When you combine Sailor Jerry and Rolling Stone Australia together for an exclusive run of free intimate gigs, the floors are bound to be sticky, and the mosh pits are promised to get rowdy. And that is exactly what happened on their three-date East Coast partnership that felt like a perfect rock-n-roll fever dream.
The Sailor Jerry’s Road to Rolling Stone Awards is a series that celebrated the lead up to the 2022 Sailor Jerry Rolling Stone Australia Awards, and energetically welcomes punters back to independent live venues after the tumultuous past two years. Kicking off in Melbourne with The Grogans at Stay Gold, and then rolling into Sydney with The Terrys at Mary’s Underground, it was time for Eliza & the Delusionals to turn the amps on in Brisbane at Suzie Wongs for the big finale.
While punters sipped on their Sailor Jerry’s spiced rum beverages, the venue increasingly got more packed as people trickled through the door and squeezed themselves through the mosh pit that was brooding with anticipation for the band’s arrival. I found myself cushioned in the corner next to the doorway with no room to go other than jump around in the mosh pit to try to get a moment of cool air.
It was a feeling that has become quite rare in the current world, whereas three years ago any music lover was constantly dancing and jumping in other people’s sweat, and we wouldn’t have thought twice about it. It was nice to return to this chaotic energy, and embrace music culture again with drinks spilling on you, and hundreds of strangers around you screaming out the same words. It felt like the unity we needed, and an important reminder that we will soon all be doing this again across the world.
Looking around at the venue, it really did feel like the perfect home for this gig. It had a dive bar attitude intertwined with a Tiki bar aesthetic that paid homage to rock-n-roll with classic Rolling Stone covers hung on the wall. Sailor Jerry’s had a DJ spinning tunes from the moment doors opened to make sure the energy was immediately high.
As the bar staff swung the big bell ornaments that hung from the roof, Eliza & the Delusionals rioted their way onto the stage with their 2020 single, “Swimming Pool”. The good vibes were euphoric with the crowd ecstatically singing along to early favourites “19”, “Cigarette”, and “Pull Apart Heart”. Lead vocalist Eliza Klatt exclaimed her excitement and gratitude to be back in Brisbane and playing a show for Sailor Jerry and Rolling Stone after having to postpone two weeks earlier due to the devastating floods that impacted Queensland and New South Wales.
With their debut album Now and Then slated for a May 20th release, they wanted to take a moment to spotlight the new tracks and their infectious pop-punk energy. The previously released singles “YOU”, “Save Me”, “Nothing Yet”, and “Give You Everything” were immediately welcomed by big singalongs from the crowd. But they also gave punters an exclusive taste of what’s to come with the unreleased “Halloween” and “Bed Song”.
The band’s energy was fiercely matched by the crowd who were profusely sweating and jumping up and down to every lyric of every song. As they wrapped up the set with their smash hit “Just Exist”, the dive bar vibes of Suzie Wongs were electrified.
It truly felt like this gig was born to be at this particular Sailor Jerry home as the Hawaiian inspired Tiki bar was as loud and in-your-face as the band. From the moment you walked into the bar you were transported into a chaotic world of escapism, with great music and drinks bringing you into the moment.