Top 4.5 :: Teenage Kicks

July 1st 2011

All my life I have been that kid that’s just a bit too young. I started school at 4, determined to catch up to my older sister. But by the time I made it to 5, everyone else was already 6. Strangely enough, the same thing kept happening through to high school – when everyone else had a ‘teen’ to their name, I was just… twelve. And when it came to celebrating their 18th birthdays at the pub, I was the one desperately pinning my hair up to imitate the photo on my sister’s ID.

No matter how hard I tried, I never quite caught up.

But being a young ‘un has had its moments of glory. Every once in a while, an all-ages gig or a youth event would be announced that had me jumping out of my way-cool Converse hi-tops. Being under 18 felt like an eternal curse sometimes – so I felt like all-ages gigs were pretty much invented for me. Without them, I doubt I would have become the eternally-in-debt-to-Moshtix gig addict that I am today.

So without further ado, I present my top not-quite-5 greatest all-ages experiences…

1. Grinspoon (’05): This was the very first concert I went to without Mummy and Daddy. My best friend’s older sister took us down to Luna Park to see Phil Jamieson in full swing for the release of Best In Show. With Butterfingers and Spiderbait in support, we were surrounded by 40-something hard Aussie rockers, headbanging their sweaty mullets into us. Damn, we felt cool.

2. The All-Age Crusade (’05): This triple-header was, to my 13-year-old self, the GREATEST THING, like, EVER. Kisschasy, After The Fall and Gyroscope played up the road from my house at Manly Youth Centre. Seriously, if I could have frozen these bands in time, I would have – you can only go downhill from ‘Mirror Mirror’, ‘Do Do’s & Woah Oh’s’ and ‘Fast Girl’. Maybe I’m just sentimental…

3. Youth Fest (’06): BODYJAR! Awwww yeah. I don’t think I need to say much more. This was actually a first date for me – a surprisingly successful one. I mean, what’s more romantic than jumping around in the afternoon sun yelling, “YOU’RE NOT THE SAME! YOU’VE CHANGED! I DON’T NEED YOU ANYWAY!”? Hmmm?

4. The Great Escape (’07): This festival was free for under-16s. FREE! The day before my friend’s 16th birthday, I dragged her out to Newington Armoury to get one final kick out of being a kid. All we needed was a ‘supervising adult’. We picked our target on the shuttle bus in – some friendly-looking 20-somethings who commended our mission and enthusiastically signed our supervision forms. Result: The Vines and Wolfmother at their peak, and John Butler playing ‘Oceans’ in the pouring rain.

4.5 The Beautiful Girls (’07): If only…! It was Year 11 camp time. School camps are, like, so not cool. The only thing my friend and I thought would make it bearable would be to sneak out to see The Beautiful Girls, who were playing at the Jindabyne Hotel – tantalisingly close to where we stayed


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