If you haven’t heard of Ball Park Music or seen how they have taken Australia by storm in the last 12 months, it’s probably time to crawl out from under that rock you’ve been hiding under. After enchanting Wollongong last year while supporting Boy and Bear, the Brisbane band brought their 180° degree to Wollongong Unibar on Thursday night, and proved exactly why they have been selling out venues all across Australia.
Up first were Cub Scouts, who captivated the audience with their charming, melodic indie-pop. Clean vocals, catchy tunes and the interesting but highly effective choice of having two keyboardists, this is definitely a band to watch out for.
Next to grace the stage was Sydney four-piece Nantes. After the sweet tunes of Cub Scouts, Nantes’ grunge-tinged rock sounded almost odd to the ears, but as the band warmed up, their sound became more appealing. Vocally they may not be the most amazing band, but the addition of backing chants and tight, unique instrumentals were enough to draw a bigger crowd. As the set progressed and the familiar opening drumbeats of ‘Fly’ echoed throughout Unibar, I was a converted fan.
The band of the moment, Ball Park Music, opened their set with a bang on ‘Literally Baby’ and the momentum and excitement was on an all time high from there. Lead singer Sam Cromack is ridiculously charismatic and one of the better front-mans I have seen this year, getting the crowd as involved as possible. The harmonies with bassist Jennifer Boyce were pitch perfect as they launched into more songs. A huge kudos to Miss Boyce too, who bravely shaved off her lustrous locks to raise money for the Leukemia Foundation.
Ball Park Music are known for their infectious and catchy tunes, with epic choruses and great and hilarious lyrics (seriously what other band can get a crowd of young adults singing the line ‘I haven’t had a friend in years, I only have sex with myself!’ so enthusiastically?) The band also look like they are just having the time of their life on stage, with this vibe being reflected on the crowd, with loud cheers and the sporadic attempt at crowd-surfing thrown in. The band also previewed two new songs for happy fans, with ‘Pot of Gold’ starting slow and building up to the explosive type choruses Ball Park are so good at delivering to us.
Personally, a highlight was hearing ‘Happy Healthy Citizen of the Developed World Blues’ live – simply, it was just an amazing experience and the build up to the song was incredible. Hit songs ‘It’s Nice To Be Alive,’ ‘All I want Is You,’ and ‘iFly’ went off as expected, and before we knew it, the night was unfortunately drawing to a close. Coming back for an encore performance of The Kinks’ ‘All Day and All Of The Night’ Ball Park Music enthralled the audience for one last time, before leaving to thunderous cheers and applause. All in all, the quality of live music on display really did prove it’s nice to be alive.
(click here to see our photo gallery from the show)