On a quiet Tuesday night, we headed down to West Footscray to spend some time at Wrangler Studios; to see Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes supported by A Swayze & The Ghosts.
Not knowing what to expect for our eventful night ahead, we entered the venue with an open mind and eager anticipation, only to find one of the coolest venues imaginable to host a concert. Wrangler Studios has it all; an intimate rehearsal space with friendly and welcoming staff, an off-the-grid vibe, specials on cheese toasties and even a resident dog. The bar was set high for the night and we were ready for the music to begin.
First up for the night were A Swayze & The Ghosts, an indie-punk rock band from Hobart. Having had a big year in 2019, we were eager to see these guys in action and they did not disappoint. Front man Andrew Swayze had everyone's attention for their entire set and brought an energy amplified by the intimate space and packed-out crowds. Their music, part-King Gizzard, part Parquet Courts had everything you could ask for in the support slot. Performing hits including Connect to Consume, Smooth Sailing and their breakthrough hit Suddenly, we can only see these guys getting bigger, so be prepared to get onboard.
Before we knew it, the time had come for Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes to take to the stage. Having managed to catch them at Primavera Sound last year in Barcelona, we knew it was going to be a special night to see the band perform such an intimate gig. The family-friendly show managed to feel extremely punk-rock, the atmosphere laid-back but each patron dedicated and versed in the bands full catalog. We knew it was going to be a magical performance. The band wasted no time launching straight into Tyrant Lizard King, Juggernaut and Vampires -the crowd going wild from the get-go.
The band found the perfect mix of performing from their albums End of Suffering, Blossom and Modern Ruin whilst interacting throughout the set. We saw everything from a woman-only mosh pit (because they are sick of seeing only angry men get to enjoy themselves), through to a crowd-surfing child join Frank to sit on his shoulders, play the drums and later be crowned a god. The epic 16-song setlist contained everything you could want and more; Love Games, Wild Flowers, Fangs, Angel Wings, Heartbreaker, Acid Veins, Supervillian and Anxiety.
There was plenty of premium banter and lots of laughs, and you could tell how much the band enjoyed every minute of the show. At times, the performance was emotional, honest and raw. Explaining they consider Melbourne and Australia to feel like a second home, each action felt genuine and you could tell even a small show in West Footscray meant the world to each person in the room, band included. The set finished with a bang, playing a series of hits including Kitty Sucker, Lullaby, Crowbar, Devil Inside Me and final song I Hate You.
It was great to see the band perform their second night in Melbourne, after a sold-out show at Croxton Bandroom, in such an intimate space. A chance to see them at their best, was not lost on anyone present. Here's to hoping the band comes back to their second home again real soon.
Mac DeMarco played a sold-out show at Festival Hall with special guests Pond and CHAI. We headed out on a Saturday night to catch the incredible line-up at one of Melbourne's most iconic music venues.
The first band up for the night was CHAI, an adorable four-member, all-female band from Nagoya, Japan. Fresh off the success of their sophomore album Punk in 2019, and debut album Pink in 2017, the band played a series of their best hits to the enthusiastic and packed out audience. The band, consisting of Mana, Kana, Yuuki and Yuna brought Japanese punk rock to Melbourne, performing their kawaii songs for all to dance to. The band were extremely well received, echos of cries from patrons yelling for more CHAI. The stand out performance included the tracks Fashionista, THIS IS CHAI, N.E.O and Future. When the four-piece finished their set, the band told the audience, 'We love Australia, we want to come back again!'. We would love to see that show organised as soon as humanely possible.
Next up on the list was Pond, the psychedelic rock group from Western Australia. No strangers to a Melbourne audience, vocalist Nick Allbrook and band wasted no time in rolling out their hits from albums Tasmania, The Weather and Psychedelic Mango. Despite having seen Pond a number of times before, the band remain an enigma, in that each show is unique and entertaining in an exciting new way. From opening song Hand Mouth Dancer with a flute solo, through to the fun dancing and wild energy from their frontman, the band performed a range of new and old hits to the crowds delight.
