking through their recent archive on setlist.fm, I was pretty sure what we’d hear, and it was bang on. There’ll obviously be no surprises at Tuesday’s Melbourne show either. Having said that, the gig was still fucking great.
We’d managed to get third row seats, which I was pretty happy with except for the fact that I couldn’t see Richard at all due to Pete’s bass rig (Pete- move your bass rig). We also couldn’t see when Guy got on the second kit during Grounds For Divorce. I’ll be making sure I’m in position at The Forum in a few days to see that properly! But hey- you can’t have everything and I feel bloody lucky that we’re in the situation to be able to travel the country to see one of our favourite bands play such an ‘iconic’ venue. And lucky as well in the fact that I’ll be seeing them again in a couple of days at home in Melbourne (unfortunately sans Wifeinator as a standing venue like The Forum is no place for a 7 month pregnant wife)!
Apart from there only being one track from Leaders of The Free World (Great Expectations), the set was brilliant- I hadn’t heard Scattered Black and Whites since The Metro show in 09, and obviously the new stuff from The Take Off and Landing of Everything was great to hear live. New York Morning is a fave of mine from the new album, and hearing it live for the first time was sublime. The drumming in it caused me to tweet Richard Jupp (one of my hero drummers) about it months ago, and he replied…
@saminatorAU Cheers mate, top start to my day that!.
— richard jupp (@Juppelbow) March 27, 2014
If anyone read my thoughts on Elbow’s Festival Hall show in Melbourne a couple of years ago, you may recall he tweeted me then too…. my point? Richard- tweet me back about this one too! And retweet it! And tell the others to read it too.
— richard jupp (@Juppelbow) March 23, 2012
Anyhoo- back to the show…
The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver was the highlight it always is whenever I hear it live, and The Birds in particular was pumping tonight. Even though reasonably late in the set, it was this point that everyone finally got off their seats. The band was given a standing ovation at the end of it (can you actually have a standing ovation mid way through a set?) and it really paved the way into a super rocking Grounds For Divorce.
Lippy Kids is a fave (well fuck it, they all are) and One Day Like This is always a bit special for us, as that’s the song Wifeinator walked down the aisle to back in 2010.
Guy was in top form as usual, conversating with the audience at every chance, and making friends with Ella, a girl around 10 years old who was sitting the row in front of us.
After seeing them for the first time way back in 2007 in Brisbane, Elbow still prove to be one of the finest live acts out there- and they still look like they’re having a hell of a lot of fun doing it. I don’t really care that I’m going to hear the same set on Tuesday- I just can’t wait to see Elbow again, and if finances permit, I may well end up at The Forum again on Wednesday for their second Melbourne show.
As usual for an Elbow show: 11/10.
Did you see Elbow @ Sydney Opera House, Sydney (Sat 25 Oct 2014)? Tell us about it