I have been to many a gig. Trust me, some of them have felt quite animalistic and chaotic. Although, this time was different, it was actually in the Melbourne Zoo.
People line the entrance armed with cooler bags and picnic blankets, ready to enjoy a night of balmy electronica. Entering the grounds to the warmup sounds of Andee Frost, the zoo residents put on a show of their own: cheeky capuchin monkeys doing acrobatics off branches, pygmy hippopotamuses gently wading in waterholes trying to keep cool, macaws adding their squawks to the disco beats emanating from the stage. At this point it was safe to say, this was more than the average gig. As everyone settles down on the grass, support from Adelaide soul-electronic duo Electric Fields sets the tone. Their unique blend of Indigenous language and electronica sounds transfix the crowd and complement the surroundings of mother nature beautifully.
Cut Copy takes the stage and almost immediately lifts the crowd to their feet. The beat infectious and the dancing inevitable. As a late-bloomer to Cut Copy and a big fan of their latest album Haiku Zero, hearing ‘Black Rainbows’ and ‘Airborne’ pretty early on in the set got me pumped. Their seamless transitions between tracks keeping the crowd moving and grooving. It was only early, but this set showed off the bands skills as both performers and producers. The band certainly haven’t forgotten where they’ve come from, and certainly haven’t forgotten about the fans that have been with them nearly 15 years, and after playing tracks off their 2004 debut LP Bright Like Neon Love, it was evident that the hometown love was felt all around, with the band clearly appreciative of the ongoing support from their loyal Melbourne fans.
Looking around the picnic blanket dance floor, I notice something that is rarely celebrated at gigs – no age restrictions. Kids and parents alike reveling in the music, the perfect accompaniment to such a warm night. Although, remarkably, the unusual cross section of punters didn’t feel out of place. Maybe it’s due to the setting of the Melbourne Zoo, but the appeal to such a wide demographic says something about Cut Copy as a band that has reinvented itself and managed to stay relevant in the ever-changing soundscape of popular interest. Even the band noticed that there was something different about this crowd, delighted at seeing the faces of their new generation of fans atop parents’ shoulders. If Saturday’s show is anything to go by, Cut Copy will certainly be around for our boogie enjoyment for years to come.
The Melbourne Zoo Twilights series is a not-for-profit initiative entirely in support of raising money to save the Eastern Barred Bandicoot from extinction.
For the full program of upcoming Melbourne Zoo Twilights shows and to purchase tickets, visit their website [https://zootwilights.org.au].