The highlights in the set from our view were old song Don't Look At The Sun Or You'll Go Blind, a cover of Madonna's Ray Of Light which does her justice, and Burnt Out Star - bringing back the flute and wandering into the crowd to get the party going. As the band finish up, they deliver on the final tracks including Paint Me Silver, Daisy and The Weather. Pond, as always, proved themselves worthy of their acclaim and we can't wait to see the boys play again soon.
Before we know it, it is time for the man to take the stage. As the smoke clears, Mac DeMarco and band emerge and the crowd erupts at Festival Hall as the screaming amplifies in every direction. The anticipation is significant, and it's clear to see that Mac has returned to a second home, here in Melbourne. Knowing the expectations are high, the band launches straight into On The Level and Salad Days to set the tone early that it's going to be a big night. As the concert begins, Mac addresses the crowd, exclaiming, 'Let's sing a show!'.
It does not take long for the festivities to become a sing-a-long; an almost mandatory and frequent occurrence at his shows. From having everyone in the venue sing along to Nobody, through to asking people to shake their asses to The Stars Keep On Calling My Name, Mac has (and demands) total control of the vibe, and ensures that the crowd get on his level to enjoy their Saturday night. Finally Alone, Preoccupied and My Old Man are played, as we see the crowd captivated from every word - with parts of the audience moshing to the tunes and the others hugging it out. The concert runs like clockwork, and Mac decides to change the song order because, 'Who gives a fuck?'. Cue a sing-a-long to the track Here Comes The Cowboy.
Next, we hear Ode To Viceroy and Another One, as we are told to expect a 'big, sexy light show' - the crowd asked to light up their phones or use their lighters as the house lights are dimmed. Some premium banter comes out during the set and Mac decides to define his songs as either quiet or 'kill your parents punk rock'. Oedipus complex is discussed, and that's all you really need to know. One of the highlights of the night comes from unreleased track, I Like Her, which is beautiful and fits perfectly into the set as things wind down for a brief moment. Freaking Out The Neighborhood and Rock and Roll Night Club speed things up and we are back into party mode with Mac and crew.
Before playing My Kind Of Woman, Mac asks a patron at the back of the venue if he wants the quiet version or full throttle, teasing Ave Maria and having Andy from the band give it his all. With a burp into the microphone, the band play the song flawlessly to an eager crowd. It wouldn't be an Australian show without someone throwing their shoe up on stage; so with a quick shoey and a no nonsense approach, he begins playing an extended version of Choo Choo. With two songs left, we finish strong with Chamber of Reflection and Still Together. When Mac briefly drops the mic, we get to see him do a handstand, stick out his belly and yell into the mic, 'What happened to my body?'.
We know Mac likes to party, and the encore was extremely on brand. Swapping places with drummer Joe McMurray, who took to vocals for a medley of classic hits - Undone (The Sweater Song), Smells Like Teen Spirit, Heart-Shaped Box, and Thunderstruck - offering the best from Weezer, Nirvana and AC/DC. Mac found himself yelling out for some Cold Chisel. The first encore finished with a reprise of Still Together and the crowd was left satisfied they had seen it all. When Mac returned with Alec Meen on stage for the final encore, cigarette in mouth and tongue in cheek, they performed Watching Him Fade Away before ending the show.
Seeing Mac DeMarco is always an experience and something everyone should do, as often as possible. There's music, comedy and a whole lot of fun - what more could you want?
Bringing their Fever Dream tour to Melbourne, Icelandic indie folk-pop band Of Monsters and Men played to a sold-out crowd at the Forum Melbourne. Having caught them previously for headline shows and at festivals, we knew what we were getting ourselves into and were excited with anticipation to sing, dance, cheer and have a fun time.
