Gig/Concert: Joey Cape (Lagwagon) and Tony Sly (No Use For A Name) with Celebrator
Venue: Amplifier Bar, Perth, Australia
Date: 19 May 2010
In one word: Heartwarming
Perth’s newest alt-country duo, Celebrator (consisting of some familiar local faces) opened the latest in an increasingly commonly styled show of established punk singers touring their acoustic/solo releases. Describing themselves as “Non-Springsteen folk rock”, the banjo and guitar combo kept early-comers thoroughly entertained with their well crafted tunes and engaging stage presence, and were a fitting support for this ultimately lighthearted, nostalgic and supremely intimate show.
Though playing to a less than capacity crowd, and battling the obvious effects of 30-plus hours of travel in the preceding days, Joey Cape and Tony Sly took to the Amplifier stage to gracious applause and after a brief run-down from Cape of how things would proceed the show kicked off with Lagwagon favourite “Alien 8”, whose bridge section was replaced with brief renditions of Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” and 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Up?” and an explanation that just about any pop song in history could be played over its chord structure.
Sly then took over proceedings with his band’s classic “Not Your Savior”, before Cape returned to play a couple of new tracks from 2008’s Bridge and his latest work-in-progress Doesn’t Play Well With Others, such as the touching and flawless “Okay”. Other highlights included sterling re-arrangements of “Know It All” (Lagwagon), “Soulmate” and the previously released acoustic version of “Justified Black Eye” (No Use…). Later, in the self described ‘cheesy dads’ section of the show, each man performed songs written for their respective daughters (Cape’s “Violet” and Sly’s “Keira”).
Sly, ever the businessman, took each mic-break to promote his newest release, 12 Songs (see Music Vice’s review, here) and played a good number of its tracks, including “Capo, 4th Fret” and “Already Won” and Cape treated his fans with a performance of the yet to be released “The Fish Rots”; a jaunty tale of pirate ships and grog which was well accepted.
After an impromptu (and absolutely hilarious) cover of Poison’s “Talk Dirty To Me” the duo were reminded of the venue’s mid-week curfew and cut a number of songs from the set in order to finish on Lagwagon classic “To All My Friends” which benefits exponentially from the intimate nature of such a show, followed by a cover of NOFX’s “Linoleum”; after which both performers availed themselves to the very grateful crowd for photos and stories of past travels.
This was a fun, at some times goofy, and at all times ego-less performance from both of these touring veterans and would be recommended to anyone who ever owned a skateboard in the late 90s but no longer lists “getting covered in sweat” as a requirement for enjoying a show.
© Steve Pass, Music Vice
Pictures of Joey Cape and Tony Sly in Perth, WA: