Words by Jonathon Poulson.
Last Friday night I went to see Dorsal Fins play at Rocket Bar and Rooftop and it’s safe to say it gave me a lot of ‘first time’ experiences that I would seriously like to recap on.
Firstly, let me put y’all at ease at say I had a fan(girl)-fricken-tastic time drinking and dancing to some extremely pulsating vibrations that were coming from all the spunky bands that performed that night.
I say fan(girl) because as you know, we are FINNs and Dorsal Fins has been one of our favourite acts to collab with – and it’s not just because of the similarity in our names.
Read on to find out why else and what went down…
To start the night off my friend Rachel and I made our way to Balcony Bar in town, where drinks are cheap and the crowd is chill – aka a perfect way to start a night out. Being it was my first gig review and both our first time going to Rocket; we were deliberating on whether to sip a soft moscato for pre drinks OR to order every type of vodka+mix they offered and see how many words we were slurring at the end of the night. Due to the fact that vodka+mixers were a naughty $5 each, you can guess which option we went with.
As it neared 10:30pm and we had giggled ourselves through enough drinks, we decided to make our way towards Rocket – both curious as to what sort of night we were in for. After being let in on the free VIP list (fancy af) we approached a daunting but glorious flight of stairs with psychedelic wallpaper that even my blurry vision could see was really pretty.
We came in just as The Montreals were setting the venue alight and provided us with a fantastic first impression. Rocket’s main bar and dance floor had such a chilled aesthetic and the stench of a sparked joint seemed to suit the vibes pretty damn well. We followed our noses up to the rooftop where the décor was equally impressive, and Rachel and I wondered how we’d never bothered to come here before. With $5 voddies and gins before 11pm I thought I’d indulge myself with a ‘first time’ experience and order my first gin and tonic. Unsurprisingly, morning-after me was not happy with my choice to mix drinks.
11pm passed and as the Rocket got busier, our anticipation to see the nine-piece band perform live grew along with our eagerness to get on that dance floor and have a solid boogie. We headed down to the main stage and felt the atmosphere building as everyone started to gravitate towards the d-floor. You could tell who the Rocket regulars were, they were the ones already jigging at the front helping get some energetic vibes well and truly rolling. Dorsal Fins began their set and literally within the first song, they were pumping out pure joy that was completely contagious and spread across the club instantly.
Dorsal Fins have managed to create a unique sound and stage set up that I’ve never seen or heard of before. They’ve got; Ella Thompson and Jarrad Brown leading the vocals, a drum kit, trumpet, saxophone, electric and bass guitar, keyboard, synthesizers, plus a bunch of other snazzy percussion instruments they all enjoy banging on. The production side of things is huge, allowing for a stage presence that is totally unique and fun for the audience.
Some would say it was too much. But others would say that their busy and slightly chaotic stage presence is what makes them so great. Surprisingly, the band gels about ten times more than you’d expect. I was so impressed at how they remained pitch perfect and worked up the tight-knit crowd. A fabulous first performance in Adelaide with flair and pizazz – I think we’ll all be patiently waiting on Dorsal Fins’ return!