Edge of the Crowd had the pleasure of attending Teenage Dads' 'Midnight Driving' tour with a concert at the Oxford Art Factory in Sydney on Sunday, March 19, and was treated to a show filled with charisma, memorable chords, and sweet melodies.
The show was the band's eighth of nine of its tour dates to promote its latest EP, Midnight Driving, which was released on March 3, after it had performed in Brisbane and Melbourne earlier in the month. The band finished its tour on March 22 at Monash University in Melbourne.
Formed in 2015, Teenage Dads had a song poll on the Triple J Hottest 100 for the first time in 2022 with its single Teddy, which came in at #63. The song proved to be another hit for the band who continues its rise in the music scene.
At Oxford Art Factory there were meant to be two opening acts for Teenage Dads' show. However, unfortunately for Hallie, who had joined the Aussies rockers on every date of the tour up to that point, she fell sick and was unable to perform.
Perth-born indie-rocker Noah Dillon made up for Hallie's absence, however, by putting on a show of positivity and self-empowerment. His low-key and relatable stage personality endeared the crowd, while he owned the set with his stage presence. Dillon was striking and refreshing in his positivity throughout songs such as Alive and Kicking and Knievel Daredevil.
After opening with the aforementioned Alive and Kicking, Dillon had sections of the crowd head-banging with his song Drip Dry, which utilised silence to accentuate the instruments as they kicked back in.
This theme followed as Dillon stripped back the performance for Drifting Apart, before the band joined back in for the final chorus to deliver an impactful finish.
As the crowd built, Dillon grew in his rockstar energy and encouraged crowd participation. This was most evident during I Can't, where he utilised prose in a high-tempo, high energy song about being yourself.
Dillon's quirks in his song writing ability showed again during his song Matthew McConaughey, while the finale had the crowd moving and clapping; he played the guitar as fast as he could in a faux finale before he finished the song.
Dillon displayed his diversity and talent in a performance which not only set the stage well for Teenage Dads but was one he owned on his own accord.
Alive and Kicking
Who You Used To Be
That's Just How I Feel
The stage was set as Teenage Dads walked on to the stage to the Halo theme.
The opening song, Come On, Cowboy. Fire your Gun!, set the tone for the show, as the band started with energy; lead singer Jordan Finlay pulled out the finger guns and sang "bang bang" as the crowd joined in. As expected, the song ended with a bang, literally and figuratively; the energy was set from the start.
A smooth transition followed as the band played another song from its 2021 album, Club Echo, with Elevator. The melody in the song was very memorable as Finlay played the keyboard in front of him. The nature of the band was evident in this song live - addicting melodies, catchy chord progressions and lyrics that bring a smile.
Next, after another smooth transition, the band played one of its most popular songs, Cheerleader. Again, the crowd got involved straight away, singing every word as Finlay encouraged them on.
The melodic singing in Finlay's voice, combined with the chord progression, again, from both Finlay and guitarist Connor McLaughlin on the lead electric guitar, led to a song the crowd could not help but dance to.
In a song about regret and living in the moment, the mood in the building was completely controlled by Teenage Dads as the crowd moved along to the song. There was a musical break in the song before a musical breakdown, which raised the energy another level as the crowd jumped up and down.
The band followed this song up with another older one, Thank You for the Honey, Honey; the crowd sang along pleasantly. Vincent Kinna on the drums filled the chorus with high-energy drumrolls; Finlay kicked his feet up in the air; Angus Christie pulled out signature dance moves while on the bass guitar.
The crowd clapped along to the beat as Finlay sang in his melodic voice, "honey, honey". There was a long instrumental section to the song as the band upped the energy before the chorus rung out one more time.
Teenage Dads was highly effective in controlling the show and its energy, something which was very admirable to watch. Furthermore, the energy changed in the building for its next song.
The stage changed from red lighting to a purple and blue lighting as the band played its first song from its new Midnight Driving EP - Goodbye, Goodbye Again. Guitar chords transcended the stage and into the crowd, the wavy feel of the song took over as the band displayed its versatility very well.
