“I love an Aussie crowd!” growled Nothing but Thieves front man Conor Mason, as the Britain-bred five-piece took to the stage–one of the many coveted acts to feature at this year’s Perth Festival. The band were passionately welcomed last Saturday night and delivered a stellar set.
Poor buggers travelled far and wide to get to our fine shores, but thank God they did (jet lag, who?). The atmosphere inside the venue was electric and this was only amplified by their energy, which was palpable from the second they each sprung to the stage until the moment they delivered their final bows.
They opened with mega-hit, I Was Just A Kid, the first of many songs performed from their 2017 smash-record, Broken Machine. I have three words for you: Conor. F**kin. Mason. What a bloody voice! The man’s vocal ability and range is unparalleled, and he’s by far one of the best singers I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing live. His voice is exactly the same as it is on the records, if not a smidge better, merging eloquent melodies with cathartic throat-shredding screams.
The set list was a grand mix of fan favourites, thunderous hits, and a few new gems. The band included standout tracks from their 2015 self-named debut album like Trip Switch, Wake Up Call and If I Get High.
Mason’s haunting performance of Particles, a song he wrote about his struggles with mental health and insomnia, was a highlight and a number that had mobile phones flying into the air to capture the moment (and irritate short people in the mosh—like me—in the process).
Broken Machine supplies the rock ‘n’ roll in buckets, so you can be sure that when they surged into Live Like Animals—a punchy tune with a rock-meets-dance-party guitar part—I lost my shit and was whipping fellow moshers in the eyes with my hair due to vigorous headbanging. This was followed by Forever and Ever More—a new one from their most recent EP—that features a strutting, sexy riff with Queens of the Stone Age vibes and a stadium-worthy chorus.
Halfway through I thought to myself: Christ, these boys have some bangers. Sorry, I’m Not Made by Design, Broken Machine, Number 13 and Take This Lonely Heart—a new track which was met with surprising enthusiasm. The band’s gusto and intensity didn’t dwindle even as we neared towards the end of the evening.
When they thanked the audience for coming out, took a bow and retreated backstage, they were met with booming applause and moshers stomping their feet, imploring them to come back for an encore. Finally, they returned with You Know Me Too Well—an atmospheric, spicy hit.
For their final song, Mason invited us to sing along with him as they burst into Amsterdam—and by God, if I didn’t sing my little heart out. The crowd went bananas. It’s an irrefutable favourite among the crowd and it isn’t hard to understand why—it’s a powerful song led by a powerhouse vocalist, and a talented group of musicians. Nothing but Thieves are a force, so next time they’re in town, do yourself a favour and buy a ticket.
The Perth Festival is running until the March 3; for more information, click here.