By Jennifer Quinlin

Artist: Shihad

Date / Venue: Saturday July 16th, 2016 - The Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne

Kiwi rock stalwarts blew the roof off a packed Croxton in Melbourne on Saturday night, delivering a blistering set of songs to an extremely energetic and enthusiastic crowd in their adopted hometown.  Celebrating 20 years since the release of the self-titled Shihad album, affectionately referred to as the Fish album owing to the cover art, the band’s final date on their current Australian tour went down a storm as Shihad took the audience on a journey across the past 23 years of their iconic and stellar career.

Ripping into the set with a thumping version of ‘Home Again’ it was immediately evident that Shihad remain a band not to be underestimated, and certainly the folk around me at the front were there to give their all in return.  Jon Toogood called for crowd participation from the outset and it was given, with vigour and intensity, to the very last moment of the gig.  Whilst some were somewhat over-exuberant with their shoving and carrying-on it was a good spirited crowd and, at least at the front, fully engaged with the guys on stage.

Covering some 28 years of discography can’t be easy but the set list was a great blend of old and new, with tracks from Churn, Killjoy, The General Electric, the aforementioned Fish album, and the latest release, FVEY.  We even had ‘Interconnector’ from Blue Light Disco in the mix.  ‘My Mind’s Sedate’ was probably the most intense time in the crowd, with it being a fight just to stay upright, and the energy seemed to filter back to the band – not that they are ever lacking in that department.

For me it was outstanding to tick watching Karl Kippenberger’s bass playing up close off the bucket list.  There’s something magical about seeing your favourite musicians play, especially if you’re close enough to really appreciate their technique and talent, and this was no exception.  It’s particularly special when they’re part of such a tight and cohesive group of musicians.  Shihad are a shining example of the art of performance, with none of the jaded indifference that can come with longevity.  Every time I see them it feels as energetic and passionate as it did years ago, and long may they continue.

Set list:

Home Again
Ghost from the Past
Yr’ Head Is a Rock
La La Land
Wait and See
The General Electric
My Mind's Sedate
Think You’re So Free
The Living Dead
Cheap As

You Again

Photo by Jess Catania

Photo by Jess Catania