Gig Review: Jet, Manchester Academy 1, November 4, 2006

Jet at Manchester AcademyI can’t tell you how much I have been waiting for this gig. After falling in love with this band from Melbourne whilst travelling around Australia in 2004 and watching them steal the show at V2005, this gig really was a long time coming. Cementing my place front row central, however, had its downsides in the form of an emo wannabe band whose name, for the life of me I cannot remember. If you want a description, the lead singer looked like a cross between Jack Black and a young Meatloaf who decided to do an impromptu gig on his way home from a funeral. The rest of band had serious style issues too: with the guitarist dressed in a camp pink shirt they looked all over the place. Musically they were OK, but I felt they were lacking experience. I suspect they have the potential to be good.

Next up came the 747’s, who, keeping on the styling issue a little longer, had a bassist with the bravest pair of tight yellow jeans I have ever seen in my life. This is the first time I have come across this band, although I had heard of them before in a good capacity, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. They have an inoffensive mellow guitar sound, which I liked. They were very competent on stage, but when you need all your brain power to absorb every mouth-watering moment of Jet they failed to come close. I would, if you are about, recommend checking these guys out though.

Now when it comes to live gigs there are three main types: first we have the Killers who sound great on disc, and although Brandon Flowers puts on a great show, they don’t quite carry off the sound; next are the Guns and Roses of this world whose records match the brilliance of their concerts in every way possible; then we have the Jets who really surpass almost every band in the way they perform. They have that unique ability to really make their music come alive and they sound so superb that the original record sounds empty without. This is some feat considering the albums they have.

Jet at Manchester AcademyThe gig was a mixture of old and new with a huge bucket of sweat thrown in as Nic Cester with cig in mouth rocked up on stage with sirens blazing. Opening up with ‘Come On Come On’ from their new album Shine On, the front rows were alive with energy. The hits kept coming with ‘Rollover DJ’ and ‘Get What You Need’ before they retreated back to the new album with ‘Stand Up’ and ‘Kings Horses.’ Each and every song was perfect and sung with heart — and that was just the crowd. Jet’s performance was undoubtedly one of the best I have ever seen, even when they brought it down a little to play a song close to the band’s hearts — their current single ‘Bring It On Back.’ Next up was ‘Cold Hard Bitch’ when the brewing crowd behind could not contain themselves and an avalanche of crowd surfers came overhead faster than scallies on the first day of a Nike sale. On a 1 minute video clip of this song there are a total of 11. This trend continued throughout the rest of the gig.

The encore was short-lived but the crowd did them proud as the place erupted for a second time for ‘Put your Money Where Your Mouth Is’ and finally ‘Are You Going To Be My Girl’ where the night took that strange twist to where all my nights seem to go. During the last verse, another crowd surfer, perhaps the 200th of the evening, fell on top of my friend, knocking her out. Luckily we were at the front and after waiting an hour the third ambulance turned up with the equipment they needed to carry her out. It was only at the hospital that we realised that the guy who fell on top of her was in the next room with a suspected broken leg, and by my book that made for the perfect ending to a perfect night — even the concussion I suffered the following day from his big size nines in the back of my head all seemed worth it.

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