Mistletone Fright Night, Friday January 13, The Corner

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Mistletone Fright Night, Friday January 13, The Corner


For a dude that’s done nothing but incredibly cool shit over the past year, Sydney’s Jonti still possesses one hell of a dorky disposition. Performing from the Swan St side of the bandroom (what’s usually The Corner’s DJ booth was transformed into a full-on second stage for the evening), Jonti crafted a fine set of dance jams with his vintage synth-led setup. Signing off, he played the intro to that Skrillex song. But instead of dropping da bass, he dropped a rickroll, which left some (myself included) with a case of dubstep blueballs.

Rat Vs Possum played a song that sounded a lot like Gang Gang Dance’s MindKilla. Inviting that comparison works for the Melbourne outfit, as they ruled The Corner in a way the Brooklyn collective could not when they performed late in 2011. Lead singer Daphne Shum’s enthusiasm was infectious, culminating in a heaps decent crowdsurf.

There was an eerie calm right before the haunting synth tones of Quantum Leap penetrated every orifice of The Corner. It wasn’t a backing track, it was the actual album cut relayed through a sampler. John Maus didn’t attempt anything that resembled singing, choosing to project cathartic shouts, all the while perpetually chest-clenching, face-punching, fist raising in acts of auto-flagellation.  This is pop music at its most Cronenbergian, proving to be the only instance (apart from a few dickheads in skeleton facepaint) that the Fright Night motif was upheld. Pseduo-anthem Rights For Gays became so shrouded in shrieks that its pragmatic message was inaudible within the darkness. John Maus is not so much a pop singer, but a monster with a shit haircut and shit shoes. One of the most remarkable and affecting sets I’ve ever witnessed, and I won’t be forgetting it any time soon.

Harking orders from behind the veiled main stage in a very Wizard Of Oz-like manner, Dan Deacon virtually hypnotised the crowd under his lull – those who disobeyed were blown kisses by those who did. Then it was on. The trippy green skull was in effect, people danced, danced, danced their arses off. Paddling Ghost was a triumph.

Man, what a feel-good night.


LOVED: The all-star lineup.
HATED: Being barely fit enough to survive a Dan Deacon set.
DRANK: Tequila shots for no reason. Dumb.