words & photos: Daniel Hanssen @danthegigman
“..While these moments can have a tendency to be lonely, it felt like a beautiful moment for City Calm Down..”
Goodbyes are always hard to manage with a level of dignity, but if anyone in Saturday’s Thronbury crowd could be taught anything by a mainstay of Melbourne’s rock scene, it was just that; how to end something with a little dignity and joy.
City Calm Down have been a long running part of Melbourne’s music scene, and while not always been at the forefront of people’s lips until more recently their long time cult following knew their lyrics word for word during Saturdays nights performance.
MurMurMur and Jess Locke opened the evening with some thrilling early guitar solos with from MurMurMur and inspired, relatable writing from Jess. Both artists felt to encapsulate something which City Calm Down has resonated with over the course of their career, MurMurMur an energetic and momentous set while Jess Locke managed to hold an impressive sense of writing and lyricism.
Jess Locke acted as the lull before the storm, as her more low-key timbre mellowed the room. Taking tracks from Universe alongside more recent releases “My Body Is An Ecosystem” and “Nothing At All” meant Jess had an endearing, well filled set-list. Yet, it was the big singles that made it onto Universe that held the attention of the crowd, as Jess’ tracks “Drive To Drink”, ‘Better-Bitter” and the title track “Universe” brought the crowd closer to the stage.
The Croxton was a fitting venue for City Calm Down’s goodbye performance, a staple of Melbourne’s music scene saying farewell to another staple of twelve years service to Australian music. While lead vocalist Jack Bourke tended to play down the inevitable, looking as the show as a thank-you rather than a good-bye he was quick to acknowledge the band’s longtime supporters and those who showed up to see the band bow out.
The band gunned out on the stage with little held back for their final performance, throwing their way into “Rabbit Run” and “In A Restless House” from the get go. Of course, the tour was to celebrate the new album Television and as such it held a strong place within the performance but of course, City Calm Down went into this performance ready to relive all of the good times through their fan favourites, meaning albums such as 2018s Echoes In Blue and In A Restless House still featured.
A sad realisation throughout the set was the notion that a song full of emotion and passion such as “Joan, I’m Disappearing” would never be heard live again. While these moments can have a tendency to be lonely, it felt like a beautiful moment for City Calm Down to be able to share these numbers with the Croxton full house, something that will stay with their fans for years to come.
“Stuck (On The Eastern)” and “Your Fix” led into the closing song and a track that has quickly become synonymous with the band over the last year, “In This Modern Land”. It was a touching moment to hear the band play the track a final time and while they had been on stage for a large portion of the evening, it felt like they left a touch left in the tank especially to see that one out.