Live Review and Gallery: Jet celebrate 20 years of debut ‘Get Born’ with Sophisticated Dingo and Lennon Wells, Uni Bar, Hobart, 11 May 2024

Feature Photograph: Arun Kendall

Old Hobart put on two spectacular shows last night. Firstly, Aurora Australis made a magnificent entrance, draping her spectacular jewels across the firmament, visible to the naked eye. Then in the subterranean basement of the University of Tasmania Uni Bar, Jet, Sophisticated Dingo and Lennon Wells would have torn down the roof and given us a view of the celestial array were it not for the four floors or so above the ceiling.

Jet celebrated 20 years of their stunning debut album ‘Get Born’ last year with a tour of the major cities. Jet made an effort to add regional areas of Australia as an extra special addendum to the tour, and, as is sadly often the case, Hobart is relegated to a regional area when it comes to tours. But the result was, after 14 years since they last toured, a full house. A full and very animated house.

The venue was already full for the support bands – an indication of the locals’ thirst for live music as well as the quality of the bands. And I have rarely if ever seen support bands elicit call and responses from an audience when they are not headlining.

I didn’t know much about Lennon Wells before the gig and it is possible they are from Hobart’s arch enemy city Launceston but the crowd response was stunning. The band put on a an incredibly immersive performance lead by their charismatic and animated lead singer who prowled, cajoled and threw himself around the stage. I was reminded of their fellow Taswegians A. Swayze and the Ghosts with the level of commitment to entertaining and the post punk vibes, threaded through a whiff of bluesy riffs.

Sophisticated Dingo consisted of just a singer/guitarist and a drummer but made enough delicious sounds for an entire orchestra. Muscular in sound and appearance, the songs were dynamic and thunderous, anthemic and bold. Their one cover, Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass’, sung in falsetto by the drummer, was magnificent and while it was memorable, it did not subsume the originals around it which had a similar barbed-wire delivery.

Jet, recent entrants into the Australian Recording Industry Association’s Hall of Fame, received a rapturous welcome and there were times you could tell singer/guitarist Nic Cester was overwhelmed at the wild, unrestrained reception. Before playing ‘Get Born’ in full, the band softened up the crowd with ‘Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is’ from 2006’s ‘Shine On’ album , ‘She’s A Genius’ and ‘Black Hearts (On Fire)’ from 2009’s ‘Shaka Rock’ album.

‘Get Born’ was weighted heavily with the iconic singles up front, which always poses a challenge for bands recreating an entire album, but the strength of “Get Born’ was always the fact that every single track was magnificent. But it cannot be denied that ‘Are You Gonna Be my Girl’, ‘Rollover DJ and ‘Look What You’ve Done’ were heart stopping.

I could hear the crowd singing every word from every song played and the crowd supplied the verses alone to the spine tingling ‘Look What You’ve Done’ perfectly. Nic Cester is of course a consummate and charming performer and Jet delivered the most energetic and enthralling performance filled with an energy that reflected their twenty-year ago younger selves. Once they had delivered the album, they returned for a five song finale. I have yet to see a band elicit such a fervoured response from a crowd. This was a thrilling performance and a perfect accompaniment to the stellar show in the skies.

Tour dates to come are as follows:
Friday 17 May – Metropolis, Fremantle*
Saturday 18 May – Bass In The Grass, Darwin
Friday 24 May – Hotel Brunswick, Brunswick Heads*
Saturday 25 May – The Station, Sunshine Coast*
Friday 31 May – Sunken Monkey Hotel, Central Coast*
Thursday 6 June – The Pavilion, Kiama
Friday 7 June – Uc Refectory, Canberra
Saturday 8 June – Bar On The Hill, Newcastle*

Tickets On Sale Friday, 8 March At 11am Local Time

Jet are Nic Cester (vocals/guitar), Chris Cester (vocals/drums), Cam Muncey (vocals/guitar) and Mark Wilson (bass). Formed in Melbourne in the late ’90s, Jet released their first EP, the vinyl-only Dirty Sweet in 2002. Get Born was released after their label deal with Elektra and was followed by the albums Shine On in 2006 and Shaka Rock in 2009. After riding a wave of international success, Jet disbanded in 2012 before re-forming in early 2017. In November last year, the band received the honour of being inducted into the 2023 ARIA Hall Of Fame.

Feature Photograph and Gallery: Arun Kendall

Previous Live Review & Gallery: Sam Fischer Brings Debut EP 'I Love You, Please Don't Hate Me' to Adoring Fans - Oxford Art Factory, Eora/Sydney, 10.05.24
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