Last Dinosaurs decorated Melbourne's Howler with all the vibrancy of their stunning third album

Capping off the final stop of their Australian tour in Melbourne, the boys were back better than ever.

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Image source: 
BandAnna Photography

Back in October 2018, Australian indie-rockers Last Dinosaurs embarked on a sneaky mini-tour, playing just a handful of shows in smaller, more intimate venues by design – it was a low-key appetiser of astronomical servings to come, a revving of engines before a race’s pistol. The entirety of their hotly anticipated third album Yumeno Garden had dropped merely days prior to those shows, but tickets sold out months before then. The boys wanted a way to mark their return before the actual return, a revival from momentary extinction.

Fast-forward to 2019. The trio play nine hulking shows across five cities, for the official Yumeno Garden Australian tour. Furthermore, a third surprise show was subsequently added to the Melbourne schedule due to overwhelming demand and they’ve done it again, selling out within minutes. With some tweaks from their 2018 shows (including singer Sean Caskey’s platinum blonde metamorphosis) and an emphasis on their newer creations, the boys hit the road once more promising, and fully delivering, their finest anthems yet at Melbourne’s Howler.

triple j Unearthed winners RAT!hammock took the stage first and warmed up the early birds with their low tempo pop-rock, inspired by sounds of a decade that’s gone but fondly remembered. I say early birds initially, but very soon after they’d begun playing was it apparent that entry to the bandroom was simply held up by patrons having to pour their glass bevvies into solo cups. Make no mistake, the crowd dug these rats, and the room was soon packed by the end of their first chorus. With tracks like ‘Love You Til I Die’, new single ‘Ghost’, and crowd favourite ‘June’ capitalising on that blend of heartbreak melancholia we were anticipating for the night, these rock Rats are bound for more scurrying we’re sure.

Handing over the reins from one band of animals to another, ‘Satellites’' ambient oceanic cacophonies made known the slow creeping of Last Dinosaurs onto the stage. Fading into the perky ‘Weekend’, a dancefloor frenzy was initiated as punters clambered over each other to get closer to the front. ‘Dominos’ escalated that energy to greater heights with its frenetic drumming and ‘Andy’ was a befitting crowd classic that kept the good ol’ times rollin’ soon after.

In matching enthusiasm lead singer Caskey acknowledged the crowd’s hearty singing in mutual affection, before embarking on what is notably one of the album’s flashiest riffs in ‘Sense’, followed by ‘Bass God’ – a contemplative ode to self-reflection through general boogieing. ‘Time & Place’ was accompanied by Caskey’s confessional love for inventor Nikola Tesla, but when the bright signature synths of ‘Italo Disco’ hit the floor straight after, the room erupted in pure noise and ecstasy.

Unmistakably Yumeno Garden’s most sombre and lyrically honest, the track is a salute to the now dormant Italian disco genre, and was inspired by lead guitarist Lachlan Caskey’s tales in Verona, Italy. As Sean takes the back seat, Lachlan’s haunting emoting of the lyrics paired with the bittersweet consistency of the synths massaged everyone into mere puddles. “There will always be a place in my heart – but baby can’t you see we were meant to fall apart?”

With plastic cups now topped up with their neighbour’s tears, Lachlan goes on twice more to try and clean us out. ‘Everything Relative’ and ‘Shallow Boy’ are proof that the singer-songwriting Caskey brothers and bassist Michael Sloane are a threatening trio that can converge creative variations into sole entities.

Indeed, Yumeno Garden has a figurative A-side and B-side, with Sean and Lachlan representing each half yet still managing to obtain harmony and continuity both in album and performance. It’s a wonder what could’ve been had Lachlan’s vocals been introduced earlier in past works. 

Embarking on their American tour (and dropping hints of a European one), Sean bids adieu in the only fashion he knows how to. “The last chapter, here it comes. We must close this book and write a new one. We love you Melbourne.” Nonchalantly leaping into a crowd surf as anime opener befitting ‘Eleven’, and its generous electric riff, flower the place with sonic confetti. “I don’t wanna go, so slowly.”

Highlight: At aforementioned shows in October, new tracks fell on deaf ears because the full album had only just dropped. This time, besides the classics, their oldies took a firm backseat.

Lowlight: No encore. Just kidding. None of that dreaded, obligatory lunacy as artists hid behind curtains frothing/doing push-ups. But overly loud bass thumps and muddy lows from sound systems often drowned out the effervescent riffs the boys are known for.

Crowd favourite: It can only be ‘Honolulu’.