Edge of the Crowd once again had the pleasure of attending Teenage Dads’ tour, this time at the Liberty Hall in Sydney on Friday, August 18, as part of their Australia & New Zealand National Tour 2023 and was treated to a show with more enough energy to power a generator.
The show was the band’s seventh stop on their 35-stop tour after it had opened its tour at Splendour In The Grass, before shows across New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.
Formed in 2015, the band had recently released new single, ‘Speedracer,’ which was a highlight of the show which shall be discussed later.
Two acts opened for Teenage Dads – the first of those was synth-heavy, indie pop star Lola Scott, who performed a set filled with the rockstar energy to fill the room, herself, with her band.
The acoustic start leading into the first unreleased song, a rock song called ‘Gave Up My Heart’, was filled with such a strong vocal range from Scott, whose vocal runs mesmerised the room.
From there, another unreleased song, ‘Only Miss U’, where all the guitars came out to give a clean and nice song which was smoothing.
The double-time on the drums came out from there for her next song, ‘B Ur Baby,’ where the band rocked out on stage and not only encouraged but facilitated the movement in the crowd.
The show continued to flow with yet another genre influence – this time, a country twang was introduced in a song fit for a rockstar, as well as the band in Ryan on the guitar, fellow artist Daphnie on the drums and Mel on the bass for ‘Last One Standing.’
A heart-shaped guitar was brought out for Scott on the next track, where she taught the crowd how and when to scream “F*CK IT, I’M FLYING” for her song, ‘Jogging Shoes’ (which was aptly named), as she pumped out a break-up anthem with energy (the last line in the song is a personal favourite).
The next song, her single called ‘Brinner,’ brought the energy from Scott, who jumped and twirled around the stage, while Daphnie brought the energy on the drums.
The penultimate song was a cover of Blur’s ‘Song 2,’ which the well-tuned would have picked up from the introduction drums; the crowd recognised and brought the energy for the ‘WOO-HOO,’ while she rocked around the stage and gave the microphone to people in the crowd to belt out that phrase.
The final song she played was her new single, ‘High School Drama,’ which was filled with elements of 80s and 90s rock, fitting to the theme of the song; she belted that song out on stage as she ended her show with a bang.
Lola Scott put on a show which was not only a fantastic curtain-raiser for Teenage Dads, but one she owned on her own accord.
Gave Up My Heart
Only Miss U
B Ur Baby
Last One Standing
Song 2 (Cover)
High School Drama
Following Lola Scott, The Moving Stills were the next to open for Teenage Dads; the Central Coast four-piece band brought their surf-rock style to the Liberty Hall with an extremely fun set.
The band grooved out to start, before transitioning into a fast-paced, high-pitched song where the long hair from all the band members flowed as they shook their heads, before the robot dance came out.
The band then performed their biggest song from their 2022 ‘Sunshine Corner’ album, ‘Waste My Time,’ where beautiful harmonies set the tones.
Following that was a brand-new song filled with beautiful high notes and a wavey guitar which the crowd swayed to.
The next song was the loudest of the bunch – a “new song,” which was actually a cover of Tears For Fears’ ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World,’ which was true to the original version, with a nice hint of their own flavour added.
Speaking of flavour, the band offered free biscuits (which they were eating on stage) to anyone who wanted to buy a t-shirt following their set.
Their harmonies continued throughout their set, along with some great dancing, an American accent which was pulled off well and a harmonica solo, which brought a large cheer from the crowd.
The latter end of their set saw them play their song, ‘Wabi Sabi,’ which was a love song with reggae influences intertwined; the pink lights set the tone in the song in what was a moment of downtime from the good chaos of their set.
The band loved to play around with the ideas of what a live show looks like; they put tambourines on their heads, got the crowd to get down low and jump up for the final chorus on their next song.
Their penultimate song was their first single, ‘Nineteen,’ which had a good flow, a catchy chorus and a crowd which jumped along to the themes of a loathed birthday party.
The final song of their set was clever; they played ‘Volcano,’ where they played on their name given they were moving, then stood still, where thee song picked up in tempo; the vocals were a highlight, the crowd got involved and a guitar solo was not the finish.
The finish came when each band member pulled their pants down to end their set; it was an ending which was fitting for their high energy and memorable moments.
The Moving Stills produced an opening act full of Aussie whimsy and fun, which you could not help but smile at; they brought so much energy to the stage and set the tone for Teenage Dads perfectly.
