LIVE REVIEW: Beer InCider Experience – RNA Showgrounds
It’s officially spring and the sun is shining, the temperatures are closer to summer territory and you no longer want to spend the weekend indoors. So what better way to spend a Friday evening and Saturday afternoon than by drinking a cold beer or cider in the sun with some kick ass live music? Well that’s the concept that Beer InCider Experience have perfected. The 2017 line up boasted 9 of the biggest local names in alternative pop-rock as well as bringing 53 independent breweries and cideries together to showcase their unique flavours. The Friday evening may have been the victim of a ridiculous storm but the Saturday afternoon delivered the goods. The festival showed their support for same sex marriage with rainbow coloured entry wristbands with a giant YES printed to remind you what you should be voting for the current postal plebiscite. It was a very impactful sentiment that all festivals and events should think about introducing with different political stances instead of advertising a sponsor or product.
Walking around the grounds the relaxed vibe was instantly noted with a range vendors showcasing their different brews. There was no giant bar with your staple favourites instead there were individual pop ups with a bit more of an interactive experience. The crowd were slowly coming through the gates as ex Powderfinger guitarist Darren Middleton took to the stage to perform tracks from his two solo records and recent EP. I have seen Middleton perform multiple times in the past and he is an artist that is definitely more tailored towards intimate venues and events. His sound got lost over the noise of the crowd and wasn’t helped from his lack of stage presence. The early afternoon crowds are always harder to engage with but his keyboardist and violinist Kelly Lane was more captivating to watch at times and that was a bit worrying.
To break up the time between acts the festival had set up multiple interactive games around the grounds which allowed the day drinking and social vibes to be endorsed. The layout could’ve been a bit easier mapped out with the addition of some more seating areas to accommodate the large volume of people who turned up later in the afternoon. But the main stage quickly started filling up for the arrival of Brisbane favourites Cub Sport who had only just released their second studio album “Bats” the day before. Introduced on stage with a touching dedication to the say yes equality campaign lead vocalist Tim Nelson and keyboardist Sam Netterfield received a massive cheering of support as the MC congratulated them on their recent engagement. They kicked straight into some tracks from their debut album including “Stay”, “I Can’t Save You”, “Only Friend” and “Vice”. But the massive celebratory vibes came in the form of their brand new record. New single “Chasin” lead the new material with “Good Guys Go”, “Bats” and “Hawaiian Party” instantly becoming set favourites with their interesting production and fun on stage vibes. “O Lord” has quickly become an equality anthem with the massive chorus sounding even more beautiful with the big crowd singing it in unison. Their Triple J Like A Version performance of Kanye West’s “Ultralight Beam” was met to ridiculous excitement and then the band closed their set with the emotional “Come Mess Me Up” and groovy “Temporarily”. Cub Sport have majorly grown as a band and their new live show is a perfect example of that. Their songs tell this important storyline of coming to terms with sexuality, coming out, falling in love, having your heart broken and all the in betweens. And their live show is even more important. When they perform they radiate this warmth and positivity that you can’t help but be captivated by for the full hour. Also let me just note that I could not fault Nelson’s vocals once throughout thE whole set because those high notes were on point.
The crowd continued to grow before Ball Park Music took to the stage which saw the vibe quickly turning from a relaxed afternoon into a summer festival but no one was complaining. After taking a six month break from performing the Brisbane indie-pop/rock 5 piece bursted onto the stage for an hour set of fan favourites, singles and pure nostalgia. It was a massive celebration of their impressive career and the crowd were eating up every second while singing back every lyric to the band. Early highlights included the insanely catchy “Everything Is Shit Except My Friendship With You” and “Sad Rude Future Dude”. Stripping it down for “It’s Nice To Be Alive” lead singer Sam Cromack showcased his distinctive vocals in a more raw setting which was also complimented with a performance of “Coming Down”. Their crowd interaction throughout the set was very playful and genuine and saw Cromack exclaiming halfway through “you are filling my soul with joy”. He then went on to dedicate “Struggle Street” to everyone in attendance who would wake up the next morning regretting how much they drank which was met with a massive cheer. Closing the set with “She Only Loves Me When I’m There” and brand new single “Exactly How You Are” they gave the Brisbane crowd the perfect amount of euphoric alternative pop/rock that they needed for their Saturday evening.
Beer InCider Experience is an event that continues to get bigger every year and with a massive turn out over the weekend the 2018 line up will only be bigger and better.