JET: Live at AC/DC Lane

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(Photo credited to Amanda Lee Starkey)

Australian rock legends JET got ‘re-born’ and reformed for a special show in Melbourne’s iconic AC/DC Lane.

At 7:30am last Tuesday, news broke on JET’s social media pages. The announcement spread quickly, and revelers headed up to ACDC Lane for the special show.

The stage was set at the bottom of the lane underneath the huge new sculpture of Bon Scott; new posters had been plastered over the ever-colourful brick walls on either side to promote JET’s anniversary tour this year. By 1pm the small laneway was packed tight with over 200 people including fans, passers-by and media. The band pumped out their most popular songs from Get Born, including “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”, “Rollover DJ” and “Cold Hard Bitch”, before finishing their set at 1:30pm.

The crowd didn’t die down immediately though, a fair few fans hung around yelling for an encore or perhaps hoping for an invite into the Cherry Bar to talk to the band in person. Only a select few (from what I could see) were given the exclusive opportunity to head into the bar.

The acoustics of the laneway were surprisingly terrific and clear for such a crowded and tight space. Since the announcement had been kept under the covers, there was not a big a crowd as there could have been, which made the gig even more special. It’s one of those things that in years’ time you can look back on and think, ‘I saw JET at AC/DC Lane, how cool.’ The fan base for JET is not a specific demographic at all, there were people of all ages at this particular gig; uni students, people in suits, even a guy called Matt who had come in his pajama’s after sprinting to the gig at the last minute; he had this to say on the day, “Yeah I heard ‘Cold Hard Bitch’ from my apartment and just came here straight away, that’s why I’m still in my pajamas. I have been a fan of JET’s since their first album. I’m so keen to see them in June.” It is safe to say, that JET has had Australia’s hearts for years. Stacey, a reveler I talked to on the day also had this to say about the gig; “They (JET) still sound the same as when I saw them years ago, what an awesome band, perhaps because they have heavy rock riffs and catchy songs like AC/DC, that could be a huge factor to their success back here.” JET does have that old-school rock and roll vibe that you’d here with rock songs from the 1970’s like that of AC/DC, Sherbet and the Angels.

For a little background info on one of Australia’s most loved-bands.

Following the success of their second and third albums, ‘Shine On’ and ‘Shaka Rock’ in 2006 and 2009, respectively, JET had made their mark on the Australian music scene. But after touring relentlessly for Shaka Rock alongside rock and punk heavyweights Powderfinger and Green Day during 2009-2010, JET needed a break. Members Nic Cester and Cameron Muncey went on hiatus, whilst Mark Wilson and Chris Cester formed an experimental band called DAMNDOGS that was influenced by both doom and disco music.

For years JET existed only on the radio, their songs getting a lot of air to make up for the fact that they were on hiatus. They are a band that is loud, heavy and catchy; the perfect triple threat to the Australian airwave. 15 years ago, the band released their debut studio album “Get Born” which boasted five hit singles and went on to sell 3.5 million records worldwide, propelling JET into fame both here in Australia and overseas. Hailing from Melbourne, JET have always had a passionate fan base here, so performing a live set in the well-known AC/DC Laneway was the perfect time to announce their reformation and upcoming tour in June.

On this day six years ago, JET announced their discontinuation as a band via their social media pages and issued this statement: “A Message to Our Fans: After many successful years of writing, recording and touring we wish to announce our discontinuation as a group. From the many pubs, theatres, stadiums and festivals all across the world it was the fans that made our amazing story possible and we wish to thank them all. Thank you, and goodnight.” But JET wasn’t done forever. Reeling from opening five shows for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band earlier this year, JET soon announced their reformation. One of Australia’s biggest bands will be touring the country this June; it feels like we’ve been transported back to 2003.

Getting a little sneak peek into what their up-and-coming shows will be like has definitely been enough to convince me to secure a ticket to see them in June.