Aw Yeah: The Grates, Live!

If I had to choose my favourite thing about going to live concerts and gigs, it’s finding new music… well, closely followed by hearing music live. The problem with the latter is that sometimes artists suck playing live. This hasn’t happened to me for the main acts and bands I’ve wanted to see at every concert I go to, luckily – but I’ve heard many people express disappointment when their favourite band sucks live. I mean, there’s something so magical about seeing a band live, seeing them in person expressing the music that you loved to hear. I can imagine it would be disappointing if they didn’t blow you away watching them play right in front of your eyes.

Yesterday I went to see The Grates. I did admit they weren’t my favourite band, or one of – but they’re a band whose music I enjoy a lot. Because I’d heard a fair bit about the energy in their shows, I decided to see them. It was a Friday night, in a place I was pretty familiar with, and I decided to give it a chance despite knowing that their awesome drummer left the band a couple of years ago to pursue a career in culinary arts. Given the option, I may have gone for the culinary arts – I can’t cook for crap, and how I’d love to…

Last night it was raining, which wasn’t all that pleasant. I will admit that I wasn’t really looking forward to it because I was already feeling tired. I actually considered leaving early, but I saw that on the performance list, The Grates were due to come on at 10:40. Rolling my eyes subtly, I decided to, as usual, deck it out front and listen to all the supporting bands.

No one really hung out on the floor. A couple of girls stood at the front near me, and we ended up chatting a bit later on. A bunch of guys stood near me and one of them was already drunk in the first half hour. I was getting pretty thirsty. It was dumb of me not to go and get dinner beforehand, but I made my way to the venue right after work. I was sooooo tempted to drink alcohol, but I just remembered that I’d never drunk alcohol in my life and I’d rather that happen in a safer place, and preferably at a more formal celebration. I’m like that. :P ‘Sides, I should avoid alcohol while I’m on antidepressants.

The first act was a guy called Swimwear. Oh, it’s a tacky name alright, and I don’t know why he couldn’t have chosen something else; anything else. His real name’s Tim Derricourt, and he has a Bandcamp profile with some music you can check out. I’d say his music is really similar to Foster The People (at least, that’s the only example I can think of now). I like his awesome description of his own music: Swimwear is wild, camp dance music made to make you feel good.

Tim Derricourt, aka Swimwear

It’s pretty accurate. I was a bit too shy to dance, but a couple of people behind me we were really making themselves comfortable. The floor was still not that full and people were just hanging around at the bar and around the edges. But I’ll tell you, Tim Derricourt was a great dancer. He had some signature moves – I could tell – and he was really passionate as he sang. Had a couple of great guitar solos, too. I guess I was a bit amused by his dancing, but come on, I dance like that at home. A bit like Thom Yorke dancing in Lotus Flower, Tim was really into his own moves.

Cameras, the next band up, really did my eyes in. They were one of those shit bands that, like the Seabellies, whom I mentioned in my post about my last concert, seemed like a bunch of great vocalists still attempting to get the hang of this idea of being in a band, and the hang of playing live. The two main singers were the female keyboardist and the male guitarist. Their music was far too choppy, erratic, mismatching. I didn’t give them a listen before going to the show, as the supporting act list was changed so many times. I wouldn’t recommend their music, solely based on what I saw and heard, but they are probably better on the record.

Cameras - guitarist
Cameras - keyboardist, drummer
Cameras: Other guitarist... and bassist

Gold Fields, a band from Perth, followed Cameras. I hated how long they look to get ready (nearly 40 minutes), and even ignored the first minute of their act while I was texting on my phone, but after I put my phone away and listened, I realised that they were quite great. The frontman and lead singer looked like a rapper, the way he wore his hoodie. I’ll admit he was rather attractive when he took it off. :P He was an amazing singer, and I realise that they probably needed more time to set up because they had two drum kits and one of the drummers also played keyboard/synth. You didn’t see much of what he did because of the space on the stage, but boy did he play a great part. The bassist – normally the most dissed and teased member of the band – was really into the music and had such prominent solos and parts in the music.

