Andrew was up from Sydney for the weekend and crashing at my place, so I got to have a really good catch up with him, even though the only thing we really did was Saturday dinner with 10+ of his mates (which means I didn't really talk to Andrew at all that night *g*).
I caught up with Tash & Shane on Saturday morning on my way to Carindale to buy my brother's birthday present. They also needed to shop for some stuff so we all went to Carindale together and I got some quality time with each of them.
And I went up to the hospital on Sunday morning to give Ben his present and spent most of the day there helping out with the 3 kids. His present (an off-road remote control car) went down very well - not only with Ben himself (he immediately took off with it and terrorised the ward by zipping it around people and furniture - nice to see a 35yo bloke getting in touch with his inner child), but also with the kids, who had a bit of trouble separating out the idea of a toy that belonged to Dad.
And then there's the two FourPlay gigs I went to on Saturday and Sunday nights.
The gigs were part of the album launch tour for the new album "Now to the Future". I'd bought the album and 3 singles through FourPlay's online shop a while back, and had heard many of the songs during previous gigs before they were recorded for the album, so I was familiar with all of the songs played.
I arrived about 1/2 way through the support (Misinterpretato) on Saturday night, which is a shame because I really like those guys and haven't seen them in a while. I caught up with rent-a-crowd (the place seemed to be full of people I know!) during the break and then went and sat with Kate and Kris near the front just before FourPlay started. Maybe it was the bottle of wine I had with dinner, maybe it was the big compliment I'd received earlier that day, maybe it was just FourPlay themselves, but I was in a state of bliss throughout the whole gig. Though I'm not normally the type who sings along unless crowd participation is requested, I admit that I just couldn't help myself during "Trust". There is something that happens when Lara starts singing, I just can't take my eyes off her. Since I'm a heterosexual chick, it's not just because she's easy on the eye and not just because she has a beautiful voice, though the only other singer who has ever caused this reaction is Katie Noonan. I think it's something to do with the feeling you get that she's singing from the heart and it wouldn't make a difference whether the audience were there or not, she'd be singing it exactly the same if she was singing it to herself in the shower.
Anyway, I'm over-tired and so waxing poetical (or suffering from verbal diahorrea - you decide ;) ). In plain language, the gig was good. I had fun.
Sunday night I made a concerted effort to get there early enough so I wouldn't miss Tom Thumb. As it turns out, I was a bit too early, particularly since Sunday night's gig was the opposite of Saturday's night in the social sense - I didn't know anyone in the crowd. But Tom Thumb was worth it. He's a beatboxer and that's not a talent I've really had much appreciation for (with the possible exception of Mal Webb), but this guy was just amazing. I have absolutely no idea how he does half of the stuff he does, and he performs with humour and doesn't take it all too seriously, which makes for an entertaining set.
Tom Thumb also got up and performed a couple of guest roles with FourPlay - I got the impression that "Sabotage" was planned (though unrehearsed) but that "Enter the Sandman" was a completely spontaneous thing. I had mixed emotions about the collaboration - while he certainly mixed in well with the songs and made them more dance-able, I think maybe the mic was too loud for beatboxing or something because there were times when he overpowered the four members of FourPlay, and so detracted from the song rather than enhanced it.
Anyway, other than that, FourPlay gave another stellar performance (with the possible exception of two off-notes *g*). I didn't quite go into the same trance state as Saturday night, but I'm blaming that on my day rather than on the band as I just couldn't get my brain to stop flicking away from the music and onto other stuff. The crowd was also more irritating on Sunday night with a couple of very loud people near me insisting on talking and bellowing with laughter through some of the quieter songs. The rapturous applause and cheers of Saturday night were also missing, though Sunday's crowd did give FourPlay a standing ovation at the end of their set.