Last weekend I had the pleasure of seeing one of my favourite bands two nights in a row. They were playing a 15 year anniversary tour, allowing attending fans to submit votes for the setlist. Thankfully this resulted in a diverse list, with only eight of 19 songs repeated on the second night.
Only a week or so out from the gigs the band announced that this was essentially a farewell tour, now going on an indefinite hiatus. I know that there will be some solo work to look forward to, but it seems like Ben and Ian will be the only ones heading down that path. I first saw them at East Coast Blues & Roots in Byron Bay way back in 2005, knew no songs apart from Get Myself Arrested, but was sold enough on their live show to go out and buy all of their albums - four at that stage. The three albums since haven’t come to replicating the first four, but they did showcase a more “grown-up” sound, so it wasn’t all bad. When listing my favourite bands, they sit only behind Pearl Jam and Radiohead.
Including these two most recent shows, I have now seen Gomez 11 times in the past seven and a half years - two more times than any other band.
Sunday night’s show was one of the best sets I’ve seen them play (at least in the top three). I was in the front row and close enough to touch Ian Ball, much to the pleasure of one my best friends and fellow Gomez fanatic GirlMostLikely, who had flown down from Brisbane to see them after enjoying their set up there so much.
The setlist was great, very upbeat, topped off by the inclusion of Machismo (one of my favourites!!!) - the first time I’d seen them play it live. My friend and I both managed to get our hands on a setlist and one of Ian’s picks too, so that was a good win.
The second night had a completely different vibe. I was solo and didn’t want to put up with the support band again so I arrived late and hung back (probably the furthest I’ve been from the stage since that first show). The setlist was slower than the night before and it never felt like the show really got kicking. Shot Shot, Ruff Stuff and Devil Will Ride were good, but too far apart to generate any sustainable energy.
Night 1 - 10/10 (Setlist)
Night 2 - 8/10 (Setlist)