music

Review—Middle Kids, New Songs For Old Problems Tour 2019 Melbourne

November 28, 2019

Monique O’Rafferty

On Sunday 17 November, Sydney alt-rock band Middle Kids returned to The Forum for the Melbourne leg of their New Songs For Old Problems Tour.

In 2017, Middle Kids made their official debut in the Australian music scene with their self-titled EP, Middle Kids. Since then they’ve released an album, Lost Friends, in 2018 and the EP, New Songs For Old Problems, in May this year.

Truthfully, I hadn’t listened to much of their music before the gig. I knew enough words to a few of the chorus’ that I didn’t look like a total novice in the mosh pit, but I also didn’t have any expectations going in— so I had the best of both worlds.

And boy was I blown away.

Didirri opened the show with a set that was the perfect mix of dreamy and rock ‘n’ roll. He played hits ‘I Can’t Get Last Night Out Of My Head’ and ‘Jude’—which always blow me away. He also wowed the crowd with his new single ‘Blue Mood Rising’. 

Didirri prefaced every song with a personal story about its creation, which made every song super personal and meaningful, and helped first time listeners really connect with him. We also got the chance to connect with him further in person after the show, when we met him at the merch stand and got a photo with him. Just like his stage presence, he was very down to earth and keen for a muso chat.

After a brief interlude between sets, the lights dimmed and I was ready for Middle Kids to take the stage. 

Middle Kids opened with ‘Mistake’ from Lost Friends which had the crowd bopping along. The energy and sound quality were dynamic and well balanced. They followed with ‘Never Start’, also from Lost Friends, and hit ‘Salt Eyes’ from New Songs For Old Problems. 

I was so excited as I was so close to the stage and had such a good view. However, that excitement was short-lived as the classic-concert-situation happened. A very tall man weaved his way into the mosh pit to find his friend who was—surprise surprise— right in front of me. 

They then proceeded to talk through the entire gig, but I didn’t let their blossoming romance get to me. Much.

[But in all seriousness if you are going to have a full conversation please move out of the mosh and show some damn respect for the band you paid to see—rant over].  

The crowd was a nice change of pace from the usual mosh pits I have been in. I wasn’t being pushed, shoved or elbowed in the back; everyone was very respectful.

Middle Kids really knew how to set the mood, with the lights changing from brilliant red to a yellow-purple fade to suit the tone of each song. This colour scheme also seriously gave me hard year 8 PowerPoint background vibes.

They played a couple of iconic songs from their self-titled EP Middle Kids—namely ‘Your Love’ and ‘Doing It Right’, and even threw one of my faves, ‘Real Thing’, in there as well.

The band members were so lovely. The lead singer/guitarist Hannah Joy was very pregnant with bass player Tim Fitz’ baby! But that didn’t stop her from dancing around the stage and killing it on the guitar, which she rested on her belly. In her words, it was “very ‘rock ‘n’ roll!” Hannah even said that she found out that she was pregnant during her last Forum show!

Since they are from Sydney, there were a lot of food-related jokes and the occasional jab at Melbourne’s coffee scene by drummer Harry. They even let the crowd in on how to hack the Maccas ‘loose change’ menu. 

Towards the end of the set they slowed it down with ‘Big Softy’ and ‘Please’, which had everyone feeling some type of WAY. 

Middle Kids briefly left the stage before their encore, which had the crowd stamping their feet and chanting for them to come back out. They returned to the stage stronger than ever for the final two songs, ‘Beliefs and Prayers’ and ‘Edge Of Town’, which amplified the energy of the audience and had everyone appreciating Middle Kids’ final moments on stage for the show.  

Despite the tall talking man, I had such a fun night boogying away and would definitely see them again the next time they grace The Forum’s stage (hopefully with their baby!). Next time, I’ll know some more lyrics.