The Cat Empire returned to Adelaide to a sell-out Thebarton Theatre crowd who were ready to dance from the moment they arrived. Support act Tin Pan Orange (featuring Harry’s wife, Emily Lubitz, as lead vocalist) knew what to expect and had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hand, starting with the theme song from Round The Twist. Finishing up with Harry coming out and blasting away with his horn for the finale, they will have earned themselves some fans after tonight’s efforts.
It was over quickly though and on to the main act, The Cat Empire. Consummate professionals and well-travelled performers, this is a group you know what to expect from and who never disappoint. Tonight was no different.
Kicking off with ‘Steal The Light’, the title track from their newest record, Felix Reibl & co. made an energetic start to the gig and the frenetic pace continued almost non-stop until the end of the show. ‘All Night Along’, ‘How To Explain’ and ‘Call Me Home’ were all received very well by the crowd, but as we found at Bluesfest this year, ‘Wild Animals’ has quickly become a strong crowd favourite. That track was only beaten to the biggest reaction all night by ‘All Night Along’ which drew an enormous cheer from the crowd.
Some new crowd favourites appeared at this gig, with the audience responding very well to the three female dancers who sambaed onstage through various numbers and added some more liveliness to an already energetic set. A tad more confusing was the bizarre dancer, Enigma, who appeared during ‘Prophets In The Sky’ and ‘The Darkness’ where he was dressed as a skeleton. The band obviously enjoyed his antics but he didn’t seem a particularly talented dancer and served more to distract from the songs rather than enhance them. Not that it mattered, sharp as the group is, nothing could distract from what they did musically for long. With ‘The Wine Song’, Harry had the crowd back onboard directing circle dancing “like they do at Italian weddings” before finishing off the main set with ‘Stay Young’. Their return to the stage finishes the show with ‘Am I Wrong’, ‘The Chariot’ and ‘All Night Loud’.
The Cat Empire never disappoint and this show was no exception. Upbeat, energetic and ready to have fun, this wasn’t a good concert, this was an amazing party. A diverse crowd of oldies, kids, school band musicians and a lot of dancers joined in and helped the band create a fantastic atmosphere you couldn’t help but get caught up in. Even if you’ve seen them a dozen times before, they always offer up enough surprises that you leave knowing you’ve seen a new concert. This new concert was a great one, full of surprises and lots more to love. If you missed it, you should be kicking yourself.