Words: Jasmine Uitermark-Thaung
San Cisco Under 18, Friday 24 February, Fremantle Arts Centre
Arriving somewhat early at the gates of the Fremantle Arts Centre I was surprised by the massive line of excited teens all eager to listen to the sweet sounds of San Cisco and company. Staking my claim at the crowd barrier with sore feet from ventures earlier in the day I prepared myself for an evening of ear bliss and good vibes.
The Freo air was cool as support act, Methyl Ethel, sauntered on stage with his live band, a rotating cast of “Perth’s indie Illuminati” launching straight into their first number and getting in the zone. Bringing an eclectic vibe of cruisey tunes to the crowd it was amusing to see Jake and his band members very much in their own world and enjoying the music they were making. Setting up their woozy dreamscapes for ‘Rogues’ was probably my favourite part of their set as the reverby guitar riffs echoed across the South Lawn coupled with melodic and haunting vocals. Methyl Ethel’s body language offsetting listeners into a spectrum of emotions.
Next to grace the stage were Crooked Colours, pumping up the crowd with well layered track ‘Another Way’, full of hard synths and resonant reflective stylings. Barely into their set I heard a few screams from gig-goers next to me as they had sighted Jordi from the second floor window, cue another series of mysterious appearances from said window (they weren’t that mysterious actually, mostly just our mates from Grrl Pal sticking their heads out as they chowed down some grub). Leon, ever the crowd pleaser then encouraged the mass of teens in front of him to put forward their best dance moves and in response received a positive response of energy from the crowd. Swaying shoulders with my fellow eager beavers ‘In Your Bones’ certainly came up as a crowd favourite, with Phil jumping up onto the blocks surrounding the front of the stage and interacting with the crowd amongst the submarine pings (or at least that’s what I’d liken them to) and other epic additions to their danceable soundscapes. Making a comment and issuing a language warning the Perth electronica enthusiasts then delved into the depths of their beat laden, heavily built piece of ear candy
Making a comment and issuing a language warning the Perth electronica enthusiasts then delved into the depths of their beat laden, heavily built piece of ear candy ‘Capricious’. It’s always appealing to the ear when musicians lend themselves to a new rendition of a well-known track and this proved itself true as the band covered MGMT’s ‘Electric Feel’. With the crowd singing along to the tunes, it livened up the vibes as San Cisco’s set time loomed overhead. Crooked Colours made their last song count performing their incredibly popular track ‘Come Down’ with its combined tonal laidback groove, it provided a calm before the storm.
As an excited chatter began to arise from the somewhat tame crowd, a mass entourage of teenagers seemed to flock to the South Lawn stage, filling up any space that once existed close to the barricade. The much availed Freo indie pop outfit San Cisco entered on stage and hit the ground running, offering up tracks from their latest album Gracetown, chock full of duelling guitars, syncopated synths, kickin’ beats and the well-loved voices of Jordi and Scarlett we’ve come to know. As the atmosphere amped up and the crowd started to jump and dance, I was glad to have moved my way through the throng of teens and towards the rear of lawn, content to sit back as the stage lights danced and music swelled.
San Cisco’s Friday night set consisting of high energy sounds juxtaposed against more laidback vibes provided a dose of nostalgia with their revelled first single ‘Awkward’. As it neared 9:30pm San Cisco performed groove laden tune ‘Super Slow’, allowing Scarlett to depart from the behind her drum kit and join Jordi centre stage as the two moved to the rhythm of the lone guitar and bass. Departing the stage to a series of applause, with shouts for an encore echoing across the grounds, at one point it didn’t look as if San Cisco would make one last appearance but to the cheers of the crowd they graced us with their final song and popular single ‘Fred Astaire’.
With emotions elevated and the mood still going strong, many were quick to rush over to the merch tent. Those who weren’t keen on the line didn’t stand a chance at catching another glimpse of San Cisco but as the Crooked Colours members mingled with gig-goers, everyone was hasty to nab up the photo opportunity. Still running high off the vibes of the performance, my photographer and I were just happy to bask in the post-gig atmosphere as we sat on the grass and said our farewells to the entourage of Perth bands who put together a night we’re sure to remember.
Photo Credits: Mason Devine