Client Liaison's Zoo Twilights show reaffirmed their status as Australia's most irresistible live band

It was a feast for the eyes that's for sure.

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Image source: 
Josh Braybrook

Okay, I will preface this review with a statement – if you haven't been to a gig at the Melbourne Zoo, do yourself a favour. Treated to an all-access pass of the entire zoo, after checking out the wildlife on offer pre-show, we moseyed on back to the mainstage to settle in for the evening.

First up was a performer currently at the peak of her powers. Whistling through a tight 45 minutes of relentless bangers hotter than the debate around onion on your Bunnings sausage, Kira Puru lit up the stage and was the perfect warm-up for the festivities that laid ahead.

The tunes were tight as a nut and the banter was coming in thick and fast, with Puru taking the moments between songs to turn on the charm and butter up the crowd up before belting through one bonafide crowd pleaser after another – closing with fan favourite 'Molotov', since to have come in at #75 in triple j's Hottest 100 for 2018. If you've never done so, treat yourself; take your fine ass out on a hot solo date to the next Kira Puru show. Who knows? You might even get to take yourself home.

Next up were Client Liaison, who are one of the strangest acts to have come up in the Australian musical landscape over the last decade, and it feels like things are only getting weirder. Don't get me wrong, all of the ingredients are the same as you would recognise – big hair, big shades, big costume changes, big keytar solos, big boy cans of Fosters. Everything you expected from the show tonight, you got. Still, something was a little off.

For one, we're all at a zoo. So there's a clear indicator from the jump that tonight is gonna be a strange one. Tons of full families resting on the grass after taking in the animals, splayed out on blankets picnic-style with all manner of accoutrements to lounge and snack upon while we all partake in the 'big rock show'. Not exactly the environment I'd be used to seeing ironic synth-pop in, but then again, who else would it be?

Secondly, your standard merch fare was nowhere to be found, with the band instead running a pop-up store for their new fashion label, Client Liaison Deluxe Line. Which seems fine on print, but perusing $150 board shorts before a concert is not my cup of tea. Then again, who else's fans would even consider purchasing high-end fashion from their favourite band pre-show? While seeing them at the zoo, no less?

It would have to be none other than Client Liaison, and while their brand is evolving beyond cheap gimmicks and bad flash videos, the presentation that I witnessed this evening was second to none. The stage show was a total package, set up to look like a bad Centrelink office complete with fake plants and gigantic water coolers. They nailed through a tidy set of hits spanning both their debut EP and most recent LP Diplomatic Immunity, as well as a couple that didn't fall within that span - seeing such a diverse crowd lose their minds at covers of the INXS classic 'Need You Tonight' and Icehouse's 'Great Southern Land' was a special joy for me.

The outfit changes were nearly seamless – I counted at least five which is no small feat. And while the over-the-top ridiculousness and prop comedy of past shows felt a bit lacking this evening, what CL lacked in novelty they more than made up for in quality, playing their set as sincerely and accurately as they could without completely sacrificing the frivolity of it all.

Simply put, the level of presentation that Client Liaison brought to the stage tonight stated very plainly that this is only the beginning for one of Australia's most popular acts today, and I can't wait to see what they have up their sleeves next.

Highlight: The Fosters, as always.

Lowlight: Not enough ironing boards for my liking.

Crowd Favourite: Client Liaison's INXS – 'Need You Tonight' cover.