Reviews – The Cat Empire’s 1000th show celebration gig @ Federation Square

The Cat Empire performing at Forum Theatre last year. Photograph by Lillian Altman
The Cat Empire performing at Forum Theatre last year. Photograph by Lillian Altman

This review was published on the AU review on 24/03/2014 and can be viewed here.

The Cat Empire performed a flawless performance to their home crowd at Federation Square to celebrate their 1000th show.

In a recent interview with www.spultured.com, drummer Will Hull-Brown said the band have been able to keep track of the number of gigs performed because he has kept a list since their debut show on 24th May 2001 at The Commercial Club in Fitztroy. According to an infographic mapping out the 999 shows played previously, The Cat Empire have performed in 23 countries around the world, with some years averaging over 100 shows; sold over 1.5 million albums; played to more than 6 million fans and only one band member has ever missed a show (make that two, as horns section player Kieran Conrau was not in attendance tonight).

999 shows and counting. Courtesy of The Cat Empire
999 shows and counting. Courtesy of The Cat Empire

Performing a set similar to that of last year’s Steal The Light Forum Theatre show, the talented bunch of musos performed a good balance of old and new. 2013’s percussive, latin-influenced “Brighter Than Gold” opened the one and a half hour show. And everybody’s favourites, “The Chariot”, “Two Shoes” and “The Crowd” kept the fans swaying, singing, clapping, moshing and dancing all throughout the night.

Before launching into the song that catapulted the talented group into the stratosphere of our consciousness – 2003’s debut single “Hello” – Vocalist and percussionist, Felix Riebl, said he has a love/hate relationship for the sing-along, trumpet-ty, clap-along song that took them out of the underground.

By far, the highlight of the night was the fun-filled, “The Wine Song”. Introduced by the ever-mesmerising Ollie McGill on a never-ending fast-fingered piano solo intro. The song was made even more fun when Riebl encouraged the crowd to form small circles with strangers to mosh around with and finished up with a call-and-response chorus of ‘run, run, run, run, run, run, run, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun, drink, drink, drink, drink, drink, drink, drink, sun, sun, sun, sun, sun, sun, sun”.

In 2011 The Cat Empire celebrated 10 years together so here’s to hoping we see them in another 10 years at Federation Square to celebrate their 2000th show.

The Cat Empire performing at Forum Theatre last year
The Cat Empire performing at Forum Theatre last year. Photograph by Lillian Altman
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