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Live Review: Uncaged Festival Brisbane 2022

Artist: Various Artits – Uncaged Festival
Venue: Eatons Hill Hotel
Date: April 24th 2022
Reviewer: Hayley Treadwell
Photographer: Andrew Treadwell Photographer

The weather in Brisbane went to hell and the rain was coming down, so I was grateful the gig was moved inside. Uncaged was a raw 1990’s dirty pub celebration of Aussie Rock that went for 13.5 hours, and for those that were there from the beginning til the end it was a real treat. 

I always have a big love for the punters that arrive early at a festival. EVERYONE SHOULD! This is how you discover music you don’t know. This is how those artists get more exposure and grow in the industry. If you buy a ticket to a festival, I implore you to be there when the gates open!! Line the block, get your money’s worth and party from the first song to the last one!! 

And if you arrive when the gates open, you can grab a drink find a spot in time to hear the first band, who at Uncaged where fucking phenomonal!! 

A band I had not heard before, ‘The Black Cardinals’ gave their all on the stage. With their heavy bluesy sound and grunty yet soulful vocals, these guys have been swiftly added to my playlist. The band was tight and I thoroughly enjoyed watching one of the guitarists and the drummer immersed in a jam mid song. 

I also got the opportunity to chat to some of the band members later in the night. A great bunch of guys who just love their music, were stoked about being on this festival line up and were in awe of the company they were in. A great opener for Uncaged, I look forward to seeing The Black Cardinals again soon. 

I Built The Sky were also new to me and I kept waiting for the singer to take the stage. But when one didn’t appear I realized we were in the presence of instrumental rock. Think Santana but heavier. Their musical intricacies shone bright and were appreciated by all.

Dead City Ruins are like a composition of Aussie pub rock and 80’s hair metal and were entertaining as fuck live. Swinging their hair while hammering their instruments, producing big riffs, with an overall big sound and even bigger vocals, these guys probably could have been further up the bill but I was happy to see them live nonetheless. 

Fashion is certainly not paramount when ‘End Of Fashion’ take the stage. These guys look good, but they could be wearing paper bags and still instantly grab your attention with their amazing sound! Big in the early 2000’s these guys are still killing it on stage. Justin Burford’s vocals are powerful and captivating, as is watching him jump and dance around the stage between singing duties. This is a band who have made their mark in Australian Music and are staying put. Another group of guys we were fortunate to meet and chat with for a while and it was so wonderful to see them cheering their fellow bands along, singing their songs and supporting their friends. Thanks for the hang guys. 

Whenever I know Link Meanie is about to take the stage at the helm of The Meanies, I get excited! And there were equally excited ‘old men’ in the crowd who were absolutely letting loose to these guys! Link is a maniac on stage and the band absolutely rip. Delivering their brand of enthusiasm with each song, The Meanies are Aussie Pub rock royalty! 

The Hard Ons have been a big name in Australian Music since the 80’s, but with Tim Rogers out front, they have been reinvigorated! What a frontman and what a band! They left everything out there, including their shirts! Although Tim did complain the air con was a little cool on his nipples, they smashed out their set with the highest energy of the day yet. Big riffs, big bass, big entertainment. 

Formed in the early 2000’s, The Getaway Plan took the stage next. They looked like the babies of the festival, although quite accomplished in their career. There was certainly a fanbase in the crowd for these guys and as they delivered song after song with great conviction the crowd sang and danced away. 

I remember rocking out hard to punk rock band 28 Days in the car. Always so much fun with their mash up of rap and rock vocals. Then throw in some screaming, deep bass notes and catchy hooks and these guys come to play. The band are tight as ever and were certainly a crowd favorite. Our head chief here at H2Z took Lonny of 28 days for a wonder through the festival to chat to some punters, grabbed a dance along to Tex Perkins and enjoyed his first ever shoey, all in preparation for the upcoming podcast episode the band. These guys are fun on and off the stage, reminding up that Rock and Roll is all about the fun! 

