Bugs: Cooties tour

8 July 2022 – The Princess Theatre Brisbane – words by Kai Giovanni – pictures by Bec Harbour

This show lived the ‘play every show like it’s your last’ ethos to the fullest. You wouldn’t otherwise expect to hear descriptions of circle pits, guitar smashing, Heelys, and 360 instrument spins at a Bugs show – but that’s been the magic of the Cooties tour.

Since the March release of their correspondingly-titled third LP, this tour has seen the Brisbane trio in celebration overdrive. To Bugs, fan and friend have always been one in the same, and Cooties’ collection of thoughts and true feelings had more than geared them up for a night of sing-your-heart-out rocking. Then, couple this with exponentially-rising punk acts VOIID and LOSER, and a COVID reschedule planting Bugs and VOIID’s Brisbane hometown as the tour’s last stop – the show was destined to dazzle. 

Despite a Sunny Coast stop the night before, everyone made sure to bring their A-game to The Princess Theatre. LOSER brought a new line-up, which was one to amaze – their strong chemistry, vocals, and musicianship sending the quickly-filling venue into bright singalong. VOIID’s large presence could already be felt before their entry, having recorded a debut LP since their last hometown show. Their set capitalised on this, garnishing their gauntlet of social anthems with punkish tones and riffs, and a VOIID-patented guitar smash as the cherry on top.

With each Cooties favourite, the crowd mirrored more and more of Bugs’ infectious energy. Bouncing bangers ‘Old Youth Feeling’ and ‘Microwaver’ were met with headbangs, shoulder-rides, and mosh pits, and tear-jerking tunes ‘Alone Again’ and ‘Decisions, Commitments & Plans’ met with wide singalong and cheer.

And the amazos they are, Bugs took this already-fantastic night and turned it up to eleven.

And Bugs brought all the dynamics to match. Jordan stunting with Heelys and 360 bass spins, Brock sweating a storm without missing a beat, and Connor sharing his endearing voice, smiles, and tears. All whilst – I have to add – donning the most stylish of overalls, flaming flares, and double denim.

‘Esky Lid’ then perfectly capped off the unforgettable night. The Growing Up call-back highlighted by backup dancing from VOIID, LOSER, and Maz DeVita (WAAX), an audience-wide circle pit, and unrestrained Bugs energy.

Still, I feel a deep yearning to see Bugs again. Any Bugs tune, show, or appearance radiates the heart-warming kindness which allow us to fall in love with them over and over again – and this show was the perfect encapsulation of it all. 

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