Opening the stage for the night was local band Loose Tooth - a three-piece whose sugary guitar work mixed with gritty vocals had the audience bopping along from the get go. With hilarious banter and some talk over tea, Loose Tooth warmed up the crowd and had us all ready for more. Highlights of their set included Keep On, All The Colours Gone and Sherry.
Before we knew it, the time had come for the main act. Already in a dancing mood and ready for venue-wide sing-a-longs, the atmosphere intensified as Of Monsters and Men took to the stage. The band launched straight into Alligator, the first track and single from latest album Fever Dream.
The release is a detour from their indie folk roots, and a welcome addition to their live set - a clear distinction between new and old but equally well received. Fan favourites Empire, Mountain Sound and King and Lionheart leave the audience mesmerised - a solid catalogue of old hits to play from their previously successful albums.
One of the band’s standout qualities obviously lies with vocalists Nanna Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar Þórhallsson, whose vocals are perfectly contrasted. Flitting between folksy tunes and their pop hits, their vocal versatility was on full display. After taking a trip down memory lane, we are back to the new stuff and eager to hear how the tracks translate in a live setting. Performing Sleepwalker, personal favourite Wild Roses, and Róróró, the band takes the time to explain the stories behind their new releases. The band has perfected their live presence, and we could listen to Nanna and Ragnar all night long. As a special treat for Melbourne audiences, the band decides to play their Triple J Like a Version, freshly debuted that morning on the radio. Their take on Post Malone's Circles leaves us with goosebumps and is something we feel privileged to have witnessed.
Wars, Crystals and Lakehouse bring us back to original content and the crowd goes wild as Little Talks - the song that started it all - gives everyone something to cheer about. Closing out the set with Six Weeks, the slow-building song only further intensifies the chants and screams for more. As the audience asks for one more song, we find ourselves hoping for two, maybe even three more songs. Wishful thinking - as the band delivers. Returning to the stage for Waiting For The Snow, the most emotive song on the new album, fan-favourite Dirty Paws and Yellow Light from their debut album close the show. As the last notes ring out over the audience, the beautiful track leaves a lasting impression.
Given the new trajectory Fever Dream has taken Of Monsters and Men, we can only expect to see them going onto bigger and better things and we eagerly await their return to Australia. Whether it's a festival or a headline show, you can expect to see us in the audience having the time of our lives.
California-based hip-hop artist Hobo Johnson and his band the Lovemakers made their return to Melbourne, playing one of the city's prime live music spots, 170 Russell. We were lucky enough to be there, and what we witnessed was pure magic.
Opening the stage that night was local five piece band Big Words; a band who isn't afraid to blur the lines between genres. Led by Will Scullin and Kieren Lee, the band has already garnered a decent following, and it was evident why. Playing fan favourites The Answer and TTYDTM, an electronic-infused hit, Big Words had the audience swaying and bopping along throughout their entire set. With their summery vibes and genre-bending, it only made sense for them to open the stage for Hobo Johnson.
When it comes time for Hobo Johnson and the Lovemakers to come on stage, the audience is practically chomping at the bit. Taylor Swift’s Love Story starts blasting through the speakers, and Hobo Johnson’s voice sings in unison, which is soon drowned out by the crowd’s screaming. The band launches into the opening notes of Mover Awayer, and the man himself jumps onstage with a never-ending energy.
Hobo Johnson's (aka. Frank Lopes Jr.) unique blend of hip-hop, spoken word and brutal honesty is refreshing; his lyrics carrying a sense of insecurities and rejection that we can all relate to. It's the kind of music that all audience members screaming along to the lyrics have a connection with, and is a welcome departure from the typical themes synonymous with the genre. Leading into Romeo and Juliet and newer track Subaru Crosstrek XV (performed as slam poetry), the crowd is going absolutely crazy, and begins chanting - demanding a shoey.
