Sunday the 8th of January my favourite hard rocking Aussie band brought their Freeway Tour to Adelaide and they were certainly worth the wait! I finally got to get hot, sweaty and rocked hard by the boys from Juke Kartel. Along with the rest of the enthusiastic and vocal crowd who came along to the Enigma Bar, we sat patiently through three support acts just waiting for the main event to take the stage and rock our socks off – and they did.
The support acts were all new to me but I’m hoping to bring some of them to you in the upcoming weeks. Ten Thousand are a Melbourne band who played on multiple shows through the Freeway Tour and the other two support acts were Adelaide bands Amberfade and Trash City.
I found myself outside between support acts and who should I come across but Dale Winters and Jay Pinfold, both lovely guys happy to say Hi and have a chat. The next time we almost walked straight into the newly engaged Tommy Kende and I was able to congratulate him in person and have a short chat. I am sharing this not just because I was excited but more so because it is a good demonstration of how down to earth and approachable this talented group of guys is.
Over the years I have been to quite a few concerts and have loved all of them. I have been to outdoor stadiums, entertainment centres, mid-sized seated and standing venues as well as smaller venues. I have seen the stages as tall (or taller) than I am with the musicians way above the audience as well as fenced off by security tape or gates. I have seen KISS, Nickelback, Sebastian Bach and a host of others and still the two shows I have seen Juke Kartel play at Enigma Bar have been by far the most memorable. The venue is smaller and the stage is raised about 6 inches which means you can literally get close enough for Toby to lean over and hug you from the stage, as discovered by one lucky lady in the front row. Then there were the three guys in front of me, standing with one foot up on the edge of the stage. This kind of set up adds a feeling of intimacy to the show, which I feel is shared by Juke Kartel.
Very early in the set front man Toby Rand told us he wasn’t well and we had to forgive him for any notes he couldn’t quite make, and then pretend he hadn’t missed them. I can honestly say that I can’t remember any note he didn’t make. He played through the pain so well that his singing certainly wouldn’t have given away that his throat was giving him such grief if he hadn’t told us, though he did massage it a few times.
The set list was a perfect mix of new material that we had never heard before and old favourites that really got the crowd pumping. I am a big fan of all of their music and I can’t sit back today and think ‘oh they should have played…’.
Opening the set was Bullet Wearing Trademark Clothes to set the mood and get the energy pumping, which it certainly did.
We were also blessed to hear The Catchiest Song In The World sung by none other than bass player Tommy with Toby on backup vocals. This is a song I had come across online previously but to see them play it live was hilarious. The guys have such a great time together and the show is all about having fun which makes it so much more enjoyable for everyone. They totally engage the audience and there was a time in the middle of the set that they stopped playing music to have a laugh, have a joke and pay each other out; and it was great. Toby said something about it feeling like they were just hanging out with a bunch of mates and he hoped we didn’t mind (not a direct quote but that’s the gist of it). I for one certainly didn’t mind, and it made me feel like each and every one of us was important to the guys.
The new tracks were great, we got to hear Change Your Mind which is a Dale Winters track and a different sound. The other new tracks were Freeway, Lover, Under Arrest and Breaking Away. All the new tracks are different but it’s a great new direction for Juke Kartel and I loved all of the new songs, I just wish I could have them for my iPod already.
Oldies that got the crowd pumping and belting out the lyrics right alongside the band were My Baby, Anybody Out There, December, Soulshaper and Save Me.
The introduction to If Only almost had me in tears and has certainly added a new meaning to the track. It is a song that is open to so many interpretations depending on your own experiences and will always be one of my favourites.
Throw It Away is the first original song I ever heard from Toby Rand, way back in the Rockstar Supernova days, and it’s a song that I never grow tired of. It’s definitely a song you will never tire of hearing live because they never play it the same way twice! This time it was spliced with LA Woman, which also became Adelaide Woman and then a tie in to the previous song. My only complaint about that is it is extremely difficult to belt out lyrics alongside the band when you are laughing uproariously.
So there I am, rocking out and having an absolute blast, when I spot a set list taped to something on the stage over by Dale and this little light bulb flashes into life above my head. This band share so much of themselves with us, and I can’t imagine anyone NOT having a great night, that perhaps there’s something I can give back. If I share that experience with as many readers as I can, hopefully that will encourage everyone who has the opportunity to see them live to go along – they won’t be sorry they did. We took along a guy who hadn’t seen them live before and on the way back to the car he said he liked their music, the CDs sounded good BUT LIVE they are AWESOME!
After the show I got another chance to chat with Tommy, he came over to say Hi and it is heartwarming to think that these lovely talented guys make the effort to come and talk to their audience after a show. To top off my night I headed over to say Hi to Toby, a big hug and a short chat later security were ushering everyone downstairs. We said goodbye and headed home after an awesome and entertaining evening that I wish I could do all over again – very soon!
Thanks Juke Kartel for a fabulous night! And thanks Addy for the tireless work you put in, and for allowing me to talk through this idea with you.