Review: Hockey Dad

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Words by Caitlin Trindall

An overheard “I’ve never seen this place so packed before” was the sentiment of the night. Hockey Dad brought a stellar performance to the small but sold out venue of Petersham Bowling Club last night in Sydney as a part of their ‘So Tired Mini Tour’, an intimate gig that quite literally had the floor shaking underneath the crowd.

First up was support act Archy Punker, bringing a DMAs influenced sound to the room as people arrived to begin their night of sweaty dancing and drinking. Hailing from the South Coast, they set to the inner west with a liveliness that didn’t stop as Wayne’s World beanie clad males and alternative rock tee sporting females alike arrived for a night of head banging to come.

This head banging well and truly started with the second support act of the night, Sydney four-piece Hunch. With a modest but evidently loyal fan base, the boys stepped the energy up a notch from the previous act and saw fans rocking their heads hard down the front of the venue. The band’s lead vocalist had a bit of cheek telling the crowd they were about to perform “the worst song we’ve ever written” before closing up their set with their EP title track ‘Piss In My Pockets’ complete with Peter Garett-eqsue dancing on top of the drum kit.

It was now time for Hockey Dad to take to the stage. Men were chugging beers and dancing in circles with the ladies as the crowd moved forward in an instant when coastal boys Zach Stephenson and Billy Fleming struck up their first notes. These boys really know how to create and control crowd dynamic, with a slow burning energy leading into an absolute sweat pit as Fleming promised he was about to play their best songs and continue on from there.

That he did. Crowd favourite ‘Girl with Two Hearts’ mid-set had punters moshing wildly on the packed out dance floor and the energy did not stop. Despite an ongoing battle the Hockey Dad lads were facing with the acoustics of the venue as the guys behind the soundboard desperately tried to fix the problem, the exhilaration (and beer) continued to flow. It was ‘Can’t Have Them’ accompanied by crowd surfing and backed up with newly released single ‘So Tired’ that saw the peak of the night. As Fleming sang along to their latest hit, the crowd shouted it back word for word.

The excitement continued on with encouragement of cold beers by Fleming and crowd pleaser ‘I Need A Woman’ drawing out phones for the first time to record the night. The night seemed to end almost too soon when it built up for a phenomenal conclusion with ‘Seaweed’ getting the crowd surfing going again, and almost surprisingly the floor underneath managed to stay intact.

Undeniably Hockey Dad gave an incredible performance to their Sydney fans. A mini tour to accompany their rocking new single ‘So Tired’, it’s certainly the start of something much larger.

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