To say the 25 year old is confident onstage is an understatement; we'd not had that much of a laugh at a concert in a looong time. Lecturing the audience on the mistreatment of a certain pop star, the band has everyone jumping along to Ode to Justin Bieber, soon after bringing the mood down with Happiness - a track from his latest album The Fall of Hobo Johnson. Running through his impressive catalogue, he breaks into all time favourite Peach Scone - the track that had him go viral. Just when we think it can't get any better, he tells the audience 'I am in complete control right now', and tells us all that we better love the next song coming up. Well, it's a cover of Vanessa Carlton's A Thousand Miles, so of course everyone goes absolutely off. What follows is what Lopes considers his legacy, You & the Cockroach (if you haven't heard this song, please get right on it), and final track I Want a Dog - a newer track that has the crowds swaying.
Coming back onstage for their encore, the band launches in to punk-infused Typical Story - an absolute ripper of a track, and one that we're sure will be in many peoples' Triple J Hottest 100 choices. It's a punchy end to a perfect concert, and the best possible ending track for his set. Given the fact Hobo Johnson has come a long way since living and making music out of his car, it'll only get better from here.
Montgomery made her grand return to Melbourne in her first set of headline shows since 2015. Playing at the Gasometer Hotel in Collingwood off the back of her tour with Japanese Wallpaper, Montgomery's comeback has been nothing short of well received. Armed to her teeth with some new music in tow, the young artist showed us all what she was made of.
Walking onto Gasometer's upstairs stage, floor strewn with roses, Montgomery makes her entrance. Backed by her supporting band, including Japanese Wallpaper himself, the audience quietly waits. The set kicks off with new tracks With You and Sex Tape; both showcasing a new era in Montgomery's career. Light and poppy, the new songs sounded like they had been a part of her setlist forever.
Running through her 2014 EP New Clear War with tracks including Not Around, War Cry, and fan favourite Pinata, Montgomery's performance feels like the equivalent of wrapping yourself in a warm blanket. Dream-pop and synth vibes aside, hearing her music live is nothing short of amazing.
Ending the set is her latest single Sure; a romance-driven departure from her sadder toned EP. It's a track we've now had on repeat the past few days, and is a sign of big things coming her way. Given the last time we saw Montgomery was at her 2015 show at Shebeen (RIP), it was great to see her again in an equally intimate venue. This was the type of gig that made us think 'Hiatus? What hiatus?'. It was like she never left.
On Sunday night, we packed into the Forum in Melbourne for a sold out show to see Lauv.
First up at the Forum was American singer-songwriter Carlie Hanson.
Performing for the first time in Australia on the tour, Carlie brought a perfect blended of pop and alt rock, playing catchy tunes to a receptive audience. With Julia Michaels vibes, Carlie had the crowd dancing, laughing and engaging with her set with lots of feel good vibes throughout. We couldn't help but be entertained when, like many artists new to touring Australia, she decided to give the Aussie accent a spin and mentioned her newfound love for kangaroos. Highlights of the set included 'Cigarettes', 'Hazel', popular single 'Only One' and final song 'Back In My Arms'.
When it was time for Lauv to begin, the noise was deafening. If you weren't physically at the show, you may have still heard the screams as passionate fans awaited the one night only performance with phones at the ready. Opening with 'Drugs & The Internet', Lauv wasted no time in delving into his catalog with 'Paris In The Rain', 'Paranoid' and 'Reforget' to follow. Dancing around stage from corner to corner, Lauv brought passion and a goofy grin on his face as he took the time during songs to wave and interact with various fans who had come to see him perform. As if he wasn't captivating enough, the visuals onscreen told a story throughout each song and the lighting was synchronised perfectly with each track and beat.
It's not too common as concertgoers that you can be in a room filled with thousands of people and feel like you've had the chance to get to know someone even better. At this concert, there was a genuine connection between Lauv and his fans, and we felt as though we had the chance to meet the real artist. We also met positive Lauv, existential Lauv, hopeless romantic Lauv, spicy Lauv, goofy Lauv, and fuck boi Lauv - but that's another story altogether. In a world where branding encourages us to define who we are and what we stand for, Lauv was on a mission to let people know it's acceptable to be whoever you want to be.
