So you want to be a champion… Grinspoon are back!! And what’s more, playing their killer first album Guide To Better Living. Album tours are the latest thing; The Living End, Bodyjar, Pennywise, Spiderbait are doing it, but all pale in comparison to the anticipation for this tour.

The record is a beast! There are no duds, it absolutely rocks from Pressure Tested 1984 to Truk and even has a sweet little secret track for dessert. This reviewers #2 album of all time, so to say I was a little excited, was an understatement.

Saturday night in the city of churches, a sold out Entertainment Centre and the biggest solo show Grinners have ever played in Adelaide, what a cracker!! The anticipation was building as we approached the venue and inside the beers were flowing and despite the cold weather, the atmosphere was hot!

Opening the show was Brissy boys and fellow unearthed winners Good Boy and Windang (NSW) two-piece Hockey Dad. Both perhaps a little Indie pop/rock for my liking, but both got the growing crowd moving. Hockey Dad in particular, lead by their ‘99 Lleyton Hewitt look-alike Billy on drums were full of energy and drove an impressive sound given their lack of a bass.

Then it was time for the main event, Grinspoon exploded onto the stage and ripped into Pressure Tested 1984 and if there was any doubt if they still had it, that was crushed in about 5 seconds! Phil was on fire, strutting around the stage and showing off the rock moves we’ve come to love, only thing missing was a hair clip. The band looked to be really enjoying it, the chemistry was there and you could be forgiven for thinking you were back in 1997, except that the boys were probably a bit tighter. And they did not let up all night, an impressive feat given the unrelenting nature of the album.

Playing an album show doesn’t allow for many set-surprises, but when the album is as good as Guide To Better Living who cares. So many songs that haven’t been played for years, some I can’t ever remember hearing live. DCx 3, Just Ace and Champion were crowd favourites, but hearing Boundary, Post Enebriated Anxiety, Railrider and those songs that haven’t been played for a long time, was a real treat.

The set finished with Truk, before the boys retreated for a short break. Protest, was played from back stage, before the boys reappeared for an extended hits encore.
The night was finished with fan favourite More Than You Are and a finale confetti cannon that was the explanation mark on a spectacular show.

Only thing that could have made it better was Black Friday, but I guess it was a Saturday.
Not sure if this is a permanent return for Grinspoon, but one thing is for sure, they still have it in spades!! And if it’s not permanent, we’d better see them again in a couple years for the 20 year anniversary of Easy! Mic check 1 2, check it… alright! American Party Bomb anyone??

Review By Tim Nicholas