The infectiously cheeky Brazilians of CSS took care of opening duties for Grouplove’s sold out Big Day Out sideshow. As always their energy was admirable, yet their all-too-short set really failed to encapsulate the enthusiasm of the early arrivals.
Given CSS’ discography, live reputation and ability to sell out shows in their own right, their short set was almost as disappointing as the lack of involvement from the Hi-Fi crowd. Their final farewell I’ve Seen You Drunk Gurl was a highlight, matching some of their more popular numbers.
In the 30 minutes between sets, the remainder of The Hi-Fi filled up and anticipation reached boiling point before the Californian quintet bounded onstage backed by an abrasive rap-number, greeted by a thoroughly rapturous reception.
Opening with the first track off new album Spreading Rumours, I’m With You, was delivered with boundless energy, setting a tone, which was carried throughout the evening. The song and its title also signalled the band intended to make the show feel an intimate one.
Just over half the set consisted of new album tracks, with highlights including Hippy Hill, Shark Attack, Borderlines and Aliens and of course lead single Ways To Go. The new material was met with the same enthusiasm as songs off their popular debut effort, making for a thoroughly evenly balanced set.
Itchin’ On A Photograph, Tongue Tied and final song of the obligatory encore, Colours, were stand out cuts from Never Trust A Happy Song. While few bands can match the energy of Grouplove live, as is evident any time you see them play, this show saw them take it to another level. Most likely because, unlike during CSS, the crowd went absolutely berserk throughout most of the set. The crowd fed off the band’s contagious energy, which then caused the band themselves to take it up a notch, resulting in a brilliant cycle of who could outdo each other: band or crowd.
Vocalists Christian Zucconi and Hannah Hooper (dressed in skeleton morph suit) led the charge in terms of stage presence, yet as they’re most versed with the microphone, the pair were most responsible for communicating the striking sincerity and humbleness the band have become known for. They genuinely love performing for their fans and make sure to let them know they really appreciate the support. Creating a hell of a lot of love in the venue.
BY ALEXANDER CROWDEN
Loved: Crazy amount of energy.
Hated: Lack of crowd support for CSS.