Gold Fields: Bassist
Gold Fields: Singer

I really enjoyed Gold Fields because while they were heavy they were also very enjoyable. Their music was rough, but kind of dancey, and everyone was bopping their heads to the music. They didn’t seem to like the extreme lighting and actually asked some of it to be turned down. I listened to their music on Bandcamp and sadly realised that like Bob Evans, their music was much better live. I have a memory of that marvellous performance, as I got my hands on one of the drummers’ drumsticks when he threw it. It was already splintered and broken, and that was just evidence of how amazing their performance was.

Gold Fields: Guitarist

The Grates were just amazing. Being at the front was pretty uncomfortable. No one in the front row jumped up and down or danced as much as everyone behind us. In a way I was glad that I wasn’t really part of that. I completely wasn’t in the mood. I wasn’t tired, but I think deep down I was very tired. Patience, lead singer of the Grates, put on such a show. I was really expecting everything – the crowd surfing she did, her leaning into the audience and climbing up on the barrier and reaching out to us all, her crazy dancing and just interacting with the audience above all – but being there at the front of it all made me forget all that I expected.

Patience, the Grates

I’m not one of those crazy people who go “OH MY GOD I TOUCHED HER HAND”. Not really. I mean, it’s something to note. And I’m sure James is still happy about shaking Kevin Mitchell’s hand. But when you admire someone and they have a large fanbase, and they just reach out to you and sing to you, it’s wonderful. You just know it’s the thing to do, when they crowd surf, you help them in and help them surf back. You hold them so they don’t fall. In the moment, it’s not lame, it’s not crazy, but it’s always going to be the way the performers interact with everyone. It’s always going to be that they thanked you. It’s always going to be that they recognised your hat in the crowd. It’s always going to be that they asked how many of you were from a particular city, even if a hundred people raised their hands.

Love her stripy pants.

And I waited at the bus stop at 12:00am thinking I should have stayed back and tried to meet Patience and John, and regretted that I didn’t take enough photos, but remembered them play Aw Yeah, and Like You Could Have It All – oh, and they didn’t play Milk Eyes, damn it – but they played their classic Science is Golden, and they played Carve Your Name, heck, even Inside Outside and Burn Bridges – then I realised I had a great time nonetheless, and perhaps enough craziness for one night – and waved my hand out to the N70 bus that approached the university, and sat down at the back and listened to Milk Eyes again on my iPod, and shut my eyes.

Comments on this post

I see you had Funs /th

What a lot of bands! /bounce
This has been a rather short comment indeed. Hlalng, but I’m glad you got home safe. /eee


You’re quite lucky, it looks like you have been on a lot of concerts(at least more then me, heh)
Your new layout looks amazing by the way, it seems to take up all the space on the whole screen! Did you make the headline font yourself? It was really cool /eee

I’m just jealous that you go to see the Grates! I am one of those people who generally don’t bother with the support acts so then I miss out on seeing new music and stuff so its not always best – but like you I get thirsty and hungry and all of that so I have to go out and eat and everything first I guess! I haven’t been to a live show in a while though! I never go up the front – I’m always afraid of getting squished!!!!

I saw the Grates a few years ago (maybe 3? Oh gosh, was it 3 years ago already>) and they were AMAZING! I don’t think they’ll come back here though because its wasn’t a super packed show and it was a Tuesday night or something stupid like that unfortunately! They do put on an amazing show!

oooo nice! looks fun and you were in the mosh pit, no? lol! doesn’t look too bad though so that’s always a plus!

yeah, it’s a bummer to see your favorite band live and seeing them suck! it never happened to me but i can imagine how it must feel D: glad that wasn’t the case with this band that you went to see! i never heard of any of these bands though :O

ahhh the energy of the band is really important! it can really make a show awesome and a show…not as awesome :O

YEAH it’s so weird how people say things like OMG I TOUCHED HER HAND or HE MADE EYE CONTACT WITH ME. i’m like, really? =_= nothing to brag about. i’m more interested in the actual act of them coming from across the country or across the world to come perform for their fans. much respect~~

When support acts are rubbish, it can be really double sided. I mean on one hand they make the band you’re there to see sound so much better, you enjoy them a lot more. On the other hand, though, they can be really off putting and leave you in a negative mindset already.

