After four years, Nothing But Thieves have finally returned to Australia as part of their ‘Welcome to the DCC Tour’ to reunite with their fans and also celebrate the release of their new album, ‘Moral Panic’.
Playing at the Forum Theatre, one of the most beautiful venues in Melbourne, if an overseas band sells it out, then they must really be loved. And if the crowd’s reaction was anything to go by, Nothing but Thieves could have easily sold out more nights at this iconic venue.
As each member of the English five-piece band walked onto the stage, the screams of the audience grew, reaching a fever pitch when lead singer Conor Mason joined his fellow members. Instantly blasting into ‘Futureproof’, the crowd was so familiar with the music they began dancing from the first chords played.
Everyone has at least one song from an artist they want to hear live, for me with Nothing But Thieves, it’s their song ‘Is Everybody Going Crazy?’ with its steady drum and bass rhythm that sounds so loud, it could blow a speaker. And it was also the perfect way to welcome in any latecomers.
Through the first half of the setlist, it was near impossible to critique Mason’s vocal abilities. He is one of those rare musicians that are as powerful on recorded as they are live. With a front man with such a dynamic stage presence, it’s understandable that the other band members rarely get the chance to show off their skills. So, mid-way a band jam provided Joe Langridge-Brown, Dominic Craik, Philip Blake, and James Price their own chance to shine.
The audience couldn’t help but love the banter Mason provided either, and the energy exchange between crowd and band was a combination of wholesome and hilarious. At one point, Mason remarked, “I don’t think we’ve ever played to such a group of rowdy c**ts!” which was met with thunderous laughter and applause. Mason also requested the crowd to chant the word back to him on the count of ‘3’ which fans were happily to obliged.
On of the most magical things that can happen at a concert is when audiences beautifully sing in unison an artist’s lyrics back to them. For Nothing But Thieves, these moments felt like in jokes between the band and their fans, and a lovely connection that was confirmed and still strong after 4 years of absence.
The most noteworthy reaction was for the song, ‘Sorry’. There was no invitation from the band for the crowd to start singing and because of this, Nothing But Thieves were so obviously moved by it, it took Mason almost a minute to join in with the Forum Melbourne choir.
Every song in the setlist was met with joy-filled cries from the Melbourne audience, but nothing could have compared to ‘Amsterdam’. Mason introduced the song by sharing, “Even if we’re performing to the worst crowd, this song goes off. But this is the best crowd ever, so this is gonna be great. This is Amsterdam!”, and if the casual onlooker needed any more evidence that Melbourne loved Nothing but Thieves, this was it.
As the song began, Dominic Craik held his hands up in the air in a clap, showing the crowd the beat, he wanted them to follow and the audience quickly followed suit. With the blissful song soon ending and the band leaving the stage, this inspired passionate cheers for “One more song!” which beautifully echoed throughout The Forum.
Remerging and instantly playing their new single, ‘Welcome to the DCC’ the Melbourne audience were again given by Nothing But Thieves what they’d be asking for. With many wearing ‘Welcome to the DCC’ shirts, the audience combined as one to joyfully dance with fellow fans that were once strangers.
Ending the show on an incredible high, ‘Impossible’ inspired the crowd to harmonise again, coming together with more dancing, while some punters were moved to tears. At one point, Conor Mason joyfully told the Melbourne crowd that band would return next year which was obviously met with ecstatic cheers. When they return to Melbourne again, I know I’ll have to see them again.
The experience of a Nothing but Thieves show was equally as moving as it was incredible. Their music is fantastic, their performance in Melbourne didn’t disappoint, while their talent, professionalism and presence exemplified just how unique the love shared between a band and their fans can be.
Nothing But Thieves are currently playing in Australia as part of their headline tour ‘Welcome to the DCC Tour’ and are also performing as part of music festival, Groovin’ the Moo. They performed in Melbourne at the iconic Forum Theatre as part of their headlining tour, have already visited Brisbane, and will head to Sydney and Fremantle next month.
For more information and ticketing for their headline tour, visit:
Photography by Michael Nguyen.