‘Give it up for us’: Tigers Jaw at the Croxton Bandroom

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‘Give it up for us’: Tigers Jaw at the Croxton Bandroom

Tigers Jaw
words by kaya martin

There's something about the songs you listen to when you're 16.

The lyrics will forever be filed away somewhere in the deep recesses of your mind and even just the opening notes will bring you back to that giddy feeling of sneaking out with your friends to drink beer in a park.

For me, that’s Tigers Jaw.

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Their breakout self-titled album (colloquially known as “the pizza album”) was one of my first vinyl purchases and I shred it to bits on my cheap record player.

Back then, Ben Walsh’s heartfelt and often self-deprecating lyrics really hit home. “I made more mistakes than you can count” – that’s what growing up’s all about, right?

Finding out they coming Australia felt like closing a gap between myself as a teenager cutting my hair in my bedroom and myself now, a decade later, with a somewhat more together life.

But nostalgia can go two ways. You’re either looking back on the past with fondness, or you feel weirdly old.

In the Croxton Bandroom on Friday, the sentimental feeling was palpable. Relics of third-wave emo could be spotted on many in the crowd – we were a beer-drinking, denim-jacketed, stick-and-poked bunch. There were some fresh faces too, young kids in hoodies and band Ts .

When they came on, they opened with a duo of singles from their latest album, 2021’s I Don’t Care How You Remember Me. Despite my fixation on their old material, their new songs packed a punch, featuring the same energy, experimental song structure and harmonized hooks that won over fans in the first place.

The crowd, who were mostly bobbing their heads along, picked up when the band got into their more well-worn tracks. Brianna Collins took the lead on Never Saw It Coming, her soft and saccharine voice fighting against the volume of the rest of the room, who were singing along to every word. She spend most of the set beaming, her face covered in flecks of glitter.

Ben took a pause to respond to a stray cheer from the audience. “Give it up for us,” he said, “sometimes you just need a slight nudge and you can give yourself some love, and I appreciate that.”

There was no pushing or crowd surfing, as there definitely would have been if we were in a basement somewhere in the 2010s. Instead, it was surprisingly wholesome. We were connected by music that meant so much to us, even 15 years later, even half a world away from its Pennsylvanian home.

They knew what we wanted. They finished with two beloved gems. After Plane vs Tank vs Submarine, they kicked straight into I Saw Water, before handing over the stage to some upcoming talent: Perth’s Sly Withers.

I had a cigarette and texted my friends from high school. My heart was full.

To keep up to date with Tigers Jaw, follow them on Spotify