We can think of at least one reason to brave Adelaide’s West End on a chilly Saturday night: The Babes’ Dive Bars & Muscle Cars album launch. The Babes gave patrons the kind of gritty, head-banging rock ‘n’ roll that makes you forget your troubles. The kind that has every glass in the house raised. The kind that salutes the underdog and would tempt you into the cold again and again.

Jive transformed into an intimate-yet-packed venue, pulsating with energy and great vibes. Inside, people were ready to rock, spill their drinks on an already sticky floor and ring their glasses together in an enthusiastic ode to old-school rock.

Hats off to both support acts, Rip Cord and The Menace, who reached the crowd and lifted them even higher, preparing them for the force that was to come. By the time The Babes were ready to kick things off, every single soul in the venue was primed and ready to ride the waves of the night.

The Babes, who formed in 2011 and have been mega-busy of late, were showing no signs of fatigue. The recent accomplishments on their resume include a successful tour of Japan and the larger-than-life Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota, but that didn’t stop them from tearing down the house in their hometown at the tail-end of their national ‘Dive Bars & Muscle Cars’ tour. They were brimming with energy, eager to rock.

Siblings Moni Lashes on drums, Donna Dimasi on lead guitar, and Corey Stone on bass were led by the electric frontman JD, who commanded the attention of the room from the moment he took the stage. He owned the space as if he was born to sing, looking even more comfortable when the shirt came off. Many less-than-tentative swigs of Southern Comfort later plus an Aussie JD resulted in total, pure, and hard rock ‘n’ roll, no frills or laces.

A handful of tracks later, including some witty banter between band and audience, the Babes proved that the Southern Comfort fuelled their jets rather than slowing them down. The mark of true rockstars.

The most notable of the epic tracks was the stand-out ‘Full Throttle Rock ‘n’ Roll,’ which engaged the crowd as though the chords were ignited with magic. ‘It Ain’t Easy’ was a close contender for biggest thrill of the night, as was the new ‘Always Ridin,’ which the audience digested with delight.

It was a night of connectedness, with JD connecting and connecting again with his underdog fans who appreciated the unrestricted comradery and the ever-diminishing bottle of booze. You could not fault The Babes experience. It delivered all you could want and then some. The final sweat-injected cover ‘Highway to Hell’ signified respect to a band perhaps superior, perhaps not.

Photo: supplied

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