Lauv spoke around the projects he'd worked on and shared with the audience that his album 'How I'm Feeling' will be out on March 6, 2020. With the crowd amped and ready for more, Lauv performed the visually stunning 'Sims', passionate 'Enemies' and chill 'Easy Love'. Then came the hits. Absolute bangers with the crowd singing along to 'fuck, i'm lonely...', 'I'm So Tired', and 'Feelings'. Throughout this section of the concert, Lauv spent time acknowledging the beautiful Forum venue in Melbourne and how it was one of the most incredible venues they've played. He also told the crowd stories about his recent tattoos in Australia, including one of his dog Billie. A few lucky fans near the front were even shown pictures of Billie, the Pomeranian.
A key piece of the experience was the focus on supporting mental health, and Lauv found the right way to bring people together. Highlighting a past project of his, Lauv would leave a box at his shows for fans to submit their feelings and he'd share them with others across the world. The idea behind the gesture is that we are made to feel our lonely problems aren't valid and he wanted everyone to understand that we often face the same problems, and that there's a lot of good in seeking help and connecting with one another. Songs including 'Superhero' and 'Sad Forever' had accompanying stories with heartfelt descriptors, letting people know it's to share.
The comedy portion of the night didn't come from the jokes that didn't land, but from what occurred during the beautiful acoustic 'For Now'. Performed quietly, and alone, the song is so quiet you could hear a... well, an iPhone alarm in this instance. Laughing it off, Lauv asks the crowd, where could you possibly need to be at this hour, before starting the song again to applause. The set concludes with 'Getting Over You' and 'The Other', both hits in their own right. The encore, as exceptional as the rest of the night, finished on a high with 'Never Not' and main single 'I Like Me Better'.
Lauv left us with more than just a concert. We left thinking about how we can be better people to ourselves and to others, and appreciate all that the world has to offer. Not a bad result from a standard Sunday night out in Melbourne.
Grapevine Gathering returned for its third year, this time moving from the Yarra Valley’s Rochford Estate to new venue Grapevine Estate in Mickleham. With an awesome music lineup perfectly paired with an equally impressive food and drink lineup, Grapevine offers plenty of reasons to jump into one of Melbourne's up and coming boutique festivals.
At midday on a perfect 23 degree day, the gates open, and there’s a rush to get in and check out what the festival has to offer. Sunscreen on and a drink in hand, MEL Live headed straight to the stage to check out the killer lineup.
Opening the stage was local five piece band Big Words, playing tracks from their R&B-infused EP Hollywood, a Beautiful Coincidence. With their breezy, summer vibes, their set was the perfect start to the day. The charismatic Kira Puru is on next; and immediately starts riling up the crowd. Her feel good music has the early crowds swaying and singing along, and hit single Molotov only has the audience even more excited for the day to come. Kira's stage presence is undeniable throughout her performance, and it was great to see such an artist live.
Next up is a DJ set in the form of Lovebirds. Hailing from Berlin, Lovebirds is the solo project of Sebastian Döring, who brought his retro synth-driven to the masses. The DJ set is one of many of the day, and draws in a massive, bopping crowd who don't stop dancing until the very end. Keeping the dance party going with 80s synth vibes is Touch Sensitive, who arrives onstage with a bass guitar. Laying down thundering basslines to his hits, such as Lay Down and Pizza Guy, Touch Sensitive (AKA Michael Di Francesco) seemed to be having an absolute blast onstage, and the audience loved it.
