Hotter Than Hell @ Gepps Cross, Adelaide 2/2/2019

Following the success of last year’s inaugural Hotter Than Hell tour, it was no great surprise when the second iteration was announced late last year. Another bill stacked full of Aus Rock Royalty, a sweltering summer’s Saturday afternoon and again at the home of Coopers… winning on all fronts!!

With no Soundwave or BDO on the calendar and the Download festival yet to venture from the East Coast, the Adelaide rock scene has been crying out for a replacement and so it’s little wonder that like last year tickets were snapped up very quickly.

The Adelaide iteration included rock favourites Spiderbait, Jebediah, Magic Dirt, Bodyjar and Glass Tides and when combined with the other bands playing across the country (including 28 Days, Area 7, Shihad and Killing Heidi) Hotter Than Hell really has become the new Homebake Festival.

This years venue, like last year, was located in the Coopers Alehouse car park and was decked out with astro-turf, bars, food trucks and a new two-storey VIP bar and viewing platform which offered those who had shelled out the extra cash not only a great vantage point, but some well welcomed shade.

Kicking off the show was local lads Glass Tides. The boys rocked pretty hard, their originals were pretty tight and well received, but when they announced they would be playing a couple covers I thought that would be a great way to engage with the older and more nostalgic crowd. Unfortunately the Savage Garden cover they chose somewhat missed the genre, Foo Fighter’s My Hero was a better choice later in their set. It was HOT in front of the stage and most of the early crowd were seeking shade, but the boys did well and had the punters paying attention.

Not surprising on a hot day and at the home of Coopers that the amber ale was flowing and there was a real festival atmosphere. An early start for a gig, but the punters were out in force and everyone was ready to get their rock on!!

Next up was my of my favourites Bodyjar, and the trip down memory lane began. I thought Bodyjar probably deserved to be a bit higher on the bill, but the sun and heat of the early afternoon didn’t stop the boys putting on a ripper. The boys hit the stage running and ripped straight into Fall to the Ground which got anyone milling at the bar or hiding in the shade heading to the stage and really set the bar for what was about to come. The energy on stage was high and the crowd responded accordingly. Bodyjar were my highlight of the day, their hit-full set was brilliant; Remote Controller, You Say, Is it a Lie and Hazy Shade of Winter all had the crowd singing along. The only hiccup was Tom blowing up his new digital amp, which had the rest of the band in hysterics. A quick swap over for a trusty Marshall and the show could go on. The set was wrapped up in emphatic style with Too Drunk to Drive, One in a Million and the lesser known, but bloody awesome Racist Friend with a pretty cool Guns n Roses Paradise City outro.

Magic Dirt were up next and the rock afternoon continued. Adalita and her crew hit the stage and picked up where Bodyjar left off. She quickly had the crowd in fine voice as they whipped through a hit studded set. Personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of Magic Dirt and whilst today didn’t convert me, clearly on the day I was in the minority as hits like Watch Out Boys, Plastic Loveless Letter and Dirty Jeans all very well received. The set was rounded out with She-Riff which again had the big crowd singing along.

The only disappointment was the two mist blowers on the corners of the stage that whilst keeping the crowd cool produced a giant mist cloud that all but hid the band from view.

The nostalgia continued with Jebediah hitting the stage next. Kevin and crew, Vanessa looking particularly rock n roll, hit the stage and it wasn’t long before the sing alongs continued. Those first two albums really were ridiculously popular and it was little surprise the reaction Jerks of Attention, Animal and Military Strongman received. A little later in the evening, the sun finally dipped behind the stage making viewing infinitely more comfortable. The best was saved for last as the set was finished with Leaving Home, everyone’s favourite singalong Harpoon (which Kev thanked Something for Kate for writing) and my favourite Teflon which Kev conceded was the stupidest song they’d ever written but the smartest riff, in any case it was a ripper finish to their set!

Headlining the day was the ever popular Spiderbait and after a full day in the heat and on the cans the crowd was primed and ready to rock n rock n rock n roll. Whilst the Spiderbait set list has not largely changed in the last ten years, Kram and company are so good at working the crowd that it doesn’t matter. Tonight was no different, Fucken Awesome, Old Man Sam and 99 Luftballoons at the front end of the set really set the tone and had the crowd frothing. I love Kram, so quick to get out from behind the skins and get around the stage, but I wasn’t expecting Janet to swap in as they fired out the 1996 Hottest 100 #1 Buy Me a Pony, such an awesome song! Calypso was next which again had the crowd sing along, followed by Footy in tribute to the AFLW season kicking off and the show was finished with crowd favourite Black Betty. I don’t particularly like Black Betty and would much rather one of their own songs get them the notoriety they deserve, but boy do they nail it live and the crowd lapped up every last bit of it.

A brilliant end to a brilliant day. I’m sure there were hangovers and ear ringing a plenty today, but totally worth it!!

Live Review By Tim Nicholas

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