Review: Jet at Metro City, Perth, 7 June 2018
Jet lead singer Nic Cester stands centre stage under a single spotlight, teasing the crowd with a slow shake of his tambourine. The strikingly diverse crowd shouts and claps in anticipation for the Australian rock band’s signature song. The base line creeps in, the guitar riff strikes, Cester gives a yell and fans young and old are reminded why they first fell in love with 2003 track ‘Are You Going To Be My Girl?’
Forming in Melbourne 17 years ago, the foursome have produced three albums and sold over 6.5 million copies. Dissolving in 2012, Jet was convinced by Bruce Springsteen to reform for his 2017 Australian tour. After an overwhelming response from fans, the group kicked off the Get Reborn 15th Anniversary Tour, playing their debut album live in full for the first time ever. Metro City was a dismal location choice for the Perth leg, but the band shone through, providing a satisfying Thursday night show that revealed an everlasting fan base.
While there was no hint of new material, the band played all 13 of Get Born’s tracks with infectious energy, taking the crowd on a rollercoaster of emotions.
Cester’s mischievous younger brother Chris called him out for writing ‘Look What You’ve Done’ on the toilet. “That is true,” confessed the lead singer, “but it was the only seat I had in my house at the time and the seat was down.”
High-energy songs like ‘Rollover DJ’ and ‘Cold Hard Bitch’ were mixed with tender moments like the brothers’ impressive harmonising during ‘Move On’. Nic’s clean-cut polka dot shirt and blazer contrasted comically with Chris’ rainbow hair, art print top and bright pink shoes that he proudly showed off as he drunkenly swaggered around the stage.
Sharing special snippets of the band’s journey, Nic spoke of the time he lived just around the corner at the Northbridge backpackers, a decision he admitted was not his finest. He even incorporated the story into his praiseworthy encore of ‘Shine On’.
The final song of the album, ‘Timothy’, dedicated to Nic and Chris’ deceased younger brother, is rarely played live and was a definite highlight tonight.
An awkward end to the encore saw Chris bang his drums so hard they almost fell off the stage. Disgruntled bassist Mark Wilson was not entertained and when Chris pretended to push the drums a little too far, Wilson appeared to chuck a tantrum, throwing his guitar onto the stage and refusing to take a bow with the other members.
The band chose to split all those years ago due to internal conflicts, tainted with a reputation of booze and drugs. Has anything changed?
For now, Jet is in a more reflective state, free of hype and record label pressures. While the tensions in the band remain ambiguous, one thing is for certain: talent doesn’t have an expiry date.