Total Control Aren’t Going Home

Vanity is the name of the game.


Photos by Daniel Boud

I have very little self control.

It’s no secret. Work drinks roll around and I’m usually first at the bar and last to leave. I’ll keep going back to the buffet until the button of my pants is classed as a weapon of mass destruction. So it’s a real mystery to me how one of my favourite acts, Total Control, have alluded me, despite a number of opportunities to see them perform live in the flesh.

When I first saw the program for Vivid Sydney this year, I was a little overwhelmed to be honest. There’s a lot of shows, bands, exhibitions, and lights, but in that stacked lineup there was a nugget of gold, in particular, that really stuck out—Total Control. As soon as I saw that, I made damn sure I had nothing standing in my way of watching them perform.

After support acts Native Cats, Greta Now and DJ Yoni got the crowd nicely warmed up in the Joan Sutherland theatre of the Sydney Opera House, the Australian post-punk group took the stage joined by a brass and strings section. For the next 75-minutes, they belted out an incredible set to an enthusiastic (but mainly seated) audience.

Total Control swung back and forth through their extensive catalogue, playing crowd favourites from Typical System and Laughing at the System, with hits like “2 Less Jacks”, “Expensive Dog” and “Vanity” flooding the space with no fear of being cut short due to curfews, like the previous year’s performance. An uninterrupted set, a fully engaged crowd, and my first ever Total Control experience at one of Australia’s best venues—can’t do much better than that.

If you missed out, make sure you hit play and watch the full set above.

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