Entertain Us (27-2-2018): I left a gig early for the first time ever

LAST Friday, I left a gig early for the first time in my life.

If a psychic told me Friday morning I was going to leave a gig I paid just $40 to see four quality bands for, I’d have laughed in their face.

However, sometimes atmosphere really can ruin a night out.

Maybe this was self-inflicted for crashing a university event at age 23, but I’m not sure that warrants a group of intoxicated strangers trying to push a portaloo over while I was inside.

The behaviour of university students at orientation week has been a topic of discussion recently. This is not the time or place to discuss O-week issues but I will say yes, it is a problem, and there is a difference between having fun and behaving like a tool and ruining it for others.

I’m not a stranger to gigs. I went to my first concert at age 8 and my first festival at 14, so I know there’s a bit of rough and tumble, it’s all part of the experience.

But pelting full cans of drink at stranger’s heads and running around trying to knock as many people to the ground as possible? Grow up.

I’m not here to be all doom and gloom though, because the music was fantastic.

Following Flinders University band RNWY WKND being given the chance to perform for the packed plaza, self-described “peanut brittle pop with text message lyrics” Adelaide trio Heaps Good Friends took the stage.

As inflatable flamingos and pineapples were thrown around the crowd accompanied by Heaps Good Friends’ cutesy sound, the evening started out mellow.

They were followed by 22-year-old pop powerhouse Montaigne, who I’m amazed didn’t prompt paramedic students to the stage with her crazy dance moves, as she collapsed to the ground twitching.

The difference between Montaigne and the average woman on a night out though is her voice, which captivated the audience from start to finish as she belted out hits Because I Love You and I’m a Fantastic Wreck.

My highlight was Fremantle indie pop rockers San Cisco, especially since I left before headline act Dune Rats took the stage.

It was one of the first outings for new bass player Jennifer Aslet, replacing Nick Gardner, accompanying Jordi Davieson (guitar, vocals, keys and hat-wearer), Josh Biondillo (guitar, vocals, keys) and Scarlett Stevens (drums).

People can become very attached to their favourite band’s original line-ups, but Aslet did not disappoint with her groovy bass lines and equally groovy bouncy curls and floral shirt.

It was unfortunate it was at about the time San Cisco played 2015 hit Too Much Time Together crowd behaviour went from mellow to feral (despite their laid-back sound).

I tried to ignore this as they ripped into 2017 track Hey, Did I Do You Wrong? and fan favourite Run.

San Cisco is so terrific because it sounds like a little bit of a lot of popular groups (Jungle Giants, Methyl Ethyl and Sticky Fingers to name a few), yet the lyrics and beats are still so original.

After San Cisco closed the set with Run though, that was exactly what I did. Ran.

I’m a little disappointed I missed Dune Rats’ surf punk sound.

However, given they are known for lyrics including “my brother bought us a six-pack” and “everything you say, is bulls***,” their immature sound and approach no doubt would have been infectious to the already riled-up crowd.

It’s probably best I gave that one a miss, but it is sad when bad crowd behaviour ruins a great night of music for others.

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