Gig review: Trippin’ the Lights Fantastic – Ball Park Music

Briana Ferguson and Siobhan Caulfield checked out what dynamic five-piece Ball Park Music brought to Bar on the Hill.

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Listening to Ball Park Music is like being transfixed with enigmatic electricity. Their music intertwines energy, happiness and heartache; team that with frontman Sam Cromack’s eccentric persona and quirky dance moves, an excited crowd and a lights show, and the emotional gauge cranks up another ten notches.

Ball Park Music’s Trippin’ the Lights Fantastic Tour landed them in Newcastle Thursday night and they did not disappoint. Their classic vibe of crazy filled the audience with an insatiable need to mosh like there’s no tomorrow, especially when they played their crowd pleasers. The Bar on the Hill was a perfect setting for the band, and the Newcastle crowd were a welcoming and hospital bunch to perform to, rocking out to every song with enthusiasm and singing (or rather shouting) along with the band.

Upon arriving at the concert each audience member was given a set of customised 3D glasses and told the 3D effects were not to be missed: a very clever touch by the five-piece Brisbane band. They cheekily implied holographic visual feats, when they were truly referring to their own selves as the 3D experience.

Warming up the show was jaunty and punchy Pluto Jonze, adorning the set with a classic TV and playful bit graphics. The tunes were sweet and Pluto’s play on the Theremin was mesmerising. Dressed in matching suits, swanky four-piece band Millions were the impeccable transition, hypnotizing the audience with calmer but no less grooving tones.

Then the anticipated main act started, and the crowd jumped and danced to the beat of the first track. The concert boasted the perfect blend of old and new tracks. The first song of the evening to indulge everyone’s singing voices was Literally Baby, causing the mass of people to squirm in excitement as though belonging to a single entity.

Cromack delivered his promise of 80s geek chic that featured in their latest and tour-named track Trippin’ the Light Fantastic music video. Though wearing his electric guitar through most of the concert, Sam frequently flashed his energetic and quirky moves, shining his dancing glory on the audience often by stepping toward the edge of the stage and all but throwing himself into the crowd, especially through crowd-favourite Sad Rude Future Dude.

In true Ball Park Music style they played a track they’ve played over 300 times previously, with a twist that was an absolute treat for all fans. The band’s decision to slow down the usually upbeat and sporadic tune iFly highlighted the powerful bass that rumbled through the crowd’s chests.

At the end of set, Sam took off his shirt and did the exact thing his edging-off-the-stage dancing had promised; he flew into the audience like a bird taking its first flight. He crowd surfed in true Ball Park Music shenanigan style. The audience meant every word when they sang and danced along to fan-favourite, It’s Nice to be Alive.

And what would a Ball Park Music concert be without their signature encores? After screams that left throats sore and a chant begging to see the band again, they re-appeared. Sam shared a cheeky play with guitarist Dean as they stumbled their way through the Mexican Hat Dance song before treating the audience with one last killer track.

Sam’s lead was electric, Jennifer’s bass was brilliant, Daniel’s beats were desirable, Dean’s guitar was trippy and Paul’s keys were fabulous. They are a sublime mix.

Trippin’ the Lights Fantastic is an explosion of superb delight, which continues touring nationally across Australia until November.