2020 has been a year full of uncertainty, change and revelations for everyone. There was no escaping the impact it unexpectedly made, and Cub Sport’s fourth studio album ‘LIKE NIRVANA’ perfectly soundtracked some of the more personal reflective moments for a lot of people following it’s July release. This record is a deep and open exploration of hope, darkness and spirituality in a very direct and emotional way. And while it embraced love and hope in a romantic aspect, it also explored it through the personal love that we should learn to have for ourselves, which was a very important sentiment to embrace during lockdown.
With restrictions starting to lift in Queensland, the Brisbane four-piece were finally able to takeover The Tivoli for two sold out shows and play ‘LIKE NIRVANA’ in its entirety to an actual live audience. With the all-ages crowd packing into the venue on the Saturday night, the excitement levels were high, and the emotions were already flowing through the venue with a lot of people holding these songs so closely to their hearts.
As the lights dimmed, lead singer Tim Nelson popped up at the end of the catwalk to open the show with the somber ‘Intro’ before the red curtain covering the stage rose during the opening bars of ‘Confessions’ to reveal the band and their spectacular set which included a huge LED screen and riser. Guitarist Zoe Davis joined Nelson at the end of the catwalk for the start of the song before they both made their way to the main stage to finish off the electric and freeing anthem.
Playing the album from start to finish, ‘My Dear (Can I Tell You My Greatest Fear)’, ‘I Feel Like I’m Changin’ and the ethereal ‘Drive’ followed before the band played their beautiful new single ‘Be Your Man’ which is even more lush in a live setting.
With the concept of this live show, it was so interesting seeing how they’d interpret each track and create unique transitions for them, and one song in particular that really commanded its own moment was ‘Break Me Down’. When I say this song was a moment, it was A MOMENT. Davis sung Mallrat’s part with Nelson, and then Nelson just got on the floor and delivered melodic high notes that were goose bump inducing. They then went straight into the beat driven ‘Nirvana’ and ‘Saint’ which further unravelled their perusal reflections in a different light.
‘Best Friend’ was another special moment in their show which had people tearing up left right and centre with gorgeous home video footage playing of Tim Nelson and Sam Netterfield’s romantic journey. The whole band then took to the catwalk for the beautiful closing tracks ‘Be Your Angel’ and ‘Grand Canyon’ which wrapped up the album portion of the show in a very intimate and special way.
Returning to the stage to play a few fan favourites, the singalong’s were immediately ignited with ‘Party Pill’, ‘Chasin’ and ‘Sometimes’. Thanking the crowd for being apart of the show, and making Nelson’s birthday (which happened to be the same night) even more special, they closed the show with ‘Come On Mess Me Up’. With chants igniting for a second encore, they returned to the stage again for an exclusive performance of ‘Hawaiian Party’ which they didn’t do the night before.
This intimate show was a very special affair that championed emotion, music and art so flawlessly. The production was immaculate, and was creatively envisioned by drummer Dan Pussaari. It was so exciting seeing a huge production show again after months of longing for live music like we used to see so regularly, so this show felt extra special. Also, I would like to start the petition that every Cub Sport show from now on should have a catwalk, because we STAN these indie popstars!
Check out the full gallery captured by Kirsten Roe Photography BELOW;
Photos by Kirsten Roe