With a sold-out venue at The Brightside, hundreds of familiar faces came down to see Shag Rock finish up the first leg of their East Coast tour in their hometown. Before the good-vibes surf rockers from Brisbane took to the stage, two support acts  thoroughly entertained the audience.

Magnus Murphy began the night with a show that reflected the love and support of his hometown audience in BrisbaneMagnus was very tender and well composed in both his presence and performance.  It was hard to believe it was his debut night as he increasingly captured the crowd’s attention.

Magnus Murphy @ The Brightside, Brisbane (Photo: Phoebe Kelly)

His infectious voice projection filled the room, delivering nothing less than a graceful and impressive show.  He provided little anecdotes, which further enticed the crowd, explaining his choice to leave university and fulfil his dream to compose an album.  I am excited to see what lies ahead for this talented musician, come actor and model!

Mary Handsome @ The Brightside, Brisbane (Photo: Phoebe Kelly)

Next to take the stage was local band Mary Handsome. The 4-piece wasted no time getting into the indie-rock vibes that saw the crowd grooving from the get-go. Their performance was slick and polished, with snappy songs, which give them an edge over the beachy vibe that is also apparent. The nostalgic feeling of a summer holiday brought a lot of fun to both the audience and band members.

The energy was electric and I found it extremely enjoyable watching the sways of Reid, Roy, Dan and Lewi take control of their contagious and carefree beat.

Shag Rock’s new album Barefoot has completely encapsulated the presence and sounds the band is known for, but brought it to a whole new level. I last saw them perform as a support act at a small Brisbane gig, and was immediately taken by their performance and intrigued as to who this foursome was.  After much anticipation to see them perform again, this headline show exceeded all expectations I had.

Shag Rock @ The Brightside, Brisbane (Photo: Phoebe Kelly)

Their anthemic surf-rock tunes like Sunbleached Girl and Roadtrip positively provoked the room and sparked foot stomps, crowd surfing and incredible grooving amongst the chorusing audience.

Front man Alex Wilson brought his serenading to a climax with a surprise indie-take on an already cheesy and much loved song, Jesse McCartney’s Beautiful Soul and later on again with Untouched by The Veronicas.  

Shag Rock @ The Brightside, Brisbane (Photo: Phoebe Kelly)

The love and support between the band and the crowd was extremely apparent, creating a very warm and fun synergy, the foundation of any good indie rock show.  It is not wonder why this band has a continually growing fan base. If you enjoy indie beach rhythms that are impossible not to groove to – keep an eye out for Shag Rock heading to your town soon!

Shag Rock @ The Brightside, Brisbane (Photo: Phoebe Kelly)

We talked to the boys before the set to talk about their tour and gain an insight into their upcoming plans.

Hi boys! You’re all looking sharp and excited for tonight. Shall we start by reflecting on the times that have lead you to here? So how long has the tour been going for?

Nick Cavdarski(Bass Guitar): We’ve been on the road for about a month, touring all around Australia. It’s been a sick time!

Jacob Reed (Lead Guitar and Backing Vocals): Yeah we started in Byron Bay, and then we went up north for a bit, and all the way down to Adelaide, Melbourne, Mildura, Manly, Port Macquarie, back to Gold Coast. It’s just like North, and then all the way south and along the East Coast.

Shag Rock @ The Brightside, Brisbane (Photo: Phoebe Kelly)

Awesome. Interesting route you chose! Which location was your favourite to perform at?

Jacob: For me, Manly was probably the best.

Max Beech (Drums): Yeah Manly was wild. We played a support spot for the Ruminators, it was an awesome venue called Hotel Steyne.

Alex (Lead Vocals, and Guitar): Yeah that was so fun. The venue was crazy, like the biggest building in the world. It had five bars and we played in a really rustic old room, the whole place looked over the beach.

Max (Drums): Yeah it was a fun performance and then that night we set ourselves up in the backpackers and finished the night off with a swell time.

Shag Rock @ The Brightside, Brisbane (Photo: Phoebe Kelly)

What about tonight, are you looking forward to it? This is the second last show right?

Max: Second last show of this leg yeah. It’s been a journey!

Jacob: Pretty much the last show though. It’s the big one we’ve all been looking forward to.  Finishing off the tour at home!

Max: Yeah it’s certainly the big one. We’re playing at Originals Festival after this, on the 9th of April up north. So yeah, we’re glad to be here. This is the night we’ve been excited about for months.

Alex: Yeah easily. It’s our first sold out venue so we have a lot of support here. 

Max: Definitely looking forward to a ripper night!

Shag Rock @ The Brightside, Brisbane (Photo: Phoebe Kelly)

Brilliant. There is nothing like a hometown show. Is there any new music in the making?

Alex:  Well of course. We’re always making new music!

What’s your favourite song on the album just gone?

Alex: I don’t have a favourite. We’ve been playing them for a long time so I like them all in their own way.

Nick: I like playing Lip Addiction live the most, because I like a good banger. And I get to do a decent head wheel spin during it so that is always fun.

Alex: Yeah that’s true. I always forget to do that.

Look forward to seeing that! Where to from here?

Max: We’re pretty much doing the same tour from April 20th.  Going to Sydney and back, then going down to play a wine festival.

Nick (jokingly): Yeah definitely our target market there, straight to the punters.

Max: Yeah, the Great Escape. It will be nice to go back there. There are a couple of support dates, but hopefully most of it we will be headlining. More details to come soon!

It hasn’t been announced yet. Something different about this upcoming tour is that we aren’t actually taking anyone besides the band with us. Last time we brought along a tour manager.

This tour, we’ve been on training wheels and now we’re ready to call the shots ourselves. It will be good, plus extra room in the van!

Shag Rock @ The Brightside, Brisbane (Photo: Phoebe Kelly)

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Konzert Magazine

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