Live Review: Hunting Grounds and Gung Ho – Goodgod Small Club (10.08.2012)

Gung Ho were on stage making the crowd do the awkward shuffle-dance. Their appreciation to be supporting Hunting Grounds was evident early on and their enthusiasm only grew throughout the set. The only thing that let them down was a disappointing mix in the last song – the bass was too loud for the small space – but they didn’t show any signs of being annoyed and just got on with delivering.

The six members of Hunting Grounds crammed onto the small stage, among them a drum kit with an extra snare, two guitars, a bass and a keyboard. They swap the lead vocals around between the guitarists and the keyboardist, who provides great harmonies in the rest of the songs in the set. They interact well with the crowd throughout the show, and the lead singer even plays with someone’s phone mid-song between stage diving.

Choice banter: “This is pretty heavy, feel free to move your legs. Move closer to the stage. This is when the party starts. It’s a rock time. It’s a mosh tune. It’s gonna rain blood. I’m gonna rain blood all over you. Get ready for my man period,” and (while crowd-surfing) “I’m like Spiderman!”

They’ve matured as a live band, something that’s evident from the fun they create from start to finish and the way they interact with each other on stage. The way they’re able to swap between vocalists and play each other’s instruments at different times is a true indication of their talent.

While they did play on old song by “a band called Howl”, the rest of the set was made up of songs from their new album In Hindsight. ‘Flaws’ and ‘Kill My Friends’ were standouts of the night, both had the moshpit thriving.

Among the new songs, Hunting Grounds pulled out a couple of covers – Gorillaz’s ‘Clint Eastwood’ and No Doubt’s ‘Hella Good’. I don’t know if it’s acceptable to say that six Aussie guys are just as sexy as Gwen Stefani singing that song, but I’m going to say it anyway. The addition of the line “come over here!” to the bridge added an edge to the song and, at the danger of sounding like a talent show judge, made it their own.

Their set was well-received, judging by the moshpit keen on helping the lead singer crowd surf, and they displayed their maturity as performers and song writers for the whole night.

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Justine McNamara

I'm an Australian living in New York. I work in marketing but I write about music, New York, and my own personal experiences.

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