Hilltop Hoods are a gem at any music festival. Here are some songs that we can’t wait to mosh to once these glorious events come back on.

It’s no secret that 2020 is unofficially marked as the year of the cancelled music festival. Think of Download, Drip World and Listen Out, and what they could have been. However, earlier in the year in February, the Sunshine Coast hosted Big Pineapple Music Festival, with the Adelaide boys headlining alongside Alison Wonderland.

There was also the Let Go Fest, where Hilltop Hoods also came in as the big guns, next to Hermitude and Cosmo’s Midnight.

You don’t have to feel that these events are too far away. Get your Spotify playlist ready, because these songs will get you in the mood the second these mosh miracle events are back on.

6. Nosebleed Section

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Ironically, this song pays homage to the dedicated few who manage to squeeze to the front, and stay there. Typically the nosebleed section is the cheapest of the cheap tickets, where you’re keen enough to see a band live, but not really see them. Moshing at the front, you’re prone to the sweaty vibrations of the crowd as people struggle to stand and cop sprays of the occasional nosebleed due to over-excitement.

Yes, listening to the orchestral background and Powderfinger sample of ‘These Days’ in this track really does bring out the reminder that concerts, good times, living room soirees and the like are what most people are missing right now.

5. Chase That Feeling

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The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra make another appearance in the band’s track, and samples the doo wop track by the Mad Lads, ‘Pass the Word (Love Is the Word).’ It’s a defiant track, stepping up against not only the haters but wider society who sniffs at you and says you won’t amount to anything. It’s also an ode to Matthew David Lambert, aka Suffa’s experience of being a factory labourer, making the song very personal. Clenched fists raised, chanting along to “from a young age I was making my mark, chasing my start//Forever ain’t enough when you’re state of the art” can be a poignant moment when you’re an artist watching another perform at a festival.

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4. What A Great Night

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This song sounds like a teacher taking the class roll, except the teacher is Suffa and Pressure and they’re asking you to be present, however you identify. Are you a smoker, a gambler, a rambler, or a grandma and grandpa? Hilltop Hoods don’t care, because it’s eat, rest, party, sleep, repeat in their world and they want you to join them.

They even make a cheeky dig at revellers at music festivals who take it too far requesting they “put your hands up if you’re not to drunk to stand up//If you bombing up the toilets put your man up.” After all, they just want to have a great night, like the track says.

3. Bodycount

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If you ever dose off in a music festival (hey, it happens to the best of us), this track is the one that wakes you up. The immediate trumpets earworm, mixing with fellow Adelaide hip hop band Funkroars, features the fastest MC raps you’ll hear in a while.  It’s a rap battle to the extreme, with Funkroars playing tribute to the album that was the first Australian hip hond band to hit number on the ARIA charts with their line, “We took the hard road like Hilltop.”

2. 1955

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For a song that’s so upbeat and bouncy, it critiques the small town vibe of Adelaide that can be a bit of a bubble to outsiders. Montaigne collaborates on the track, feeling “out of place like I live in outer space//’Cause it seems I’m stuck in time,” while references to the conservative post-war era and Fox News abound. The song pays tribute to the hometown where the boys came from, while also analysing their childhood and lives after they moved away from it all with fresh eyes.

For the piano arrangement alone, it’s easy to dance to. And you know Montaigne would be just as fun to see live.

1. Cosby Sweater

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Macklemore talked big game with the thrift shop and the clout that came with it, but Cosby Sweater is the single that goes one step further. It’s unfortunately associated with Bill Cosby which the band regrets name-checking in their song, but the essential vibe is feeling like a king with antics such as Tom Cruise and Oprah included. The single hit number 3 in the triple j Hottest 100 2014 for a reason.

It slaps. Can you just picture the build-up in the audience when Hilltop Hoods sing the pre-chorus “And it’s all good,” right before they drop the “One, two, three, four” beat?

That’s it on the mosh-worthiness front. For more Hilltop Hoods tracks, there’s a critic pick.

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