After a short break, Jack River takes to the stage; looking very reminiscent of Stevie Nicks. Belting out newer tracks Confess and Ballroom from her album Sugar Mountain, Jack River has quickly cemented her place in the Australian electropop scene. Her mix of syrupy sweet lyrics and 90s grunge guitar work is a match made in heaven, and the perfect addition to any summer festival. The audience laps up Jack River's every word, and goes especially crazy when the opening notes of her collaboration with Peking Duk, Sugar, start playing. The single translates well on stage; bass ringing out across the winery. With a voice and personality as unique as her's, there's no way anyone will be forgetting Jack River soon.
While everyone's on a high following Jack River's set, Late Nite Tuff Guy takes to the stage in another DJ set. As the stage name of Cam Bianchetti, in another life he was known as DJ HMC, and was huge in the underground dance scene. Needless to say, his reputation as such was more than evident, as track after track had the audience going crazy.
Fan favourite Mallrat, AKA Grace Shaw, follows up the already strong lineup, with a powerful set that has everyone chanting and jumping along. Playing instant-hits Groceries and UFO were undoubtedly crowd pleasers, and had every single person in the audience screaming for more. Bringing it down a notch, Mallrat breaks into a cover of Florence + the Machine's Girl With One Eye - offering a much needed break from all the jumping around in her set. The crowd is then treated to the Simlish version of latest single Charlie - which was only recorded very recently. Of course this is followed up with the English version we know and love, before finishing up the set with her anti-party anthem Uninvited. A somewhat ironic close to the set, but nevertheless, it absolutely went off.
Dark-indie trio Crooked Colours shook the stage up with their take on the electro pop genre, offering the audience a more chilled approach to the day. Their set was almost a cool down period for the crowds, leading into what would be a heavy night ahead. Decked out in old-school and modern pilot gear, Flight Facilities smashed through their killer track list. Bringing out special guest Owl Eyes for a good part of their set, the duo played favourites Crave You, Arty Boy and Need You. Set antics were aplenty, and at this point in the night, the audience was a mass of flailing bodies waving along to the music.
Headlining the day's lineup was Irish powerhouse Two Door Cinema Club, who seamlessly worked their way through hit after hit. Opening with Talk and classic tracks Undercover Martyn and I Can Talk, the band cycled through their impressive back catalogue as well as new album False Alarm. Frontman Alex Trimble worked the crowd, showing off his incredible stage presence, and getting the crowd jumping and dancing along. Classic What You Know and closing track Sun gets a massive rise out of the audience, who clearly don't want the band to stop playing. Throughout the set, it was evident that the band sure knew how to work the stage - contrasting suits, lighting and backgrounds aside. Putting on a mammoth of a show, it was fair to say that Two Door Cinema Club were easily the highlight of the day for MEL Live.
After a long day of countless banger after banger, the festival sadly came to an end. For some, it was a trek back to their cars or buses, and for some, it was a chance to kick on elsewhere. Either way, it was an incredible day, where it was evident that everyone there had an amazing time. We can’t wait to see what Grapevine has in store for 2020, and hope to be a part of it!
We spent the night at the Grand Hotel in Mornington witnessing folk singer-songwriter Alana Wilkinson overshare her thrilling life stories, while supporting Aussie legend Tim Freedman from The Whitlams.
Bubbly and bright, Alana's personality is on show at all times, as well as represented on stage by the sunflowers twisted around her mic stand. Her gentle guitar work, accompanied by soft and beautiful vocals, leaves the audience smiling, reflective and ready to have fun. Alana manages to deliver a paradox - cut-throat lyrics with an infectious smile on her face. Her genuine honesty and enthusiasm throughout her performance is refreshing, as the crowd laugh and sing along with her.
Opening the set with Concrete Shoes, Alana had the audience captivated from the get-go; with her chirpy lyrics and fun acoustic tones. The mood shifts for her latest single Partner in Crime, a beautiful tribute to a lost friend, as well as a reminder for us all to appreciate those closest to us and to hold them dear.
Debut single Closer and Show You Mine offer perspectives on blossoming relationships, with saccharine lyrics and the delicate guitar and ukulele work to match it. Verging on a comic at the best of times, Alana's tracks The Polar Bear Song and closer Get the Fuck Away had the audience in stitches with cleverly written puns and zingers galore.
