Review: Bugs @ The Zoo
It’s been four or so months since tonight’s patrons have been to a gig, and while things are different, The Zoo has adapted to these conditions to remind us that nothing compares to being blasted with the energy of live music.
Temperature checks and being ushered to a table was weird for a rock show, but I’m glad I didn’t have to be tempted by a good old-fashioned moshpit. The venue’s COVID compliance proves how possible it is to safely chug $40 of drink tickets while watching fun bands in 2020.
It took a moment to collect myself and remember that it’s the same zoo I’d been to countless times – I’m just sitting at a table this time. The stage lights draw me back to reality as Bad Sext begin their set, boasting satirical sex-punk to put my nerves to ease. The group’s flamboyant embrace of taboo topics with coordinated banter and dancing is one of the most genuinely punk things you can pay to see. The segue into the world of table-set gigs could not be more perfect, bridging alt-rock with familiar experiences like stand-up and cabaret.
Bugs open with ‘Heart On Your Sleeve’, choosing one of their steadier numbers to mesmerise with heavenly sights of elaborate lighting and uncompromised stage presence. Upping the tempo into 2018 single ‘Glue’, the flailing arms and windmilling scattering throughout my line of sight was a truly emotional moment. The song ends and the crowd roars like The Zoo is at pre-COVID capacity. Vocalist Connor Brooker lent his thoughts to our Southern friends re-entering lockdown, counting his lucky stars to be in the position to play music to a room of people tonight.
The crowd continue to impress by chanting along to favourites such as ‘Sweetener’ and ‘Can’t Get Enough’, serving as a reminder that performer-audience interaction is one of life’s finest joys. Bugs invite Bad Sext’s vocals and dance moves back on stage for Mallrat’s ‘Charlie’, uniting Brisbane’s finest to celebrate the privilege of being here before closing with their hit ‘Seriously’. While the gig experience is different for the time being, tonight proved that social distancing can’t kill Bugs.
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Photos courtesy of Will Johnstone