The Midnight: 2024 Australian Tour, Forum Melbourne, Melbourne, March 2nd 2024 – Live Review

If I could travel back in time to any era of my choosing, I would 100% head back to the 1980s.

The 80s have always fascinated me with its retro video games, collectable toys, its fluorescent colour or black and white lace fashion craze, its comfort TV shows, iconic sci-fi and action movies, and its epic rock and pop music with that smooth synthesiser sound that’s unique to its time, or so I thought! So, you can imagine my surprise when I recently discovered synthwave band – The Midnight.

Originating back in 2012 in Los Angeles by its founding members Tim McEwan and Tyler Lyle, The Midnight are no strangers to Australia. Having toured Australia back in 2019 (playing in Melbourne at the iconic Corner Hotel), The Midnight recently returned to our shores, 5 years later, to a much larger following in Australia than they’ve ever had before.

With additional touring members Lelia Broussard on the bass, Royce Whittaker on guitar, and Justin Klunk on the saxophone and synth, this 5 piece band were in for treat just as much as we were to see them. In fact, The Midnight were so in demand in our fair city, Melbourne had to have two back-to-back concerts to satisfy fans, with one at the Forum Melbourne and the other more intimate show at the Prince Bandroom.

Melbourne, the live music capital of Australia with the most live music venues per capita in the world, was the only city of The Midnight’s 2024 Australian tour to have two shows. For my first time seeing this beloved talented synthwave band, I was lucky enough to attend their sold-out concert held at the iconic Forum Melbourne on Saturday the 2nd of March.

The Midnight’s concert was a well-oiled machine from the get-go. Addressing the dedicated Melbourne audience from the very beginning, lead-singer Tyler Lyle asked, “How are you feeling tonight?” and the best part about this was not just for the sincerity that came across, but for how refreshing it felt to have a music artist acknowledge and get a vibe of their audience straight away and not take several songs to do so.

This 18+ gig had patrons spanning generations and it was a wonderful sight to see. The interactions and the energy exchange between the band and their fans felt so wholesome, endearing and genuine. Lyle even stated, “We are so happy to be back in Australia!”, sharing that this Melbourne show had more people than their last Melbourne visit.

Throughout the night, Lyle would also frequently encourage fans to sing along with him, pointing his microphone to the audience on multiple occasions, and sing along – they did. Elated and at the top of their lungs, patrons boomed aloud in unison to some of The Midnight’s catchiest songs including ‘Lost Boy’, ‘Gloria’, ‘Change Your Heart or Die’,  the gorgeous and popular ‘Los Angeles’, ‘Heartbeat’ with its epic key change, and crowd favourite ‘Days of Thunder’.

Every touring member of the band had their own moment to shine. Royce Whittaker was an absolute beast on the guitar, producer and songwriter Tim McEwan looked so happy on the drums, Leila Broussard had her own guitar solos too as well as the opportunity lead some songs with her powerful singing voice, Tyler Lyle never hesitated to affectionately praise the Melbourne audience at every chance he got, warmly exclaiming, “Melbourne, you sounded beautiful!”. Last but not at all least, Justin Klunk absolutely slayed on the saxophone and his solos were always met with eruptive and supportive collective cheers.

The more the Melbourne crowd got into the music, the more The Midnight would throw it right back tenfold, and they really looked like they were having a blast on the Forum stage. Actually, the entire venue was overflowing with pure joy. Say what you want but nothing beats the happiness gained from experiencing live music, particularly The Midnight which I’m certain would light the dark corners of any music venue room. Klunk even ran down to the barrier around the end of the night to showcase an epic sax solo to the most dedicated of Midnight fans that got in early to score a spot in the front row.

My favourite songs of the night, however, were ‘Crystalline’ and ‘Vampire’ with their epic sax solos to die for, and the powerful but sweet ‘Sunset’ which sounded straight out of an 80s movie soundtrack. If I didn’t know any better, they could have fooled me. The song was just that damn good and made for a brilliant and fun sing-along from the Melbourne patrons that were dancing and jumping along in elation, having the best night ever.

Honestly, somebody needs to give The Midnight the opportunity to score music for a Hollywood movie. I’m sure that they’d be free to do the new Tron: Ares or the next Top Gun movie if Disney or Tom Cruise were smart enough to ask them to.

While I am aware that it’s still 2024 and I didn’t exactly travel back in time that night, The Midnight still successfully provided, together with their multi instrumental talents proudly on display – the nostalgia fuelled trip that I’ve always wanted. Nobody respectfully pays homage to 80s pop culture much like The Midnight do. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take another 5 years for them to come back to Australia because I’d see them again in a heartbeat.

Proudly presented by Secret Sounds, The Midnight played their sold-out Melbourne show at Forum Melbourne on Saturday the 2nd of March as part of their 2024 Australian Tour.

For more information on The Midnight, visit:
https://www.themidnightofficial.com
https://secretsounds.com/tour/the-midnight-tickets-2024

Photography by Grant Alexander.

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