Car Seat Headrest @ The Gasometer

Will Toledo of Car Seat Headrest is one of the most unassuming rock stars you’ll ever witness, so much so he played The Gasometer, a humble sized room for the lo-fi genius.
The bandroom filled up quickly for Dan Oke and his band Jarrow who possess an upbeat blend of garage and surf rock which was an ideal match for Car Seat Headrest. Oke rocked out so hard during the final track he broke a string but didn’t look phased at all, instead shredding even harder. Jarrow’s close to 40-minute set meant punters got to hear a good helping from their debut album 2003 Dream, one that no doubt may punters who weren’t familiar with the band are spinning on repeat now.
Toledo and his band were on stage before their scheduled time and got stuck into things with Fill In The Blank, itsunmistakable riff played to everyone’s glee. The crowd gave back as much energy as the band, raising their arms to sing the now iconic line “You have no right to be depressed you haven’t tried hard enough to like it,” with unbridled vigor.
While the set consisted mostly of songs from the band’s latest album Teens of Denial, Twin Fantasy also got a feature, with Sober to Death and Cute Thing getting a big reaction from the crowd. When the band started playing Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales there was a notable increase in crowd participation, as they belted the lyrics back to Toledo. So impressed with their recitation, Toledo requested the crowd continue since they “know the lyrics better than him,” bringing the song to its rousing conclusion.
The band also impressed with a cover of The Boys Next Door’s classic Shivers, Toledo singing with Rowland S. Howard’s intended disdain. The band wasted no time leaving the stage momentarily for an encore, closing the set with a cover of The Pixies’ Motorway to Roswell, sung by guitarist Ethan Ives.
The crowd’s appreciation for Toledo goes beyond merely enjoying his music ­– for many he’s become the soundtrack to their queer identity, his lyrics also providing comfort in their candidness around mental health. The show he and his band put on for their first tour of Australia will no doubt stand as one of those gigs you rave about having attended for many years to come.
By Holly Pereira
Highlight: The singalong to Drunk Driver/Killer Whales.
Lowlight: The feedback during Unforgiving Girl (She's Not An).
Crowd Favourite: Someone yelling “I voted for this song in the Hottest 100 when Jarrow started playing $$ Spoilers $$. Full discretion it was me.