Live Review : The Wombats Bring a Healthy Dose of Musical Serotonin to Brisbane


THE WOMBATS | THE VANNS | ALFIE TEMPLEMAN | JAGUAR JONZE

RIVERSTAGE, BRISBANE

FRIDAY, JUNE 17TH 2022


Who could ever imagine grown adults in marsupial costumes bring so much joy, yet here we are at the Riverstage watching just that. After three years, The Wombats returned to Brisbane, boasting a huge 22 song setlist, with cult classics like ‘Let's Dance to Joy Division’, ‘Kill the Director’, and ‘Tokyo (Vampires and Wolves)’, pleasing both the underagers and "adults" alike.


Brisbane local Jaguar Jonze opens proceedings tonight and rightfully set the scene for the night to come with cutting lyrics and a sultry voice that never fails to woo a crowd. Off the back of their legendary Eurovision Australia performance, Jonze performed grungy hits like ‘Who Died and Made You King’, ‘Kill Me With Your Love’ and a cover of Nirvana's ‘Heart Shaped Box.’


Alfie Templeman is next, playing his first ever show in Brisbane. His set pulls songs from his debut mini-album Forever Isn’t Long Enough (including, ‘Wait I Lied’ and ‘Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody’), as well as new release album Mellow Moon, with hits like ‘Happiness in Liquid Form’ and ‘A Western’.


The VANNS rounded out the opening acts for the show, and it was hard to believe that this was not their very own headline tour. They had the crowd in a trance-like state playing their cover of Bon Iver’s ‘Hey Ma’, everyone singing in unison to frontman Jimmy Vann. Their set included hits like ‘Fake Friends’, ‘Mother’, ‘Feels Good Now’, and ‘Chelsea’, and were the perfect set up for the incoming life-altering experience that was The Wombats.

Opening with the high energy ‘Flip Me Upside Down’, it quickly set a precedent that this show was going to be anything but ordinary. From light displays that artistically articulated the feelings of each song, to sweet intermission commentary, The Wombats' stage presence was a sight in itself. The crowd erupted in deafening cheers when the infamous wombat costume first emerged during ‘I Am Ready For The High’, the unusual character playing a faux trumpet to the tune, although some in the crowd would have preferred if there was a real wombat playing the instrument.


From singing the word "lemon" over 70 times in ‘Pink Lemonade’ and ‘Lemon To A Knife Fight’ to an emotional, acoustic rendition of 'Lethal Combination' to a sea of iPhone lights and reminiscing about the good old days to ‘Techno Fan’, The Wombats can do no wrong.


The Wombats proclaim that 'People Don’t Change People, Time Does', however after seeing their hit ‘Jump Into the Fog’ from their album This Modern Glitch performed live, it can be said that life is forever changed for the better.


Their 2015 hit 'Greek Tragedy' copped its first live Brisbane performance since it was crowned #86 in triple j’s Hottest 100 of the decade and the crowd couldn’t have been more thrilled. To top it off, the un-final finale song was closed out with an awe inspiring wall of fire.



Fans were left wondering whether the encore would go ahead with the band taking a good three to four to return to stage after exiting. This came after lead Singer Matthew ‘Murph” Murphy announced that everyone “clearly knew” their last song was faux, and that they would definitely be back for more.

They returned and hit hard with a jam packed encore of ‘Method to the Madness’, ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’ where our costumed wombats returned to stage in full force, and finished with ‘Turn’, an absolute belter from their previous album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life.


Murph proclaimed with a “you know what, fuck it”, that this gig was the best of their tour, and that they couldn’t be happier for Brisbane to be the closing show of their Australian leg of the Fix Yourself Not the World Tour. By the show's end, fans were covered in pastel pink streamers and on a dizzy high, left to consider just how they are supposed to go on with life now.