Live Review: You Am I @ The Zoo
Scott Russell | On 26, May 2021
Rejuvenated by the release of The Lives of Others, You Am I are back doing what they do best: live rock and roll.
Following an unfortunate scooter accident earlier in the day (be careful on those things…), your reviewer misses support act Minor Premiers and arrives—complete with a ruptured ACL—shortly before You Am I are due to hit the stage.
Never mind that 50,000 people are packed into Suncorp Stadium just up the road for NRL Magic Round, the Zoo is still operating under COVID-19 rules that live music venues must adhere too, and so the band has already played the now de rigueur matinee show ahead of tonight’s performance.
Given the limited capacity, there’s plenty of room to move as Oasis‘ ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’ rings out over the speakers as the band walk onto the stage.
With a fabulous mane of grey hair and purple jacket, all eyes are on front man Tim Rogers as he strides to the centre of the stage and the band launches into ‘The Waterboy’. The opening track from The Lives of Others, the band’s guitarist Davey Lane told TCI last week that he knew it was a classic You Am I song the moment he heard it. He isn’t wrong.
Other new cuts including ‘DRB Hudson’ and ‘Rosedale Redux’ more than hold their own, but 28 years since their first album, the band have an impressive back catalogue to draw on. The 22-song set spans the band’s discography, taking in tracks from the likes of Hi Fi Way, Hourly Daily, and #4 Record. Unsurprisingly, it’s alt-rock classics like ‘Purple Sneakers’, ‘Cathy’s Clown’, and of course, ‘Berlin Chair’ that get the biggest reception.
The on-stage banter is familiar—the band speaks like they know everyone in the room (you do get the sense many in the audience are up to You Am I concert double figures)—it’s all group hugs, odes to alcohol, complaints about the air con, and jokes about fist bumps in Hamburg.
Its small, warm and intimate, and while their latest record is one of their best, You Am I seem content and happy to play to the converted, rocking out like it’s 1993 and reminding us why they’re Australian rock royalty.