SHE WHO ROCKS – Live Music Review, The Gov, 20 June 2015

On Saturday night, two bands who were on high rotation in the nineties hit the stage at the Governor Hindmarsh Hotel.

Suze MeMarchi and Sarah McLeod show us who rocks
Suze MeMarchi and Sarah McLeod show us who rocks

Baby Animals and The Superjesus were amongst the hot live music scene back in the day and their comeback tour reflects the same enthusiasm music lovers had for them two decades ago.

The She Who Rocks tour was created after Baby Animals and The Superjesus were dropped from A Day on the Green’s festival line up, leaving the bill as an all-male event.

Respective front-women Suze DeMarchi and Sarah McLeod put together She Who Rocks, and with sold-out shows across the country, they showed promoters what they were missing out on.

Before the tour, each tour destination were asked to vote for their favourite local female fronted band to support the show in their home town.

In Adelaide, the people voted Squeaker, fronted by Georgii Staben, and Mere Machine, fronted by Tia Virago.

The energy in the room before Saturday night’s show was electric.

The audience were ready for a great night, and with the positive reviews and hype surrounding the She Who Rocks tour, there was an expectation they wouldn’t be disappointed.

Tia Virago belts out another rock anthem with Mere Machine
Tia Virago belts out another rock anthem with Mere Machine

DSCN0056Mere Machine burst onto the stage with their usual fare of contagious, melodic riffs and chunky bass lines.

Tia Virago was on fire as she filled The Gov with her soulful, powerful voice, working the crowd charismatically and enjoying every minute of her time on stage.

Mere Machine are an Adelaide band getting some international recognition so you’d be wise to get out to a local venue to see them in their home town before they take off.

The buzz before the main event was reflective of the power of nostalgia. It’s difficult to imagine that the anticipation for the set of new act could outweigh the excitement of an audience who are longing to reimagine their glory days, or a time when they were younger/thinner/more free.

Although the memory of one’s heyday could very well be romanticised, none of that matters when you’re listening to the songs that were the soundtrack to your valuable memories.

As if to help us flashback to a simpler time, Sarah McLeod looks no different to twenty years ago and rocks just as hard.

Playing the songs which launched them to stardom, as well as a couple of new ones, The Superjesus, who came out of Adelaide showed they’re not just ready for a comeback, it’s long overdue.

Particular crowd favourites were ‘Secret Agent Man’ and ‘Gravity’ which showcased the band’s healthy riffs and exceptional lyricism, matched with McLeod’s earthy rock vocals.

DSCN0138
Sarah McLeod loving every minute of her Adelaide gig

Hardcore Superjesus fans lined the front of the stage and knew every word to every song, even the new ones; their beloved band did not disappoint.

Chatting easily with the sold-out crowd, Sarah McLeod was clearly enjoying being back onstage with her original band, and cheerfully announced they’d be back.

With the crowd sufficiently warmed up by Mere Machine and The Superjesus, Baby Animals enjoyed a loud reception when they burst onto the stage with ‘Rush You’ their 1991 smash hit.

Suze’s voice is as strong as ever and her stage presence even stronger.

Suze DeMarchi makes us feel a whole lot better
Suze DeMarchi makes us feel a whole lot better

Busting out all of their hits, the band were tight and sounded fantastic in The Gov’s main room.

‘Don’t Tell Me What To Do’, ‘One Word’, and ‘Early Warning’ were amongst the catalogue of hits Suze belted out before inviting Sarah McLeod on to the stage to play ‘Ain’t Gonna Get’ with her.

The pair rocked The Gov senseless and gave everyone what they came for: a step back in time to when music was loud and live and rock songs were raw and powerful.

With barely a spare ticket across the country, She Who Rocks has been a been a monumental success.

In your face A Day On The Green.

Check out our photo gallery.

Reviewed by Libby Parker

Photos by Matthew Trainor