LIVE REVIEW: Jet at Zoo Twilights
Zoo Twilights at Melbourne Zoo January 26 to March 10
Media passes provided by Event Organisers
Words by Harrison Boucher & Edited by Elsie Bath
This was my first experience at a Zoo Twilights show in the grounds of Melbourne Zoo, and honestly, it was very different to any other live music night. There was no need to worry about waiting for the mate-that’s-always-late, because you got to check out the animals before the music even kicked off. There was also a decent range of food trucks, smelling good enough the animals must have been sweating bullets, hoping they wouldn’t run out of gyros.
Allow me to set the scene for you, the green in front of the stage was a sea of families on picnic blankets; prams were left right and centre; children running everywhere; every second parent was armed with a bottle of wine in one hand and a plastic cup in the other. First up for the afternoon was a band that goes by Spazzys. In all honesty, the sound quality really hurt this set. Even at a distance from the stage the sound was at times deafening, sadly detracting from the performance. I’d really like another opportunity to see this group play. There was definitely talent there but unfortunately this was not their night.
Things only got better from there.
With technology today it’s ridiculously easy to know when the sun is going to set, and yet it was still so damn cool when JET kicked off at exactly twilight. Not wasting any time on introductions, the fellas ended the picnic mood and quickly pulled everyone onto their feet with their track ‘Get What You Need’. Instantly the former sea of blankets was now a swarm of people. The electricity in the air was palpable, evident in the way the crowd was singing their guts out to only the second song for the night: ‘That Girl’s A Genius’.
‘With technology today it’s ridiculously easy to know when the sun is going to set, and yet it was still so damn cool when JET kicked off at exactly twilight’
At this point, and not for the last time that night, I was slammed by a tidal wave of nostalgia. Here I was at Melbourne Zoo, a place I hadn’t visited since primary school, belting out JET songs. The combination was a 90’s babies dream. I did not realise how many killer tracks these guys had, and yet from some dark recess of my mind I knew them all. It’s just a testament to how prolific JET were during the early 00’s.
Crowd participation for this show was undoubtedly the highest I’ve ever experienced. Be it rhythmic slow clapping, a little girl on her dad’s shoulders sticking up double devil horns, or constant chanting from the crowd ‘Two more albums!’ (an ambitious twist on the classic ‘one more song!’), the show had it all. The crowd was enchanted, and rightfully so, as the band sounded exactly as they did in the early days. They must have spent the last six years in a cryo chamber, frozen, because onstage they were both cool as hell and ageless.
‘They must have spent the last six years in a cryo chamber, frozen, because onstage they were both cool as hell and ageless’
To the crowd’s adoration, brothers Nic and Chris Cester took turns at signing, with Chris Cester flawlessly playing the drums while doing so. Though there was a small hiccup with microphone cables, leading Nic Cester to accidentally ‘knock over everyone’s beer’ but his own, it only added to their charm.
Playing a ridiculously long set that didn’t last a minute too long, JET ticked off all their classics. Whether it be hard hitting numbers like ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl?’, ‘Cold Hard Bitch’ or ‘Rip It Up’, to more moving numbers ‘Bring It On Back’ and a mostly one man acoustic ‘Shine On’, JET had it all. The band have such an individual live sound that is raw but tidy, despondent but jubilant. Everything about them oozes a classic vibe. The year is 2018, and JET’s back baby.