Vegas Kings @ The Troubadour, 13-11-2010

An evening of farewells.

On one side of Brisbane, down by the river, Powderfinger are playing the final show of their illustrious 20 year career. Surprisingly, given the demand, that is the fourth show at the Riverstage, that it’s the very end and supposed to be sold out, tickets are still on sale at the ticket office if you’ve got a spare $120. A short distance from the ticket office the official t-shirts are going for $40 a pop and the show is being filmed for DVD and also recorded for an audio release. The question on the photographers’ minds was what we would be allowed to photograph; given it was the last show, would we get the normal first three songs before or would we get to photograph the encore. We get the first four songs; they have sold the rights to photograph that final coming together and wave goodbye to one of the photo agencies and indeed there are a couple of photographers stationed on a speaker stack at the front on either side of the stage for the whole show. Not that any of the band will probably ever have to work again anyway, but they’re truly milking it for every single cent until the very last note rings out.

On the other side of town, back in the Valley, Vegas Kings are playing the final show after ten years for a much more reasonable $15 and selling off their CD back-catalogue for a bargain $5 per album. It’s a shame that Powderfinger didn’t get to check out the band to get some pointers for how to play a last ever show. Powderfinger’s show varied little from the set the band had been playing on the whole of their final tour, nothing in the way of surprises to make a special event of it and whilst there was a roll call of people who the band wanted to thank it still had the air of a last show of a tour rather than the real end of something. Maybe it’s because everyone knows it won’t be the end, probably not for either bands as there’s guaranteed to be future shows at some point, whether it be a charity gig or getting together to play a one-off show to celebrate some occasion or other.

But if it is to be Vegas Kings’ last show, at least they put on a gig to remember; songs not played in 5 or 6 years, a true celebration of the band and the time they’ve been together, played with all the passion and pride that the three of them could ever be expected to put into a final performance, all culminating with a final playing of Flying Jesus Judo Kicks complete with a stage full of dancing punters. They will be much missed and their reformation much anticipated.  It’s also my final time at The Troubadour, I’m not able to make the final show the following week due to being overseas and Vegas Kings give the place a fitting send-off for me.

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