It was great to see Alana perform at an intimate venue, where she seems to feel at home as much as she does at a music festival. It's clear to see that she was always meant to perform, and that she manages to finds a way to leave each audience member with a genuine human connection. Having told the audience the exciting news that she's finished recording her debut album last week, we look forward to seeing all that she can achieve.
Throughout the year, Alana has supported an array of shows in Melbourne, so be sure to check out her tour schedule or see her at the upcoming Queenscliff Music Festival.
Last Tuesday, Morgan Evans graced us with his presence by performing his biggest hometown headline tours to date as part of his big World Tour, spending some quality time with the fans in the intimate setting that is the Forum in Melbourne.
The night kicked off with Grammy Award-Winning Singer-Songwriter Chris DeStefano from Nashville, Tennessee. Performing as a solo artist, Chris took the time to chat with the crowd throughout his set, taking us on a journey through his career and the many number 1 hits that he has written. Highlights included performances of songs co-written with Carrie Underwood (Good Girl), Billy Currington (Hey Girl) and Brett Eldridge (Don't Ya). DeStefano took the chance to highlight his time co-writing with Morgan Evans by starting to play 'Kiss Somebody', before jokingly stating he'd love that for Morgan to play later in the evening. Chris' charm and wit were captivating and it was great to see the Forum packed and singing along to his every word.
When it was time for Morgan to arrive, the crowd was ecstatic - raising the roof and setting the tone that the night was going to be one big celebration. It was clear that people had come from far and wide to see homegrown talent Morgan Evans, the Nashville-via-Newcastle chart-topping singer-songwriter, whose debut album 'Things We Drink To' has launched a successful worldwide tour. We were fortunate enough to be a part of the evening, getting the chance to listen to Morgan explain each track, the meaning behind the lyrics and understand which part of his career each song originated.
Morgan managed to keep the crowd engaged from the moment he entered the stage, charming but humbled with his success to date, it was easy to see why the like-able Australian has been named one of PEOPLE's elite 'Ones to Watch' in the previous year. Morgan begun his set with the popular song 'Young Again' before launching into a range of covers, 'I Do' and 'Dance With Me'. There was something for everyone, as Morgan took the time to explain to the crowd how loop pedals work and that each sound heard was something he would be making on the night.
For a seemingly standard Tuesday, Morgan Evans entertained the crowd and created an atmosphere not all artists are able to reach. Supported by his 'American Band', which is what he calls his loop pedal, we laughed, we danced and we felt every emotion he wanted us to feel. Pivitol moments of the night included when he performed a duet of his first ever released song 'Big Skies' with Mark Wells, during his title track 'Things We Drink To' and of course, when we heard 'American'. Morgan rounded out the performance with his biggest tracks to date, #1 debut US single 'Kiss Somebody' and chart-rising 'Day Drunk'.
The night ended with an encore consisting of 'We Dream' and an opportunity to perform 'Young Again' as a Bluegrass track with guitar tech Keith joining Morgan on the stage. We had an absolute blast spending time with the talented singer-songwriter and eagerly await his return to Melbourne on his next world tour.
Selling out two shows at Howler in Brunswick, dream pop sensation Hatchie is a force to be reckoned with. Brisbane-born Harriette Pilbeam is the musician behind Hatchie; an act that is quickly gaining massive traction with both Australian and international audiences. We were lucky enough to catch Hatchie on her first of two nights at Howler.
The opening act that night was Sydney electro-pop trio Gauci. The band showcased their new single In the Night - a pounding hit about second chances - as well as a great number of other soon-to-be hits. We danced along and had a great time seeing the band perform to the Brunswick crowd. Following on from Gauci, it was time for the Northeast Party House DJ set, designed to amp up the audience for the main act. Playing a variety of tracks, including remixes of their own songs, the set was a perfect opening for Hatchie and set the pace for the night.
