Good Morning gave us goosebumps at Melbourne Recital Centre

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Good Morning gave us goosebumps at Melbourne Recital Centre

Photo: Danysha Harriott
Photo: Danysha Harriott
Photo: Danysha Harriott
Photo: Danysha Harriott
Good Morning
Photo: Danysha Harriott
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words by dan blitzman

As I trammed to catch Good Morning I was greeted with the word 'RISING' illuminated over Flinders Street station – proof that the festival had truly taken over.

 The last time I had seen Good Morning play was at the Tote in a pre-pandemic era. 

Well, the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall at the Melbourne Recital Centre is as far removed from that setting as possible, replacing sticky carpets with an art deco lobby and Santa costumes for smart casual attire. 

Keep up with the latest music news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

The indie group Cool Sounds opened with a warm and welcoming energy – if anyone could convince me that seat-grooving was a viable option it was them, a mixture of Pavement and Babe Rainbow with some Arthur Russell in the mix.

Lead singer Dainis Lacey ended their set asking Good Morning if they’d consider “moving back to Melbourne” and it definitely felt like a homecoming of sorts, both for the boys and for a particular type of energy that the city had been missing.

“Feel like a little bit of a tourist here. Walked down Brunswick Street…been a long time,” Good Morning would later go on and say.

There was a brief intermission after Cool Sounds. Then Stefan and Liam took to the stage followed by a large ensemble of eight other musicians including a choir, Stefan’s dad on sax, violin, keys and more. They started with the automated claps of Arcade the new album’s memorable opener, taking the now packed room by storm. 

When Oppsie was played a mere two songs later I was thrown completely off guard. I didn’t expect the band to play the song, one of their first, that early in the set (or at all). It was my most played track of 2021, and while I may have been late to the game, it was a welcome addition to my life. Cue goosebumps.  

Other classics that followed included Country from their last record Barnyard and throughout the entire set they danced around their broad catalogue while consistently returning to their new album, the lush and introspective  Good Morning Seven.

Yellow lights overpowered the blue ambience and the vibe took a turn for the country as violins took centre stage and the gang sang “Winter can get pretty cold / There’s a heater next to your bed.” It was a reminder of the cold Melbourne days ahead and of the city’s own resilience in times of darkness.

Throughout the show, the band was in a relaxed yet powerful state and the chemistry between the members and the crowd was always positive. I noticed how the line “Went out to meet my maker but he stood me up again” elicited a particularly strong reaction from the choir section. You know the music holds up when even those who have rehearsed the songs countless times still react with such an honest appreciation for the material. 

When the band transitioned smoothly from humanoid dog barks to a full band shaker groove, the audience responded with awe and delight. By this point, I realised that the crowd was comprised of super fans who knew every word, with Excalibur proving to already be cementing itself as a new classic. 

The band closed with $10, a short and sweet ballad that received a bunch of standing ovations — well deserved after an hour and a half of sitting down! I left the theatre in such a relaxed and uplifted state and after speaking to a few others in the lobby I noticed that I wasn’t the only one. 

Good Morning Seven is out on all platforms. Listen on Spotify here