The interlude which preluded Teenage Dads included lute versions of songs such as Love Story by Taylor Swift, Industry Baby by Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow, Bad Romance by Lady Gaga and Watermelon Sugar by Harry Styles among others; it was the most unique of pre-show playlists.
Then, the lights went out and a series of clips started playing on the screen on stage – scenes talking about rock from The Blues Brothers, Back to the Future, School of Rock, Wayne’s World, Grease and Alvin and the Chipmunks, among others.
The band them walked out into the ‘Libbo Hall’ (as they wrote on their setlist) to finger guns as they started playing ‘Come on, Cowboy. Fire your Gun!’ to a crowd already bursting with energy.
The crowd raised their finger guns and shot when the band sung “BANG, BANG, BANG;” it was an incredibly fun way to start a show.
After a high-octane start, the boys transitioned into their biggest hit from their 2019 album, ‘Club Echo,’ which was their single ‘Cheerleader;’ the band’s rockstar energy shone through on this track as the crowd jumped up and down to the beat.
The song was a particular highlight as it accentuated each member of the band’s strengths throughout, from Jordan Finlay on the vocals and keyboard, to Vincent Kenna on the drums, Connor McLaughlin on the lead guitar and Angus Christie on the bass guitar.
The Club Echo theme followed as ‘Thank You for the Honey, Honey’ played next, where the crowd made sure to be very vocal to shout “HONEY, HONEY.”
The guitars in the second verse were the highlight of this song as yellow lights (fitting for honey) shone across the stage to a band very aware of the size of their stage presence.
The energy kicked up another notch as the crowd grew louder and got more involved; a musical break before the final chorus showed their rockstar credentials.
Again, another song from Club Echo followed through another smooth transition; this time it was ‘Piano Girl,’ which had very satisfying guitar runs.
Finlay sung, very aware, the lyric 'my voice is in this CROWD,’ as he shouted and brought a cheer from the audience.
The smooth transitions continued for Teenage Dads as they rounded off their run of Club Echo songs with ‘Elevator;’ up the stairs, the crowd on the balcony overlooking the stage started jumping up and down to the upbeat song.
The keyboard shone through in this song throughout each of the verses, while the wordplay of singing ’I forgot the words to my song’ brought a smile and a little laugh from Finlay.
Yet another smooth transition, seamless from one era to another, this time, saw the band play the first song from their ‘Midnight Driving’ EP, which was released in March 2023, ‘Exit Sign’.
The crowd threw their arms up and clapped along during the chorus; the performance felt quite ethereal as each of the components of the song, combined with the smooth lighting effects, created a feeling of floating.
The themes of the song talking about a film, where the ending is not what you expect, before the lights shut out and you see the exit sign at the theatre; the whole song highlighted the strong evolution of the band’s songwriting.
A short break followed where the band talked about the various signs around the venue (which was appropriate given they just played ‘Exit Sign’).
Finlay pointed out the fact that the toilet sign was lit up in red LED, saying that it made the toilets sound dangerous; after the laughter had cleared, they prepared for their next song.
It was a song they dedicated to the Matildas and their record-breaking World Cup run; the song they played was an old song from their 2019 ‘Red’ EP - ‘Message in the Sand.’
The band rocked out and the message in the song rung true to their tribute to the Tillies - “don’t ever let the good ol’ days wash away,” a reminder to remember all the joy life can bring and, in this case, the Matildas’ Womens’ World Cup run.
Following that, the band played a brand-new, unreleased track titled “I Like It,” which was scheduled for release about two weeks from the show.
Kenna’s drum-work was next-level, while he also brought out a shaker to add some more background to the song, which made it feel very full.
The long notes in the song from Finley were sung well as the anticipated release of the song was drawn greater through its performance – it will be a song fans and music-lovers alike will enjoy.
‘3am’ from the Midnight Driving EP was next; a love song where the tone was set when Finlay said for each person in the crowd to grab a loved one, close their eyes and sway along.
The purple lights, being a royal colour, added a sense of class to the performance of the song; a beautiful song with cute lyrics changed the tone of the show in such an effective way - ‘You’re the reason that I wanna stay awake ‘til 3am.’
The band then took a step back in time as they played a song from their debut 2017 EP, ‘Wett Weather,’ with their song, ‘Steven’s Game.’
Before starting, Finlay joked that the crowd “only know us because of Spacey Jane,” given they played as a support act on Spacey Jane’s tour in August 2022.
