Ah, the 2000s. It was the time of all things Arcade Fire, The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand, Vampire Weekend, and (of course), Bloc Party. It is no wonder that the ‘Silent Alarm’ Australian tour sold out in Adelaide to a nostalgic audience keen to celebrate one of Indie Rock’s most infamous bands. The tour wasn’t just a celebration of Bloc Party; it was a celebration of a platinum album that shaped Indie music for the next thirteen years. With ‘Helicopter’ and ‘Banquet’ being reminisced as some of the best Indie songs of all time, seeing Bloc Party live was like stepping back in time.
Not even thunder and lightning could stop the Adelaide crowd, and with a stream of white light, Bloc Party warmed up the audience with ‘Compliments’ and ‘Plans’. Despite the slow ease into the show, you could feel the crowd hyping up for the fun to come.
It soon became clear that Bloc Party were playing their infamous album Silent Alarm in reverse, when they leapt into ‘Luno’. With the audience shouting back the infamous lyrics, “and your nose is bleeding!”, a red background and a strobe flickered throughout Thebarton theatre. Bloc Party followed with ‘So Here We Are’ and ‘Price of Gasoline’ as the audience swayed.
Given that it has been thirteen years since the release of Silent Alarm, the audience were buzzing in anticipation to see if the party could live up to their previous performances, with then drummer Matt Tong and bassist Gordon Moakes, who left in 2013 and 2015 respectively. Previously, the infamous group were reliant on a dynamic that was centred around Tong’s ridiculous amount of energy and his charismatic performance that was all consuming. Initially, I thought the performance was mildly underwhelming and not what I expected from the Indie Gods.
However, as Bloc Party began ‘The Pioneers’ and ‘This Modern Love’, I realised that the group’s new united front is different, but equally exceptional. They’ve slowed down, yes, but as a group their skill has matured and developed beyond their initial hype tracks. Their tour celebrated how they’ve developed as musicians. As confetti sprinkled throughout the audience, I felt a sense that we were all equally impressed. They jumped into ‘She’s Hearing Voices’ and ‘Blue Light’, hyping up the audience for the anticipatory classic songs we all knew were coming.
With a roar of cheers, the people got what they were coming for with the first few beats of ‘Banquet’. With huge grins, Bloc Party rode the wave of the crowd’s hype, with tracks ‘Positive Tension’, and the infamous ‘Helicopter’. With the scream back of “are you hoping for a miracle?”, it felt like we had wished and received. Following with the dark green set design and ‘Like Eating Grass’, frontman Kele Okereke left with a simple “and that was that!”
The thought of ending a show without a wild finale shocked the crowd, and not long afterwards there was an uproar of stamping and shouting, with Bloc Party returning for their encore. They played ‘Two More Years’, followed by ‘Little Thoughts’, ‘Octopus’ and ‘The Love Within’. With Kele’s dance moves came his final words, “at home, we call this a banger!”, the party finished with ‘Ratchet’. As the crowd cheered and applauded, we left the Thebby and stepped into a freezing cold storm, warmed by the nostalgia.
Review: November 21st, Thebarton Theatre. ‘Silent Alarm’ Tour, Bloc Party.