Review: Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders @ the Brightside


After selling out shows in Sydney and Melbourne Jack Ladder and the Dreamlanders made it into Brisbane to swoon and serenade.  Their latest release Playmates was lauded by both critics and fans, and having given us a taste of their live show at Bigsound  2014 to the delight of many they were back.

The full room roared as soon as Jack and his compatriots took to the stage, The Dreamlanders are made up of Donny Benet, Kirin J Callinan and Laurenz Pike and when joined by the imposing figure of Jack Ladder himself they are one of Australia’s most visually striking and persona filled. The crowd were packed in, eager to get as close to the stage as possible as they launched into their unique blend of 80s synth pop punk.

Each song in the setlist is greeted by a huge response, things kick off with the lead single from Playmates, the enticing Come On Back This Way. Her Hands follows soon after and it’s impressive how Ladder and The Dreamlanders can change the mood of the room, Come on Back This Way and Her Hands have the room dancing. Ladder takes tiem in enunciating every syllable drawing the audience in, almost like they are under his spell only to have it broken by the harsher, full throttle Reputation Amputation. By the end of the set they are back under his control, less frantic and frenetic more inclined to sway as Ladder seduces everyone with the romantic  To Keep and To Be Kept. Hurtsville  has the crowd a little more melancholic but its no less of  a high point and indicative of the emotional highs and lows Jack Ladder and the Dreamlanders have taken us on tonight.

Ladder’s voice is a powerful instrument and commands almost complete attention if it weren’t for the perennially entertaining and lime light thief Kirin J Callinan, anyone aware of Callinan’s solo material knows what a treasure he is on stage and that’s clear here tonight as well. Jack Ladder and the Dreamlanders are touted as ‘Australia’s Premier Show Band’ and their live show alone proves they have a unique brand of genius that’s rarely found.

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