Big energy in a little space

Having seen Opshop a few times live before, I was not expecting much of an aural assault when catching the band at The Kingslander as part of their Hits & Giggles tour with comedian Brendhan Lovegrove – after all they’re not among loudest bands out there.

But cramming up close to the stage in the confines on The Kingslander, not exactly the roomiest gig venue in town, below a towering set of rather large speakers, it was clear that things could get a little rowdy in here.

And from the opening salvo of their set, it was clear that Opshop was in a raucous mood and hell-bent on turning out a bone rattling, and almost riotous, performance.

The band seemed to relish the freedom and flexibility of playing in such an informal setting.

Here at The Kingslander they literally had the audience breathing down their necks and clearly fed off the close proximity and energy of the crowd, not to mention a steady stream of tequila and Jägermeister shots bought by appreciative fans!

Let loose from the constraints of large headline shows, such as their regular appearances at summer winery tours, Opshop at times sounded more like a thrashing student band than a polished mainstream radio-friendly unit with platinum albums under its belt.

With the exception of an unusually slow rendition of One Day, Op Shop seemed to attack each track delivering ear splitting and hard driving versions on the like of Big Energy in Little Spaces, Madness & Other Allergies, Awaken and even the usually rather mellow crowd pleaser, Maybe.

They even threw in a rendition of The Doors’ Roadhouse Blues – right in the middle of Nothing Can Wait.

The Kingslander’s compact standing area, brick walls and wooden floor acted as a giant amplifier intensifying Opshop’s sound causing each beat and note to reverberate through the floor boards and up your spine and into your gut.

Lead man Jason Kerrison in particular was in a playful mood, and enjoyed interacting and bantering with the audience.

Not only did he respond to requests, but even convinced the band to keep playing when the crowd wasn’t ready to let them go – ok, so that may have been the shots talking and it did mean we heard Madness & Other Allergies twice, which was fine since we were not ready to let them go!

But perhaps we should have, since the band has had to cancel some the Hits & Giggles tour dates due an injury to one of the band members…

If you’re in Christchurch however, you can catch the tour out on 7 November. If not, be sure to check Opshop out when they next play your local. It’s well worth it.

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