Review: Japandroids & Good Boy at The Red Rattler Theatre, Sydney

Words & Photos by Jye Talbot

Rolling into the beautiful city of Sydney on a 38 degree Celsius afternoon, knowing you are going to see a band with a 100% success rate of channeling the heat in any environment can be a daunting experience for the best of people. This was not an issue for the 300 punters who came to The Red Rattler Theatre and proved that rock and roll has a very fucking significant place in the hearts of many. 

The Red Rattler Theatre is purely volunteer run venue located in Marrickville, literally one turn from civilisation in a ridiculously narrow, and predominately industrial street. Coming to this venue gives you the sense that you have stumbled across something really special. The venue itself boasts beautifully fitted décor and an elevated stage lined with red drapes. The title theatre is far from an exaggeration. 

Up-and-coming Brisbane lords, Good Boy came to stage armed with a set list of bangers to get the night started. Guitarist Tom Lindeman battled some tech issues with his pedals during sound check and made the decision to simply ditch them for this set. The issues proved to be no limitation as Good Boy delivered a cleaner sound that definitely authenticated why these guys are becoming so popular.

With a blended set of slow and up beat tracks, Good Boy truly demonstrates what it is to be an Australian alternative rock artist. No doubt, the Brisbane outfit had set the bar high and added fuel to the atmosphere of the venue. The small space quickly filled wall to wall with punters and emotion as it was bearing moments before Japandroids time to shine. 

After a quick intermission, front of house music went silent and the Vancouver duo emerged from back stage with grins that went ear to ear, looking out at a room jammed with eager fans. After a short, sweet, and humorous pep talk from the front man Brian King, things really started turning up. Creating a foundation with what Brian called a “warm up song” that followed into a crowd favourite ‘Fire’s Highway’, the show was instantly transformed into a huge sing-along that had the had the whole crowd exclusively engaged in what was happening on stage. The entire set rolled out with soaring energy from the band and punters alike. The crowd showed off a flurry of hands, beers and a few token rock concert crowd surfs. 

If there was anyone in the room that wasn’t too familiar with Japandroids, they would've been hooked by the end of their set. When you are playing your last show on an international tour there is a way to do it, and Japandroids went above and beyond that expectation, delivering a flawless assortment of anthems from start to finish.