Perth Farewells Loon Lake

Words: Jasmine Uitermark-Thaung

Last Friday was Loon Lake’s final ever Perth show and I’ve got to say…it was surreal.

There was a magnetic energy early on at Jack Rabbit Slim’s as local Perth indie rockers, Braves pumped out their lo-fi sounds. With the set being their second time they’ve performed on the Slim’s stage, the guys looked comfortable languishing in their dejected tunes from their 2014 EP Seapunk. Local bands are annihilating the industry at the moment and venues like Jack Rabbit Slim’s, pioneered by the Pilerats guys, are providing the medium for their live sounds to reach eager ears. Rhythmic jams from Braves proved to be no different as True Feelings got the crowd jiving a little amongst the fluid bass lines.

Honing their nostalgia prone tunes, Stillwater Giants took to the stage next after their brief hiatus period. Having perfected the communication between guitar riffs and those feelings you can never seem to shake post gig, resounding melodies from Fly Under the Radar echoed overhead whilst Henry Clarke’s voice burrowed into a place within our hearts. Patience, the four piece’s latest tune doing its rounds at the moment, was definitely well received by the crowd at Slim’s as Stillwater Giants performed it live for the first time. I don’t think anything could beat their surf rock take on Bruce Springsteen’s, Dancing in the Dark though in which lead guitarist Tom pulled off some serious moves whilst perched on Angus Watkin’s drum kit.

All too suddenly it was 11:30pm. The beginning to the end, and Loon Lake brought the house down. Coming on strong, the five piece seized their pulsing riffs to deliver On Fire which had punters moving within seconds. Garnering their surf rock vibes, Just Now, the first release off their forthcoming album had me thrashing my head with all my might as the drums resonated with my muscles but Winona Ryder, one of Loon Lake’s yet to be released songs proved to be my favourite from the night. Described by Sam Nolan as the song that “sums up the good times the band has had,” the track served as the beginning of the newest yet final Loon Lake anthem to ring out with nostalgia in our ears alongside set favourites like Into the Office and Bad to Me.

As the Melbourne band captivated their Perth audience a recent interview I did with Simon Nolan from Loon Lake resonated with me.

“For us personally when you’re playing, whether it’s 2,000 people or 20 people, you know it doesn’t matter what it is, when there’s heaps of people singing your song back at you it’s pretty rewarding and gratifying to think someone else knows your songs and cares about them. That’s probably the best thing, seeing your friends and fans in the crowd happy and dancing to your music…”
— Simon Nolan

It’s a quote that was in my head the whole set as I peered at all these emotional faces around me. What Loon Lake offered us Friday night was unforgettable, just as I imagine the rest of the tour will be for them and the remaining cities yet to witness the end of the Loon Lake era.