Ball Park Music & San Cisco Brisbane Festival Review @ The Riverstage

Ball Park Music played Brisbane Festival's 2018 Opening Party at The Riverstage (8 September). Ball Park Music played Brisbane Festival's 2018 Opening Party at The Riverstage (8 September). Image © Charlyn Cameron

Few words can encapsulate the feeling of witnessing your favourite artists perform.

But knowing that performance could be their largest scale yet conjures another wave of emotion entirely.

San Cisco appeared anything but daunted by the thousands of onlookers celebrating Brisbane Festival’s Opening Night (8 September); their entrance was soundtracked by tribal-sounding music, the four-piece fleshing out The Riverstage nicely.

San CiscoSan Cisco - image © Charlyn Cameron

My personal discography pick ‘The Distance’ started the show beautifully, Jordi Davieson’s high vocals immediately striking, bass emphasised, loud and funky.

Click here for more photos from the show.

‘Beach’ came next, their debut album starting track, the band then paused to announce: “At least it stopped raining. Winner.” The skies above clear of clouds.

‘SloMo’ was the first of many I was surprised to recognise; the boppy pop ballad was followed by ‘Gracetown’ gem ‘Magic’, Scarlett Stevens showcasing her impressive drum/ vocals coordination.

The electric guitar transformed ‘About You’, it became rock-heavy; Jordi introduced each member of the band after ‘Wash It All Away’, before diving into upbeat ‘The Water’ addition, ‘That Boy’.

San Cisco.2San Cisco - image © Charlyn Cameron

“Sing it, Brisbane!” he cried, during fan favourite ‘Hey, Did I Do You Wrong?’; it was paired with brand new track ‘When I Dream’. “Yesterday was kind of a big day, because we released our latest single. We’ve been working on it for quite awhile, and we’re all pretty proud.”

The chorus of ‘Snow’ was aptly chanted by the crowd; “I can’t believe there’s food trucks at one of our gigs!” Jordi laughed; ‘Did You Get What You Came For’ complementing the warm sentiments.

San Cisco rounded off the set with their most well-known releases, mouths breathing to airy beat of ‘RUN’, bodies moving to the recognisable riff of ‘Fred Astaire’. They finished with the quirky ‘Too Much Time Together’, audience palpably buzzing as the band exited.

Ball Park Music are certainly no strangers to Brisbane audiences – no strangers from the city itself, having met while studying here. Their introductory soundtrack was surprisingly electronic, slowly merging into track one of ‘Good Mood’, ‘The End Times’. I was thrilled ‘Everything Is Sh.t Except My Friendship With You’ made the setlist cut.

“Welcome to The Riverstage Brisbane,” frontman Sam Cromack announced. “You all look amazing.”

Ball Park Music.2Ball Park Music - image © Charlyn Cameron

Despite its relatively recent release date, ‘The Perfect Life Does Not Exist’ was cooed by thousands, start to finish. ‘Every Night The Same Dream’ featured once and only with ‘Nihilist Party Anthem’, ‘Surrender’ came next, an unexpected highlight.

“Are you still feeling good?” Sam asked, slowing the pace with ‘Coming Down’, as per the ‘Museum’ song order; ‘Bad Taste Blues Part 2’ then preceded with: “We haven’t played this one in more than two years.”

The band exited prior ‘Nice To Be Alive’, Sam remained, guitar in tow, performing a smile-inducing acoustic rendition. “Let me get sentimental,” he began. “It’s the anniversary of our first gig, at the Uni Bar, ten years ago.” The crowd cheered, he continued. “We were offered $50, never paid. And we played this song,” launching into ‘All I Want Is You’.

Their cover of Custard’s ‘Apartment’ was unanticipated, though not unwelcome. “God bless you Brisbane,” Sam praised, “except I don’t believe in God.” ‘Exactly As You Are’ brought ‘Good Mood’ back into the limelight, winding back the clock with ‘Puddinghead’s opening track afterwards, ‘She Only Loves Me When I’m There’.

Ball Park Music.3Ball Park Music - image © Charlyn Cameron

Almost a decade old yet ‘Alligator’ still sparked plenty of recognition; ‘Fence Sitter’ acted as the perfect pre-hype for ‘Hands Off My Body’, my favourite from the new record.

Ball Park Music asked: “You got a few more left in you?”, wrapping up their performance with ‘Trippin’ The Light Fantastic’; they closed with ‘Sad Rude Future Dude’, crowd buried beneath confetti.

It’s interesting that by saying “You got a few more left in you?” the band seemingly implied the audience was winding down. But after an opening night show like that I can guarantee the crowd is well primed – ready and raring for the Brisbane Festival performances to come.


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