Sydney, 14th September 2018
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, 3rd October 2018
It’s the fourteenth of September and I’m standing in a mosh pit about a metre away from the stage where the words ‘Cub Sport’ hang in neon light. As the audience’s screams grow louder and louder the stage lights dim, the words light up, and though the squinting darkness I can see shapes moving onto the stage, taking their place with a guitar or a keyboard or drums or a mic in front of them. The music starts and I’m singing along to every word and it feels like a dream because this half-hour performance before Vance Joy is the highlight of the whole night.
A couple songs are belted out flawlessly before Tim comes to the front of the stage. “We’re going to do something a little different,” he says, “this is our new single coming out in a few weeks, hope you guys enjoy.” And as a catchy, quick beat fills Hordern Pavilion I’m dancing along more than I’ve ever in my life and there’s tears in my eyes and I don’t know why. As the song finishes I clap until my palms sting and then I scream with the crowd that is somehow transfixed to this band that they probably didn’t come to this concert for. I ride the wave of emotion for the rest of the set, a grin fixed on my face.
It’s a few weeks later and I’m sitting at the back of a shuttle bus about to cry because the wi-fi isn’t working and god damn it I’m going to miss the premiere of Sometimes and even though I’ve already heard it live I want to hear the actual studio version because it will sound stunning. I’d use my data but I’m in America, halfway around the world from where I was when I heard the song last. I’ve already run up a canyon and sprinted to the bus stop and I REALLY don’t want to miss this.
I’m twenty minutes late as I finally reach reliable wi-fi and I think I’ve missed it but as I look back through Triple J’s song history I realise that it’s just not there. No sooner have I plugged in my earphones and turned on the radio that the pre-song interview starts and I’m crying for the second time because right now there’s nothing in my heart but love and relief. The interview finishes, the song starts and I’m sobbing the entire way through, sitting on a bus stop on the side of the road letting the tears flow like a river. The lyrics entrance me, I relate to them on a spiritual level and oh god the entire song is so perfect. I want to rewind it and hear it all again but I patiently turn off my phone and wait two days until I can listen to it over and over on Spotify. The whole song was a journey spanning a month, two continents and several thousand kilometres. But every time I listen to Sometimes I know my journey isn’t over. I know this is cliché, but it feels like it’s only just beginning.