NEVER SHOUT NEVER
@ Oxford Art Factory
03/12/2017 (Live Review)
If you were ever involved in the realms of MySpace, the name ‘Never Shout Never’ would be of familiarity to you. At the time, 16-year-old Christofer Drew was a pedestal in the digital landscape, releasing pop acoustic hooks with lyrics that rolled off the tongues of fans around the world. Over the past decade, Drew has matured into the indie genre and grown immensely, not just as a person but as a moniker in music. However, there is still nothing quite as ear-catching than the sweet, naïve sounds of his earlier works of The Yippee EP and Me and My Uke.
Drew, now 26, has resorted to reaching for the souls of ex-emo kids and pulling at their heartstrings with the announcement of his Throwback Tour. Personally, I had adored Drew’s earlier works but always missed the chance to see him live. So this particular Sunday night on Sydney’s Oxford Street was going to be a night I would never forget.
Arborview were the first band to jump on the stage and begin the show with the song Stormy Weather, a song that really showcased the essence of classic pop-punk the boys bring to the table. Each song was extremely reminiscent of early All Time Low and punched out song after song in high energy without leaving much room for between-song banter. The music they brought to the table had extreme similarity to other bands in pop-punk, but their on-stage presence was enough to keep the crowd entertained.
Next up was The Million, who came onto the stage in matching Le Coq Sportif polos which added to the 80’s aesthetic they were about to bring to the stage. Starting with the synth-induced We Can, We Should, the dance moves of vocalist Jacob Thomas were reflected in the audience losing their inhibitions. The Central Coast three-piece played a variety of tunes, from the indie rock sounds of their debut EP to the pop hooks in their latest release Hydration Station. The band also had their fair share of banter with the crowd; at one point, Thomas reminisced about his attempt at wooing a girl in high school using a Never Shout Never song. With a cover of Kings of Leon’s Use Somebody and a shoey, the band finished off with their recent single Headcheck and left everyone hyped for the main act.
Christofer Drew was first to walk on the stage, followed by his bandmates Hayden Kaiser and Tof Hoglen. With his guitar in one hand and a bottle of Jameson in the other, the trio began with Piggy Bank from 2010’s Harmony before delving further into the realm of the early years of Never Shout Never. Renditions of classic staples in Drew’s decade-long career like On The Brightside and Trouble were adored by every fan in the room, like Drew and the band are the only people in the room. That was until the fan requests came.
The crowd turned into their inner teen fangirl with different songs being thrown across the room. Drew sung a variety of songs including cult favourites from his discography like cheatercheaterbestfriendeater and Coffee and Cigarettes, which had everyone clapping and singing along. There were also moments like First Dance and Ladybug that had everyone at a standstill, especially the latter which was dedicated to a fan who gone to nearly every show on the tour. But overall, the banter on stage completed the show as a whole. Whether it was Christofer putting a bra on Tof that fan had thrown on stage or playing a song earlier than expected because
“this is a no rules kinda show”,
it was evident that everyone in the crowd was on cloud nine. So much so that the crowd’s screams for more caused the band to come out for one final song — a cover of Bob Dylan’s Knocking on Heaven’s Door.
After a decade of singing these same songs to the same eager crowds, Drew still sounds like the 16-year-old who found fame on a now-defunct website. The only difference is that he’s grown up, covered in tattoos and write songs about other subjects than what he wrote about at 16. Drew and his bandmates now get to endure a nine-month break “until August or September of next year” and it’s safe to say it’s definitely deserved. Thanks for the ride so far, Never Shout Never, here’s to the next ten years.
AMNplify – BD
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