Still, I’m really glad you enjoyed yourself! Sounds like a really good time despite being tired and everything! :)

Aww. It’s been a long time since I last went to a concert. I listen to mostly Asian artists. They rarely ever go here in Canada :( The last time I went to one would be last 2010, back in the Philippines. It was a concert of this Korean boyband I’m really addicted to. Haha. Unlike you, I wasn’t really able to observe them well while performing, mainly because I was too busy being the crazy fangirl that I tend to become when I go to concerts. 😰

By the way, I’m in love with your theme! It’s really pretty ^_^

Wow! I realise you go to a LOT of concerts and gigs! The only live concert i’ve ever been to was to Big Night Out, and I saw four bands, one of which was the one I paid to watch. I didn’t enjoy it as much even though my favourite band was amazing because i was in the mosh pit, almost suffocated, almost crushed, and couldn’t see anything most of the time unless I kept jumping and boy that was tiring. The supporting bands were too loud for my liking – i mean, it WAS loud music, but i thought it was so loud technically (if you know what i mean) that I couldn’t really make out the music itself. And that sucks.

And it’s sad when bands sound terrible live. I know a band that doesn’t play their instruments live because they are just really bad or something.

You always have such lovely concert photos! I’m glad you had a good time! ^^

I haven’t gotten the chance to have that kind of experience as you but I want it! I’m glad that The Grates were good but I wonder why bands usually suck live but sound awesome on the record. Must be a reason why.

Man, to be honest, I have never been to a concert. I am so jealous that you got to see a great band IN CONCERT.

I keep trying to get my husband to take me to one, but still nothing, haha. I hope you had a great time though!

Ah wow, I love live gigs! I’ve seen quite a few mainstream bands in the UK though – still had an awesome time from the few I’ve been too. I’ve experienced some absolutely awful supporting acts and some absolutely magnificent ones! I guess it’s all hit and miss!

I’m glad you had fun in the end though, sounds like it was definitely worth it! I’ve never heard of The Grates before. Might check them out!

So cool :D I’ve never been to a live gig but I can’t imagine waiting 40 minutes for a band to set up in the middle of the concert o____O

I’m glad you had a great time despite the not-so-good supporting acts.

Concerts are fun. And yes, I too have experienced shows to hear the bands actually suck in real life in comparison to disc sound. It’s so weird. I would love to go to more concerts though but they’re just so expensive. the last concert I went to was Bruno Mars and I didn’t know what to expect but he is actually amazing live. It was like listening to his album on CD. Crazy.

But concerts are fun but sometimes crazy. Some people are really all drunk or high and sometimes you just get high in there because people make it a hotbox. It’s kinda gross but that’s what you get with crazy concerts.

I’m still laughing at the name, Swimwear. haha such an unfortunate name…but I’m sure at that time he thought it was great, or still think it’s great. I’m glad you had fun. I’ve never been a live before. I’ve only watched it online…and yes, I agree. A lot of singers/bands sounds horrible live, but like you, they’re not my favorite so it isn’t a heart shattering moment :)

I’m not sure if I wanna go to a live performance because I dislike being in crowds and all that jumping….oh dear, I’m gonna get really uncomfortable.

Going to see a band live is definitely the ultimate experience!

I was one of those creepy people when Lacuna Coil’s bassist blew a kiss at me and threw me a tour-pick. I nearly died. No joke!

As for the alcohol, good choice. Make your first time somewhere with people you trust.