Venue: Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
Season: one performance only
Duration: 1hr 40mins
Festival Bookings: BASS 131 241 or http://www.bass.net.au
From the moment that they walked onto the stage at the Space Theatre the Mason Rack Band held the attention of the audience. They started with a relatively slow and tranquil intro, which contrasted sharply with the heavy ‘bluesiness’ of the business end of La Grange, a classic ZZ Top number from the Tres Hombres LP of 1973.
Rapturous applause, followed by whistles and shouts, followed each and every one of the thirteen or so numbers of the show. Mason held the attention of his audience, not only with his music but also with tales of his early days as a somewhat ‘mischievous’ young man, later as a bricklayer and then as a musician, to which he said to all the bricklayers out there, “see there is still hope”
An introduction to his guitars ‘Marilyn’, “‘cause she’s a blonde”, and his trademark slide guitar, ‘Jezebel’, “’cause she’s a little bit naughty”, brought a cacophony of laughter, then an introduction to his band members brought plenty more raucous applause.
Crisp tight sound, punctuated with Masons growling, almost demonic vocals and voracious guitar solos were the order of the night, song after song with many a classic in the repertoire, all with the indelible stamp of the band’s own signature style. Both the drummer, Joel, and the bassist, Ross, provided a solid, tight and precise base from which Mason could perform, his guitar ‘dirty’ but clean, without the harshness of the typical ‘fuzz box’, the vocals were menacing at times, but then lilting and soft when required, a truly top class act.
Classics included Baby Please Don’t Go, Who Do You Love, I’m a Man, Voodoo Child, and Beast. One of the highlights of the night was the impromptu drum solo by the drummer, Joel, whilst Mason fixed a broken guitar string, others included a two man drum solo, (Mason, Joel), and Mason drumming on a beer keg, which was wheeled about the stage as required!
For the last number of the set the three members of the band took apart the drum kit, taking a drum or two each, rolled them to the front of the stage and proceeded with a display of drumming that was amazing, moving from drum to drum and throwing the sticks to each other, and all without missing a beat. Yes, the Mason Rack Band can certainly entertain as well as play great blues/rock music. A loud and rousing cry for more persuaded them to perform an encore, not their usual but a brand new number, ‘Take You Home’.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, by one of Australia’s top bands, for lovers of the blues/rock genre.
Reviewed by Roy Grantham, Guest Critic, Glam Adelaide.