Bodyjar have been making music in Australia since the 90’s and performed songs spanning their career with plenty from their latest released album. It was great to have the mix of old and new in the set, but no matter what era it was from, the boys of Bodyjar were brutal! And as a blow up beach ball bounced through the crowd, the crowd bounced along to all the songs!

Magic Dirt honestly came out seeming a little deflated compared to what I have seen from them in the past, but it didn’t take long for them to kick it up to their usual level. Adalita is a female rock goddess who frequently embodies Hendrix while on stage and the crowd absolutely loved her. Singing the songs of our teenage angst, I feel like this set may have had the loudest crowd sing along for the night. 

Killing Heidi kept the singing going, and even with a sore throat, Ella Hooper powered her way through their set. These guys are a favorite from my teen years and everytime i see them I am taken straight back there. I love the addition of the keys and the keyboardists’ great harmonies with Ella. Watching a great Aussie front woman dance jump and run across the stage as she sings her heart out is always a good time. 

The unexpected package of the night for me was Twelve Foot Ninja. I always love the first time you see a band live and I was not disappointed here. In their brightly coloured 90s surfie outfits and fluro green bumbags, these guys tore up the stage and the crowd ate it up! Heavy as fuck! You could feel the bass in your chest and there was no way you couldn’t bang your head along. These guys are touring internationally next year and I hope they do a trip around Aus too. 

Tex Perkins + The Fat Rubber Band bring their hillbilly rock to Uncaged next and I am a little confused as to when they are gonna get a little uncaged. Although one of the Fat Rubber Band members may have been doing the job for them all. Tex has a great voice and the band are outstanding, but I honestly just think they need to be on a different line up. The most exciting moments being when they kicked into a couple of songs from Tex’s days in The Cruel Sea. 

The next band on the stage was Shihad. Holy fuck. I just fell in love with these guys all over again. Out of NZ, (although i’m pretty sure have done the horribly typical Australian thing and tried to adopt them as our own) Shihad still knows how to bring it. One of my favorite moments of the night was when they did a cover of fellow NZ band Split Enz song ‘I Got You’, this really hyped the crowd for the rest of their set and when they were done we all wanted more. 

Next, doing double duties for the night, one of Australia’s best frontmen Tim Rogers took the stage with long-time band You Am I and we were given an exuberant performance. Their brand of alternative rock is full of quirks and is so much fun. The band is flawless in their delivery of every song and Tim is just utterly captivating. You Am I left everything on the stage showing why they are still one of Australia’s greatest bands. 

And speaking of great Aussie rock bands, nothing could contain my excitement when Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother took the stage and let out his first note! What a voice. I hear it accompanied with the heavy guitars and the unique Wolfmother sound and I just want to jump around. After being injured and in a brace, it was good to see Stockdale braceless and with a bit more movement for the last of the Uncaged festivals.  Wolfmother gave us just over an hour of fantastic Aussie Rock and sent the crowd on their way with big smiles and their live music void filled.

I was sad when I heard Uncaged had to be cut back to 1 stage. Last minute changes are hard for everyone, including the promoter. But rather than be defeated by circumstance, Silverback Touring did everything they could to still give us a music festival on Sunday, after all the Covid shit they have endured already, and they have been proactive in ensuring there is still opportunity for the artists we didn’t get to see to take the stage and put on a show for us. So make sure you get out and support them. And if you’re not going to, then learn to shut your mouth and let the people working hard to bring us these tours do the great job they are doing. 

Uncaged Festival in Brisbane was off the hook! I talked to lots of Artists who said while Brisbane wasn’t as big a crowd as the others, we had the best energy and they loved us! Brisbane, keep buying tickets!!! 

To all the folks at Uncaged and Silverback Touring thank you so much for holding on through all the shifts and changes and the sometimes utter bullshit, and bringing us this phenomenal Aussie Rock Festival! 

Until the next gig 

Hayley x

Hear2Zen Magazine
Hear2Zen is a "Non Genre Specific" publication that celebrates all things sensory.

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