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After two long years, Melbourne alt rock band Bad Juju took to the stage on Saturday night (18th December) for their aptly named singles launch show the year from hell, and the boys made sure we had just as good a time as they did on their first show back!
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After a number of cancelled and rescheduled shows, Bad Juju were finally able to live debut their singles In The Clouds and American Halloween (banger) at Stay Gold!
The night kicked off with, I assume, relatively new band Rex Dante. The trio served as the perfect opening band, executing their set with charismatic ease. A BIG sound emanated from the three-piece rock outfit, featuring a thrashing punk sound that had heads bobbing along in the crowd as they set us off into the night.
Plovers were up next, and they were quite a contrast to the other bands on the line-up. They showcased a diverse collection of tunes, bouncing from 80s inspired post-punk to alt rock 90s grunge sprinkled with bursts of hardcore energy and the occasional guttural scream. If you’re a fan of IDLES, La Dispute and Bauhaus, Plovers would probably be right up your alley. Again, impressively made up of only three band members, the group gave us an eclectic mix of music from across their repertoire and their energy was certainly infectious.
Bukowski played main support and were the last chance to warm the crowd—and these guys really did turn things up a notch! The band brought the party and sufficiently prepped the audience for what the rest of the night had in store. Bukowski seemed to make an impression and there were a bunch of mouths singing the words to the songs they offered up. Fan favourites like Twothousandandseven, Low and Brood went off and new single Elevator Song was welcomed with open arms. Their rock and roll energy went down a treat and got the audience moving. Even Lead singer James Karagiozis (who also plays bass in celebrated Aus pop punk band Between You & Me) threw himself into the crowd at one point, rustling some feathers and getting in faces—sending the venue to a whole other level of hype! And what’s more rock and roll than a guitar smash and an angry departure? Bukowski stay consistent and do exactly that! They owned the stage with their “we don’t give a fuck” attitude, leaving us buzzing for the headline act.
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Opening with their most recent anthemic release, American Halloween, Bad Juju hit the stage for their long-awaited return. Their set was made up of a selection of tracks from across their whole discography including 2018 release and undeniable fan favourite, Moving On. The quartet slayed their performance, showing that each member is a seasoned musician, they each own their craft and demonstrate a level of comfort in their spots on stage. Honestly it was kind of hard to believe they hadn’t been on stage for two years. The guys were in their element, and in theme with the night they just had fun with it. As we were nearing the end of Bad Juju’s set, a box of balloons were brought out to the stage and were poured into the crowd when In The Clouds took hold. This was easily another favourite of the night as we sang along, tapping balloons to one another overhead. The vibes were on point tonight. Bad Juju took a quick break before returning to play their self confessed “poppiest song to date”, Let’s Talk which got the crowd jumping and lead the way into the energetic Watch Me Fall, satisfyingly rounding out the night.
All in all, the night was a welcomed return for live music.