It was a raw and beautifully written song about losing someone and saying goodbye, in whatever aspect that may be, as the crowd waved and swayed along, mesmerised.
However, the tempo rose for its next song off the latest record, Exit Sign. The energy rose with it as Finlay encouraged the crowd to make noise and dance, which he did expertly.
Another song about accepting the reality of a breakup and what it means, Teenage Dads again used catchy chords and Finlay's signature melodic voice to entertain the crowd well.
Teenage Dads dedicated the next song, 3am, to someone named Angie, who had been to every show on the tour, but could not be at the show on that night. The song was a lovely ode to how someone important Teenage Dads cares about can make the band feel, making it "wanna stay awake 'til 3am".
Again, Teenage Dads displayed its infectious chords and melodies through more easy-on-the-ear indie rock which entertained the crowd very well.
The next song showed a great piece of intuition, as a radio microphone was brought out for the band's cover of Bruce Woolley's 1979 song, Video Killed The Radio Star. The cover was a big hit as the microphone added character, while the band added its own signature to the 80s hit (made famous by The Buggles) expertly as the crowd clapped and danced along.
Next, the band played the title track from their new EP - Midnight Driving. The band again used metaphor to explain the feeling of a breakup, this time through the bass-heavy track, as the song described the end of a breakup as the journey of a midnight drive.
The song was a standout from how it sits in the band's discography - it was a change from its usual upbeat and danceable songs as something more somber; a song to sway to and relate to. Teenage Dads showed its swagger and coolness on stage as they played the song, with the melodies combining perfectly - from all the instruments to Finlay's voice.
The band transitioned perfectly into the next song from its new EP with Hey Diego!, which took a twist to the show as McLaughlin's guitar and Finlay's voice created an electric atmosphere, as a lone cowbell rang in the background.
The bass kicked in for the chorus as Finlay relayed "Hey, Diego!" to the crowd, their hands in the air as they jumped up and down to the high-energy song. The red light beams on stage switched back-and-forth from left-to-right as the crowd was lit up with a bright light for the band to see.
The guitar riffs in the song, combined with a memorable chorus with crowd participation and a loud sing-along made this a memorable highlight of the night as the red lights shone down on a musical outro.
The "last song" played was from Club Echo, that being Piano Girl. One person in the crowd hummed the melody aloud before the band started playing, highlighting its memorability.
The crowd rose in volume as Finlay relayed the line "My voice is in the CROWD". It was a fitting finale filled with fun; that was, before the crowd chanted "Teddy! Teddy! Teddy!", willing on an encore. The band obliged and returned to the stage, Finlay joking as he said "Y'all are a bunch of cry-babies".
Teenage Dads then played its biggest hit in terms of plays, Sunburnt, which the band released in 2018 as part of its Potpourri Lake album. The crowd moved more than ever as they danced and sang along; the energy was electric.
After this, Finlay finally introduced the band before they played its last song - Hottest 100-charting single, Teddy. The biggest song of the show was saved until last as the lights flashed around while the band and crowd danced and jumped. The band utilised call-and-response in the chorus very well by chanting "Teddy!", which the crowd chanted back with a lot of enthusiasm.
It was more than a fitting end to a concert filled with high energy and songs to remember live, along with its more somber moments which expertly displayed the band's versatility in its discography.
Overall, it was a performance where smiles would not leave faces afterwards; Teenage Dads showed why it is one of the rising bands in Australian music.
Come on, Cowboy. Fire your Gun!
Thank You for the Honey, Honey
Goodbye, Goodbye Again
Video Killed the Radio Star (Cover)
Teenage Dads wrapped up its Midnight Driving tour in Melbourne on Wednesday, March 22, now preparing for upcoming shows in Perth and New Zealand, before performing at Groovin the Moo in South Australia, New South Wales, Canberra, Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia.
The band will end its tour in Australia with one final show in Box Hill, Victoria, before embarking on a tour across Ireland and the United Kingdom.
To view a full photo gallery from Teenage Dads' show at Prince Bandroom in Victoria on March 10, click here.