Sure enough, it was now time for the main performance. This was an event we'd been looking forward to and from the moment it began, it was easy to see why. With a solid set list combining tracks from her EP and debut album, Hatchie's set was nothing short of perfection from start to finish. Opening the headline performance with Try and Sugar & Spice, the audience was captivated in an endless sway, dancing throughout each song.
New tracks Keep and Her Own Heart from Hatchie's album evoke a new perspective on lost relationships and self discovery - both perfect examples of Pilbeam's lyrical genius. With her smooth vocals overlaying chiming guitars and buzzing synth, Hatchie's music is incredibly reminiscent of 90s teen flick soundtracks; especially when it comes to crowd favourites Obsessed and Stay With Me. Her debut album Keepsake has a darker tone from EP Sugar & Spice, leaning away from cliches associated with her genre, while also still laced with optimism.
Finishing up the set with her biggest hit to date, Sure, Hatchie left the crowd hungry for more. The audience went wild as the last notes of the song rang out, and their cheers became louder and louder. This won't be the last time we see Hatchie live, and we can't wait for the world to see one of Australia's best pop artists.
Nearing the end of her touring her debut album Thick Skin, Tia Gostelow's latest tour Get To It marks the end of an era for the young singer/songwriter. The Queensland artist is gearing up to launch her next album, and if her show at Howler is anything to go off, we’re going to be in for a treat.
Tia opens her set with Vague Utopia, Hunger and Giants, and already the audience are going crazy, singing along to every word. Up next is State of Art, her debut single which she wrote at the age of 16. It's evident from this track that Tia only had musical success on the cards for her. Fan favourite Blue Velvet follows shortly after; a song that Tia admits to being influenced by Lana Del Rey.
Given Tia's success in both Australia and internationally, the venue is absolutely packed out. With her velvety vocals backed by rumbling bass, chiming synth and retro guitar riffs, Howler is the perfect venue for Tia. Its intimate space couldn't be a better setting for the artist, with the audience getting cosy and singing along to every word.
Halfway through the set, the audience is treated to the tour's title track, Get To It - a new, catchy track which Tia encourages the crowd to dance along to. When the set couldn't get any better, her band starts playing the opening chords to her Triple J Like a Version cover of We Are the People, which sends the audience into a frenzy.
Closing off her set is two of her biggest tracks, Strangers and Phone Me, which have the audience screaming out the lyrics and dancing along. They are the perfect close to a flawless set by the enigma that is Tia Gostelow, and proof that her artistry is a force to be reckoned with. We're looking forward to hearing her new music when it drops, and can't wait for that next album.
An Introduction to Yorke - an exciting headline show at the Gasometer in Melbourne
On a cold winter's night, a crowd eagerly gathers at the Gasometer; huddled upstairs to see emerging indie-pop talent Yorke, AKA Grace Hughes, perform her first headline show in Melbourne. Warming up the crowd with tracks from Thom Yorke playing over the speakers, the energy was electric as the crowd huddled together for the show to begin.
The Byron Bay musician wasted no time in jumping into things and delivered the goods from the moment the show began. Yorke's show had everything you could possibly ask for, maybe even more. There were crowd favourites including First Light and Wake The City, collaboration tracks from work with Kilter and Lanks, unreleased gems including Water Tight and Nights We Waste, a chilling rendition of Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey and even a special surprise guest. We were treated to a duet with Ben Stewart (Slowly Slowly) performing Forget Me Not, a new track from his solo pop venture Congrats.
Yorke won over the Melbourne crowd as she promised a soon-to-be-released EP later this year. Finishing the show with her biggest single to date, Thought I Could, the cheers and applause in the upstairs bandroom could be heard all over Melbourne. You know you've witnessed something magical when you spend the next few days listening to the artist non-stop on Spotify and that's exactly what we plan to do.