SYN Reviews – Cub Sport – Corner Hotel, 4th March 2018
March 4th 2018
Corner Hotel Melbourne
Words by Matilda Elgood
Tickets provided by publicists.
In celebration of their triumphant second album BATS, Cub Sport played yet another sold-out show at Melbourne’s Corner Hotel. With supports Eves Karydas and Merk in tow, the Brisbane-based band sold out four shows at the Melbourne venue. Rabid fans had been waiting to see the album performed live since it was released in September last year, and they weren’t disappointed.
Cub Sport took to the stage as the first notes of ‘O Lord’ began. Frontman Tim Nelson’s, angelic vocals rang throughout the room. The first roarings from the crowd quickly dissipated, with the whole crowd in awe of Nelson’s flawless voice which sounded similar to a lullaby. A harmony of voices joined in, with the music kicking in soon after. The crowd shifted from their still positions, lost in Nelson’s voice, before morphing into a simultaneous bouncing movement. As “O Lord” was the first single from the new album, fans were well acquainted with every word. The ambience increased as the audience joined in on the harmony of the chorus. The Brisbane-based group swayed on stage, especially Nelson, who gently moved to the beat.
The crowd shifted from their still positions, lost in Nelson’s voice, before morphing into a simultaneous bouncing movement.
Honourable mentions must go to whoever designed the stage for Cub Sport’s tour. The stage housed the most elaborate set seen at the Corner Hotel in a hot minute. It was incredibly impressive to think of this set travelling with the band throughout the national tour, proving the commitment of the 4-piece to an incredible show. The intense beams of light contrasted perfectly against each of the soft complexions of each of the members. ‘Hawaiian Party’ was next, which was very topical as Nelson’s glowy face was beaming almost as strongly as the stage lights flashing behind him. The echoed effects on the vocals gave a slightly more soft electronic sound. It was a nice change of pace, in contrast to the poppy sound of ‘O Lord’.
The setlist drew heavily from BATS, but also paid homage to their roots with their debut album, This Is Our Vice. Arguably, one of the strongest tracks on that album was ‘I Can’t Save You’. The upbeat, retro intro played out as the audience cheered. Keyboard player Sam Netterfield played along with the biggest smile on his face. Cub Sport has to be one of the most humble bands in the Australian music scene right now. They play each show with a genuine smile on their face, and gush about every show on their socials every night. Netterfield’s vocals complement Nelson’s beautifully, a harmony I suspect has taken years to perfect. The chemistry on stage appears to replicate the chemistry off, as the couple are newly engaged.
Cub Sport has to be one of the most humble bands in the Australian music scene right now. They play each show with a genuine smile on their face, and gush about every show on their socials every night.
Finally the title track, ‘BATS’, graced the audience towards the end of the show. Time was running low as the uncertainty of which song would be their last was thick in the air. BATS has a slightly more sombre feel about it; and the setlist was taking the audience on a rollercoaster of emotions. ‘BATS’ gave audiences a moment to get lost in the sharp vocals and deep beats. ‘Chasin’, another stellar track from BATS played soon after. ‘Chasin’ began with another iconic Nelson vocal harmony, holding that last note incredibly. Nelson’s choir roots shone through on this song in particular. Master of all trades, Zoe Davis, lent a hand with backing vocals with many of the songs, including ‘Chasin’. Davis also bounced between bass and guitar throughout the show. The multi-talented musician played her instruments with both confidence and grace.
The Brisbane outfit left the stage to a roaring crowd after giving them favourite ‘Come On Mess Me Up’. The cheering encore drew the band back for one last song. The 4-piece performed their legendary Kanye cover of ‘Ultralight Beam’, a rare song to see performed live. The audience appeared grateful to witness the cover, for some, the first time live. Incredibly, the band was able to keep the energy high despite this show being the third Melbourne show of the tour, with the last following the next day. Assumingly the difference between the multiple shows would be next to none, yet fans were desperate to catch them again before they left town as many people scrambled to find more tickets. Hopefully, Cub Sport won’t go too long before they return to their starving Melbourne fans.