Review: Middle Kids @ The Princess Theatre (Brisbane)

Middle Kids played The Princess Theatre (Brisbane) on 16 June, 2023.
Now based in Melbourne/ Naarm, Harrison is a passionate advocate for live music in Australia and enjoys both shooting/ reviewing the best live shows.

For over a half a decade, Middle Kids have been lighting up stages around Australia and the globe.

Now three albums deep; the Sydney band returned to Brisbane (16 June) as part of their three-date tour in support of their new single 'Bootleg Firecracker'.

As the cool night set in, punters hurried to enter The Princess Theatre. Fans huddled shoulder to shoulder, their hearts soon to be warmed by one of the most wholesome nights of the year.

The show opened with the heavenly vocals of Asha Jefferies, a Brisbane local best known for her sombre and honest pop tunes.

Orange and pink lights lit the sold-out room and coaxed the crowd into a safe and mellow atmosphere, bodies swaying in time to introspective guitars.

Picking up the pace, an unreleased track by the name of 'Brand New Bitch' turned many heads and garnered roaring applause from the crowd – this one is definitely a track to look out for in the future.

Some overhead words of punters heading to the rest rooms conveyed a nothing-but-positive message: "How good was Asha Jefferies hey?!"

An unexpected but perfect opening track brought Middle Kids to the stage, blasting right into knockout track 'Edge Of Town', which had people instantly hooked – dancing and singing along with their friends and loved ones.

While lead singer Hannah Joy admitted they weren't sure why they played the track first, fans couldn't agree more that it was the best way to open the show.

It may be easy for the uneducated to simply look at Middle Kids' top five tracks on Spotify or Apple Music and assume those are their hits.

It's only when you delve a bit deeper that you realise just how many memorable tracks Middle Kids have released. With 'R U 4 Me?', 'Salt Eyes' and 'Bootleg Firecracker' all played within the first five tracks of the set, the Sydney locals just couldn't miss.

Jumping back and forward through their extensive discography, fans were kept engaged and excited to see what was around the next corner.

Like so many artists around the country, Middle Kids had felt the impact of Covid, particularly through their lack of touring, commenting: "Could you believe our last stand-up show in Brisbane was 2019?"

However, the Middle Kids live show still hits as hard as it used to, if not more so. An energetic stage performance featured band members wielding instruments varying from expected guitars and shimmering pianos, to a peculiar melodicas.

The atmosphere created felt revered, as if time had stopped just for this moment. A sense of comfort and belonging had encumbered the crowd, their attention glued to the stage.

The night was full of lighthearted, witty stage banter, quips of "revealing industry secrets" forming a trend throughout the show.

One point late in the set saw the band querying their audience of what song to play with a choice of 'Lost In Los Angeles', 'Maryland' or 'Real Thing'. When the crowd screamed loudest for the third option, bassist Tim Fitz had a laugh at the decision. "You're all so predictable."

Wrapping things up, the faster pace of 'Never Start' brought a new spirit to the crowd, an energy full of dance and glee that continued into their closer, 'Mistake'.

A return to the stage for an encore saw a contrast of the high energy tracks, with sparkling rendition of 'Today We're The Greatest'.

A final glorious moment saw Joy take to the stage alone, performing a new song from a teased upcoming album. The acoustic ballad was a fitting track to end the night, letting the crowd sway in unison and adore the bands frontwoman.

As the lights dimmed behind a final bow from the band, fans ventured into the night with warm hearts and warmer bodies, content grins lining their faces. Soon to be back, Middle Kids left Brisbane starstruck once more.

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