Prove your humanity

As I enter the chip-smelling heaven that is the Rosemount, I spot a line of about 1 million people (slight exaggeration) and die a little on the inside.

I scurry over to the bar to find a beer, because how else will I cope with the fact my beloved +1 has not yet arrived, other than fill my face with a glorious beverage.

Originally set to play at Amplifier Capitol, the band moved the show due to revelations earlier in the year, that Capitol’s management staff were trying to enforce t-shirt restrictions on female staff—ah the smell of sweet justice.

I watch the line move from afar, pitying those who were here before 7.30, and wondering where the hell all these damned people are coming from—seriously, the line does not end.

The crowd is a mix of alternative funk-sters with rectangular glasses and band tees, and (more than) a few golden oldies with exceptional music taste—obviously.

Packed like a bunch of sweaty sardines, we eagerly await the dynamic John & John duo.

The lights dim and sweet synthy sounds begin to blast from the speakers. The music comes to a halt as we’re welcomed—the crowd goes nuts.

TMBG’s John Flansburgh thanks us for coming out in the heat (it’s like 40 degrees) before opening with ‘The Communists Have the Music’.

“Look at all the tall people standing in front of not-tall people,” he says.

If you’re a short person at a gig, you either suffocate at the front or you’re forced to bear the view of a thousand sweaty heads. It’s a hard knock life.

As they bust out the next tune, for a minute I swear I could be listening to LCD Soundsystem, only it didn’t really make me feel like dancing.

John F starts muffling into the microphone. The song stops as he sings “93 miles away, it’s so hot in here”. Everyone laughs—it’s like there’s a giant inside joke that we’re not in on.

While the quality of sound was decent, the jam-packed room made for an incredibly sweaty and non-visual experience. Having tried (and failed) to move a little closer, I retreated to a corner near the bar and settled for a miniscule view between two ever-moving bodies.

Over the course of the TMBG’s two sets—the equivalent of three hours—they appeared to hold the complete attention of the crowd. Whether they were dancing, laughing, or singing along, the audience seemed to be completely mesmerised.

While I think the show would have benefited from a venue with more capacity, I have no doubt that the band provided a memorable night for their Perth fans.