Located in the eclectic downtown Atlanta neighborhood of Little Five Points, the Variety Playhouse welcomed “Tourzilla” featuring indie rockers Vacations, Last Dinosaurs, and Eliza Mclamb, to town on Tuesday night. Established in 1940, this converted World War II era movie theater has been a local cornerstone of live entertainment for decades, with an enjoyable mix of raised, theater-style seats set directly behind a general admission floor for flexible audience viewing of their favorite artists.
Kicking off the night at 7:30pm in front of an early crowd that included fans dressed in full Minions and Buc-ee Beaver costumes was 22-year-old singer/songwriter Eliza Mclamb. Mclamb, who originally leveraged TikTok to fuel her musical creativity, released her debut EP, Memos, back in December 2020. She also recently released her second EP, Salt Circle, all-the-while managing the podcast “Binchtopia” which she co-hosts with her friend and roommate, Julia Hava.
With a voice that ranged from sweet and soulful to sassy and spunky, Mclamb and her band mesmerized the Atlanta audience for thirty minutes, performing emotionally-influenced songs like “Mythologize Me” and “Anything You Want.” Mclamb is an amazing new artist, and while I am sure she is benefiting from the exposure on this tour, I would love to see her come back around and perform in a more intimate venue environment after she releases her album in January.
Following a half-hour equipment change, co-headliner Last Dinosaurs from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia entered the stage at 8:30pm. Launching into “Afterlife” from their forth-coming album RYU – Transmissions (coming November 10, 2023), brothers Sean and Lachlan Caskey (vocals, guitars), along with Michael Sloane (bass) and Dan Koyama (drums), immediately stirred the crowd up into a jumping frenzy.
Besides their never-ending performance energy and tight musicianship, I very much enjoyed the wide variety of their creative indie pop rock songwriting styles and multiple harmonizations. The Caskey brothers switched ownership of their lead vocal duties often, while storytelling and interacting with the audience all along the way. Tunes like “Italo Disco,” “Auto-Sabotage,” “Flying,” and “Apollo” all stood out to me and were added to my Spotify before their night had even concluded. Last Dinosaurs put on a pleasantly exhausting hourlong set, leaving the crowd on a high as they patiently waited for fellow Australian rockers, Vacations.
Sean Caskey – Lead/Backup Vocals, Rhythm/Lead Guitar
Lachlan Caskey – Backing/Lead Vocals, Lead/Rhythm Guitar
Michael Sloane – Bass
Dan Koyama – Drums
With LED lights flashing shortly before 10:00pm, co-headiner Vacations from Newcastle, New South Wales, took to the stage in front of an audience that now included additional costumed folks dressed as Scooby-Doo and cheerleaders. Wearing tour-branded coveralls, the band performed in front of a full general admission floor clearly made up of dedicated fans who were singing along to every track.
Similar to Mclamb, Vacations caught traction on TikTok when their 2016 song “Young” from their EP, Vibes, went viral, leading to what is now over 477 million streams on Spotify. In addition to “Young,” Vacations also sprinkled in their latest single that they mentioned will drop on Friday, “Close Quarters,” along with the more recent “Midwest,” a song which I found enjoyably catchy. However, the highlight for me was hearing “Telephones” from their 2018 debut studio album, Changes. I just loved the guitar tone on that tune, and there were times where I just closed my eyes and thought Campbell Burns (vocals, guitar) came across as an Australian Morrissey.
Tourzilla continues on through next month, wrapping up in Mexico City, Mexico, at the Lunario on Wednesday, November 15th. If you are looking for an escape to enjoy a great night of musical vibes, I highly recommend you check out this tour as it stomps through America.
Follow Eliza Mclamb Online
Follow Last Dinosaurs Online
Follow Vacations Band Online
Elliott is a music photographer covering shows in the Atlanta, Georgia and the surrounding area. The highlight of his photography career was back in the early 90s, selling Neil Diamond the rights to his negatives from a show and purchasing a set of tires for his 1979 280ZX during college with the money.