The crowd clapped along to the song as Teenage Dads showed their discography has aged well; the live version of the old song bringing a completely different vibe to it in a positive way.
The band then went from an extremely old song to a very new one, so new in fact it is unreleased – a song called ‘What It Feels Like.’
The song brought with it an up-tempo beat to dance to, where the guitar from McLaughlin and Christie was fresh and powerful.
The guitar was melodic, as was Finlay’s voice, where the two complimented each other in a way that was so pleasing to hear live.
Returning to Club Echo, the band played ‘I Believe It,’ a personal favourite of the crowd who sung along very loud from the beginning.
The bass from Christie was a definite highlight, as was the guitar from McLaughlin; the crowd clapped along which added to the electric atmosphere, while the band also utilised silence in the song well, something bands can struggle to do live.
Finlay shouted the lyrics ‘saw you shouting at ME,’ which was a nice touch, in a song where the energy was high.
Teenage Dads moved on to their biggest song, streams-wise - “Sunburnt,” from their 2018 Potpourri Lake album.
He said the song was “such a slay,” to “wiggle some bum” and for the crowd to get low, which they did before they jumped up for the final chorus.
The band also twerked on stage for a performance of a song which will live long in the memories of the concertgoers, for all the right reasons.
The title track from the Midnight Driving EP was next, where the bass and the drums took centre-stage.
They were powerful and led in a beat-driven performance which displayed the power of the band’s musical ability.
Teenage Dads brought The Moving Stills and Lola Scott back on stage for their penultimate song, where they performed a cover of ‘A-Punk’ by Vampire Weekend.
All three acts joining for a big performance was something quite unique and it was quite the site to see the stage full of so many people, yet the stage was not crowded as they all brought their own energy.
Then, Teenage Dads played their “last song” of the night, which was their newest single – Speedracer.
Before they started playing the song, they got the crowd to practice the big clap in the song, to make sure they had it down right for the chorus; after one practice attempt, they were satisfied the crowd could do it and performed the song.
The vocals and the guitar were the standout in this song, and the singular clap that rung out every chorus was very satisfying; Teenage Dads rocked out to “end” the show.
They walked off stage but, of course, were not done yet, as they returned for an encore.
Much like the sentiment they gave when they last played in Sydney, jokingly calling the crowd “a bunch of cry-babies,” this time he said “Y’all are a bunch of sooks,” which was a nice touch.
They then proceeded to have a false start on purpose, which again fit the fun of the night well, before the radio microphone effect was brought out for their cover of Bruce Woolley’s 1979 hit, ‘Video Killed The Radio Star.’
Their cover was glorious, full of energy and fun; the band knew how to kickstart an encore to build towards a fitting finale.
The stage then turned to red as the band played an instrumental section, which led to the high-energy ‘Hey, Diego!,’ their 2022 single from their Midnight Driving EP.
The song was a rock anthem for the band; a lone cowbell rung out in the background as the energy ramped up, call-and-response meant the crowd was louder than ever and a big instrumental end to the song meant the band showed off all their rockstar qualities.
Before they played their final song, Finlay shouted out their merch which was available to buy on the night, saying “If you would like to have sex tonight, buy one of our t-shirts at the merch desk,” which was quite the statement.
‘Teddy’ was the final song they played, their biggest from their Midnight Driving EP, and brought so much energy with Finlay’s different characters in the song all coming out to sing.
Meanwhile red and blue flashing lights shone across the stage when the police officers were mentioned in the song, which was, again, such a clever use of the lighting at the venue.
Finlay jumped into the crowd and crowd surfed during the song as the band ended on the biggest of highs to leave the crowd wanting more – it was the perfect way to end a show which had a bit of everything.
Teenage Dads had put on a show where the love from their fans could not have been more evident, as well as the love the band had for performing live.
They had continued to show their mastery of their craft, leading the way in Australian rock and roll to highlight the power of the genre in the modern day.
Come on, Cowboy, Fire Your Gun!
Thank You for the Honey, Honey
Message in the Sand
I Like It (Unreleased)
What It Feels Like (Unreleased)
I Believe It
Video Killed The Radio Star (Cover) (Encore)
Hey, Diego! (Encore)
Teenage Dads’ tour continued to the Royal Oak Hotel in Launceston, Tasmania, and will continue across Australia and New Zealand until their final show at The Loons in Lyttelton, New Zealand, on October 28.