With Starland Ballroom packed almost to capacity a quartet of Australian boozers emerged from a swinging doorway leading from the backstage lounge and made a short walk down a dark corridor with the flashlights of the stage crew serving as the only light guiding their way.
At around 9:45 p.m. Jet launched into a set that featured selected tracks from their sophomore release, Shine On, as well as hits from their radio friendly debut, Get Born.
Nic Chester (guitars/vocals) greeted the audience with a raised glass and a heartfelt hello before leading his band into the jumpstarting spark of “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.” In classic rock star fashion Chester appeared a little pale and seemed a bit timid as he carefully leaped off the array of onstage amplifiers as well as his brother’s earth shattering set of drums.
From the opening moments of the gig Chris Chester’s (drums) swagger and musicianship hands down earns him honors of the shining gem of the band supplying a rhythmic explosion and solid backbone so commanding that the drum set literally looks like it’s on the verge of crumbling.
“Skin And Bones” followed as the entire ballroom, which looks like a southern hootenanny, is grooving with an inebriated swagger charismatically uplifting the band to leave the vocals of “Look What You Done” in the hands of the faithful.
The collection of guitars sitting just off the stage over guitarist Cam Muncey’s shoulder would systematically make appearances to expel licks which dazzled on tracks that included “Are You Going to Be My Girl” and “Cold Hard Bitch.” The array of amplification equipment was of vintage descent and sported the names Roland, Hiwatt and Vox.
The set was highlighted by Chris Chester coming out from behind his drum set to contribute lead vocals and twang on “Move On.”
“King Horses” subsequently followed and was introduced by Nic Chester, dubbing it “our favorite song on the new record.” Another Shine On track ensued with “Come On,” as Nic made his way across the stage and began to climb the large amplifiers that were towering over the audience. Chester was working the crowd hard and his showmanship soon took his boots from the top of the house speakers to walking along the side bars as he carefully maneuvered around the collection of drinks. Chester is playing guitar surrounded by a crowd in an absolute frenzy while finding the time to sneak sips of a drink at his feet from time to time.
At around 11 p.m. the band wrapped up the main set and after an extended applause returned for an encore which culminated with the title track off their 2006 Atlantic Records release.
Is Jet the “best band” on the touring circuit, which members of the New Jersey radio station WRAT shamelessly plugged before the show to amp the crowd? No, but Jet is a very good bar band, with a lot still left to prove, which we can count on to continue the traditions of rocking while rolling.
Denmark’s The Blue Van opened the show and earned honorable mention.