Friday night turned out to be beautiful as we strolled through the city and towards the Swan River to see Angus and Julia Stone. It was an excitable walk having not seen them live since 2011 at the Red Hill Auditorium, located just east of Perth’s Swan Valley. In those 6 years both Angus and Julia have branched off for solo careers including Angus’s most recent moniker ‘Dope Lemon’.
Triple J featured their latest collaboration ‘Snow’ on the week of their tour, I was excited to hear the influences of Dope Lemon pulsing through a few tracks while keeping the soft angelic tones of their original sound.
Perth Concert Hall was the perfect choice of venue, an intimate sit down setting filled with people of all ages. Once the lights turned down we were greeted by the soothing images of the ocean, while Julia serenaded us with gorgeous trumpet tones through a captivating light show, the band welcomed us with ‘Baudelaire’.
The rest of the show continued with tracks from latest release ‘Snow’, with guitars being handed back and forth between electric, acoustic and banjo. ‘Make It Out Alive’ was second on the set list, the room at this point was completely captivated, not one phone came out of bags or pockets for the first ¾ of the show. Watching behind a sea of heads gently bopping was the most cinematic, live experience I have ever been a part of. It felt like I was travelling back in time as ‘Make It Alive’ turned into ‘I’ll Be There’ after a series of euphoric bigsby notes rang out with the keys and a change of scenery from sea to woods appeared on the projector.
Continuing the journey styled set came the first ‘oldie’ from their self titled album in 2014 ‘My Heart Beats Slow’. Still not one phone in sight and an absolutely captivated silence rang from the crowd. The journey stopped and for the first time after the crowd cheered the stage was silent, until we heart those oh but familiar plucks of the intro to ‘Chateau’. Each performer was lit up in perfect timing with the plucks one by one with an entrancing light show. For the first time you could feel the energy from the crowd as if we had all been woken up from a beautiful daydream.
Angus pulled our heart strings with his harmonica in ‘My Word For It’ as they continued to play tracks from their latest release like ‘Bloodhound’ and ‘Nothing Else’ with small interruptions of chatter from the duo and the introduction of what looked like a cigar box guitar as well as some cheeky piano playing from Angus in ‘Who Do You Think You Are’. In between the new releases was an original cover of Neil Young’s ‘Harvest Moon’ which had an edgy, cheeky take featuring more of Julia's stunning trumpet. ‘Uptown Folk’ one of Dope Lemons hits was thrown in with a psychedelic backdrop which brought some more head bopping into the stalls.
The duo threw back to 2010’s record ‘Down The Way’ with a new take on ‘Big Jet Plane’ and a classic version of ‘For You’, where Julia shared a story about the song, writing it on the road from Fremantle’s Blues ‘N’ Roots Festival prior to its release in 2010. Angus and Julia closed the night with an introduction of their immensely talented band and their latest albums title track ‘Snow’. The projector behind them started to snow which was followed by faux snow falling over the stage, as if the last 90 minutes of their stunning live performance wasn’t magical enough.
The crowd thanked Angus, Julia and their band with a well deserved standing ovation and refused to leave, as the group returned for one more new and old release, ‘Oakwood’ and ‘Soldier’ where Angus modestly created what Julia called ‘good vibes’ with the trumpet. It was one of the most memorable performances I have ever seen.
Review - Keeley Connolly