Review: Jet @ The Kiama Pavilion (Wollongong)

Jet - image © Mike Lockheart
Grace has been singing as long as she can remember. She is passionate about the positive impact live music can have on community and championing artists. She is an avid animal lover, and hopes to one day own a French bulldog.

It is absolutely cyclonic along NSW's south coast as the rain descends in waterfalls, but that hasn't deterred a packed to the brim Kiama Pavilion eager to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Jet's 'Get Born' (6 June).

Elis & The Drip get the crowd warmed up and drying off with their easy rock.

However, the time has come for the real show, one which many have been waiting years to see. The crowd ranges from young to old, each busting to get their boogie on.

The band enter under blue lights to 'Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is', frontman Nic Cester letting out a scream as he sways back and forth rhythmically. The guitar solo rings out fast and true.

'She's A Genius' draws a loud cheer from the audience who have forgotten it's a school night and are clearly here to party. The lights strobe orange and yellow as everyone gets down.

"Alright, how you doing?" Cester asks as they kick straight into 'Black Hearts (On Fire)'. The kicks punch into your chest and head, as Cester's heavily reverberated vocals coast over the crowd.

"You put on one hell of a storm," Cester jokes at the song's end. "Twenty years ago we put out an album called 'Get Born'. . . starting with this one." The guitar strums slice through the air, as Cester sings: "This is your last chance honey," and no one is missing this chance to party.

The pumping rhythm backbone common to many of Jet's songs has the crowd dancing energetically, as the band swing right into the epochal tambourine of 'Are You Gonna Be My Girl?'. The band cuts out and Cester gestures with his fingers for the crowd to lift before he screams the title line. The characteristic bass slide ends the song with a question. A classic tune.

The drums keep on rollin with 'Rollover DJ', the band stopping midway as Cester asks "are you with me?" The crowd respond by clapping them back into the end of the song. All these songs are brilliant.

The piano intro of 'Look What You've Done' starts immediately. "Sing along if you know it, and if you don't, it doesn't matter. I know all the words," Cester jokes. Blue lights spill out, as the song hits the exact same way it did in 2004. Cester lets the crowd take the third verse, as he smiles, obviously touched. It is a tender, sing-along moment in time.

'Get What You Need' brings the energy simmering back, the bass groove infectiously wrapping itself around your ears. The best guitar solo of the night so far plays fat and slick, before three cymbal crashes end the song.

Cester dons a white country hat and an acoustic guitar for 'Move On'. The harmonies blend together as a harmonica joins with a deft touch. It's nice to see a band that really rocks able to also carry the tender emotions.

'Radio Song' starts small before the fan favourite-affected guitar brings in the chorus which hits like a stunning sunrise, colours bursting force from behind the band. It is a special moment.

'Get Me Outta Here' gets the crowd screaming at the top of their lungs. Another solid banger. "Gotta leave town," as the audience explode for 'Cold Hard Bitch', the hi-hats struck aggressively as the room bounces. How good is rock & roll?!

'Come Around Again' is another feeling number, before 'Take It Or Leave It' aggressively grabs you and swings you around. 'Lazy Gun' spreads its wings in the bridge, as Cester's voice enters another realm above the crashing cymbals. It is stunning.

'Timothy' is sentimental under green lights, which bounce off the sails strewn along the ceiling. The storm is still raging outside, but the end to a definitive album is as gentle as a kiss. An exceptional piece of songwriting.

"I'm not going to pretend to go off," Cester declares, starting the encore with 'Shine On' solo, strumming his acoustic guitar, which calls out deep and moving. They then play new song 'Hurry Hurry', which does just that. This band clearly has no plans of slowing down.

'Seventeen' brings smiles to faces, as people sway and dance with one another. This show really has everything. "Are you with me?" Cester demands for 'Rip It Up', which of course explodes, the floor moving with the beat.

As you head outside to brave the wet walk to your car, you are left feeling immense gratitude that albums of this calibre were and still are a part of your life. Jet always had something really special, and they still do.

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