Live review: Tiny Moving Parts – Crowbar, Brisbane, January 27, 2020

Words: Caitlin MacDonald | Photos: Brandon Long

How do you delay the end of the long weekend blues from setting in for a little bit longer? You head to Crowbar for the kind of melancholic math rock/emo band that will actually make you feel much happier. That is precisely what Minnesota ‘family band’ Tiny Moving Parts gave their crowd on Monday night.

Before Tiny Moving Parts were up, the early crowd was treated to the incredibly dark and intense screamo of Blind Girls. Hailing from the Gold Coast and fronted by the tiny Sharni Brouwer, whose screams stay at a high force the entire time, this five-piece is a punch to the gut in such a great way. Those feeling under the weather or tired from the long weekend immediately woke up when these guys took to the stage. They are on the bill for Pagan’s final show and anyone heading along should go early to see Blind Girls; they will not disappoint.

Next up was the energetic and emotive Squid Fishing from Tasmania. Far out; what a great band. They are part The Smith Street Band, part Camp Cope and part The Hard Aches but with a more emo vibe. These guys won the Unearthed competition to play Falls Festival last year, and it is not hard to see why. Their energy is high, and Zena Mohamad and Ethan Groombridge, who share frontperson duties, are so charismatic and have an incredible presence on stage. Even though they sing emotional songs such as their latest single Shitty Weather and others about mental health, the end of relationships and not making it past 19 years old, their delivery is upbeat, and the crowd danced along to every song. Squid Fishing made sure everyone was ready for Tiny Moving Parts and even snuck in a ferocious Paramore cover.

By the time Tiny Moving Parts took to the stage, the crowd was sweaty and ready to go. Judging from the crowd, Tiny Moving Parts are the kind of band you go to see with your best mates and sing along to every word. The songs mean a lot, and there are many memories attached to them. There was many an arm draped around shoulders and the fans yelled along with every word.

TMP’s songs are about rather heavy subjects like mental health, anxiety and mortality. Medicine, for example, goes: “I’m bathing in exhaustion / A never-ending train wreck / I swear my legs, they function/ But I’m assembled to crawl / I’m heading east of Benson to glorify a casket / Whether it’s Swift Falls or St. Paul / I can’t spend another weekend at a funeral”.  These words are heavy, but frontman Dylan Mattheisen delivers them in such an upbeat way. He bounds all over the stage and flashes his brilliant smile in between phrases. Mattheisen’s guitar ability is something to behold; his fingers are nimble and move across the entire neck of the guitar. The rest of the band is made up of Matt and Billy Chevalier who are Mattheisen’s cousins – talent and technicality is undoubtedly a family trait. With Matt on bass and the moustached Billy on drums complete with sweat goggles, TMP’s talent is unbelievable. Mattheisen threw a “fuck yeah” to the crowd before and after most songs, and the whole evening was more wholesome and fun than could ever have been expected from a band with such emotive songs.

Speaking to Grater back in October, Mattheisen said about TMP’s songs: “We’re all in life together and just trying our best to go through the bumps in the road, but try your best to keep your head up and stay optimistic in life. And I feel like that’s how Tiny Moving Parts has always been. Some people say, ‘Those are the saddest songs I’ve ever heard,’ and some people say, ‘Those are the most positive songs I’ve ever heard’ “It’s all about perspective on each track. We truly try to have a positive spin on it all.”  This sentiment absolutely translates into their live shows. The songs seem sad and are about some heavy subjects, but the gig was just a bunch of people getting together to enjoy some incredible music with lots of meaning and to get through the shit life throws at them together.

Tiny Moving Parts’ show was wholesome and fun, but at the same time it provided the opportunity to stop and reflect and to say, “yeah things get shit sometimes, but at least we have each other and we will get through.” Anyone who hasn’t had the privilege of being moved by this band should definitely check them out. Tiny Moving Parts will feel like your new mates who are ready to be there for you at any bump in the road.

To view photos in their high res glory, click ‘view full size’ when browsing the gallery.

Blind Girls

Squid Fishing

Tiny Moving Parts

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