Review: Jet's big comeback at the Melbourne Zoo Twilights

There was chanting for 'Cold Hard Bitch' and extreme crowd participation for 'Are You Gonna Be My Girl' - Jet came back with their alltime classics. 

Image source: 
Shania Kaye

Rock legends Jet were set to return to the stage at the Melbourne Zoo as part of their twilight series. This would be their big comeback. A warm Saturday evening, with support from The Spazzys, the crowd of families and friends was full of anticipation. Little did they know, their lovely picnic in the garden was about to get a lot more intense.

After a long wait, and with no Melbourne headlines for seven years but for a small, sold-out show at The Gasometer last year, the familiar drumbeat and bassline of ‘Get What You Need’ rang out and the crowd went wild. Entirely seated, they were now succumbing to the pressure to stand up. Although looking a little older, frontman Nic Cester commanded the audience’s attention as if no time had passed.

As ‘Rollover DJ’ began, more and more people abandoned their picnics to get up and dance. With the beginning of each song, the crowd seemed to take a moment to remind themselves which Jet favourite it was, as if they hadn’t heard them in years. Yet without a doubt, they could still sing them word for word. The same punters would call out between songs “one more
album”, which the band playfully ignored. Instead, they exclaimed, “we’re going to save some fucking bandicoots.”

Drummer Chris Cester took advantage of the break between songs to reflect how special the show was for them, being their first big hometown show for some time. Could the repeated lyric “don’t feel so bad” of ‘Skin & Bones’ so soon after this sentiment allude to the band playing more headline shows, and even new music? Maybe a stretch, but one can dream.

Then, the opening keys to ‘Seventeen’ played, a point of difference against the rest of the setlist. The jazzy piano through the song gave the impression of a more evolved Jet sound, which isn’t surprising, as it came from their latest album pre-break up, Shaka Rock. The crowd appointed themselves as the backup vocalists for the tail end of the chorus, paving the way for the peak of crowd participation in ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl’. The rattling tambourine lingered on past Nic’s vocal cue, cheekily teasing punters as they started to join, quickly realising they were singing alone.

Once the band left the stage after an incredible set, the crowd seemed satisfied – at least until the realization that they hadn’t yet heard ‘Cold Hard Bitch’. Not a single person moved from their spot, repeatedly chanting “Cold Hard Bitch, Cold Hard Bitch”. Finally they returned to play another three songs, finishing off with – you guessed it – ‘Cold Hard Bitch’.

Security guards ran through the crowd feverishly, as clearly the excitement had gotten too much for some. Jet took their formal goodbyes, banding together, bowing and leaving the stage. Still, the crowd hollered for one more song. If there was a silver lining, perhaps it would be that the band won’t leave it too long before they come back to a Melbourne stage again.

Highlight: Nicholas tripping over his lead and missing his cue, but strategically turning it into a
crowd sing-a- long

Lowlight: Looking around and realising there weren’t any children around. Hopefully they
weren’t drifting off into any animal enclosures…

Crowd Favourite: ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl’