9:30 Club - Washington DC, USA
The concert was held last night at the 9.30 club. It was a packed house and the crowd responded amazingly well to the band. As an Aussie living in DC, I'd seen shows back home where the crowd participation was strong, but DC was off the charts.
The band was in excellent form and continue getting stronger with age. Despite the fact the album was released here only yesterday, Johns did not sing for a significant part of the new single, to test the audience with "Straight Lines" and it was carried exceptionally well by an enthusiastic audience. The new material was received very well and the crowd went bananas for the older material as the boys reached back as far as "Freak Show" to pull rockier numbers like "The Door" and "Freak", the latter on which they ended. Also well received by the crowd was "The Greatest View" and "Without You".
After coming off a bout of laryngitis Johns put in a gutsy effort singing, toward the end sounding a tad tired, but not letting it affect his performance in true "Aussie battler" fashion.
As an aside, Johns has developed into probably the most charismatic stage presence an Australian band has seen in a long, long time. He is a true rock star and works the crowd like a puppet master. At one stage pulling a punter up on stage to request a song, but warning him not to stage dive "because it's so grunge" and joking that if he did it, he would "bash him".
The band played a swirling encore and left to chants of "One more show!" by the DC locals. Conversations overheard afterward outside the 9.30 club were overwhelmingly positive, with most of the crowd blown away by the band. The rest of the tour is going to be brilliant if this show was any indication.