There are many things that the Something For Kate gig stirred up within me, but none more poignant than the regret that I didn’t bring a picnic blanket to the show. Instead, I take a seat sandwiched between two other camps to live vicariously through their preparedness and await the arrival of the first act at the Melbourne Zoo that Friday.

Well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration of my purpose, as I was at a zoo. So, before my seating sorrows, I elected to see a few of the animals at a point not normally allowed. Most were either asleep of feeding, and my experience was damped greatly featuring an incident with a particularly terrifying free range emu, but other than that it was a fairly surreal and ultimately quite pretty experience . After watching the giraffes for a little while, I made my way back just in time to watch Melbourne’s the Orbweavers come out to the stage.

The lilting vocals of Marita Dyson perfectly suit the wooded venue, and the guitar in all its minimalism provided the most suited atmosphere. In between the sporadic animal facts, the Orbweavers drifted eerily like ghosts through their set, with little movement onstage. Which oddly enough suited them much better than any motion could have. As they leave, the sun still dangles in the air, watching.

Perhaps I’ve been to too many bar gigs of late, because the concept of a headliner coming out while the sun is still up is weird and foreign to me. Still, Something for Kate make their way out for a warm welcome from the plasma ball, but the audience too gives a warm reception to the alt-rock act. Beginning the festivities with a cover of REM’s classic The One I Love, the band doesn’t skip a beat in either loudness or playfulness, with all four members getting into one of their favoured jams.

Despite the shared sentiment of how bizarre it is that such an intense show is occurring less than 300 metres away from a pride of lions , the band seem as natural as ever, with Paul Dempsey’s vocals ringing out high than any bird in the aviary. As the night grows darkened and cooler, the band continue a heated set of hits, including fan favourites ‘Monsters’ and ‘Electricity’. After a set of 14 songs they walk offstage to a chorus of applause young and old in origin.

It didn’t take long for the alt-rock legends to arrive back onstage. With a thank you they launch into their 3rd from final song of the night, last year’s much adored Sweet Nothings. And for the first time the zoo is given its first mosh pit. With a lions roar faintly in the background, there’s a particularly wild tone to the entire event that won’t soon leave the audience’s heads.

Ben Spencer

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