Live Music and Events in Wollongong

MONTAIGNE THE RAGE

LIVE REVIEW: Montaigne + Bec Sandridge + Woodes at UOW Unibar 7/10/16

Montaigne brought her ‘Because I Love You’ tour to the University of Wollongong UniBar on the Friday the 7th of October, supported by Woodes and Bec Sandridge. The three-time ARIA award nominated Montaigne, real name Jessica Cero, has toured with San Cisco and Megan Washington and collaborated with the Hilltop Hoods, and her obvious star-quality was apparent during her gig at the UniBar. The UniBar hosts a variety of musical and comedy acts and is popular among university students and other music fans alike. The musicians at Montaigne’s concert didn’t perform on the main stage as they usually would, playing instead on a temporary stage near the bar. This gave a more intimate atmosphere and allowed the performers to interact with the crowd, and meant that you could sit behind the stage on couches or outside on the veranda and enjoy the music.

Woodes began with a half-hour of atmospheric soundscapes, kicking off the night with delicate vocals and chilled out beats.

Next up was Bec Sandridge who pumped up the crowd with her upbeat riffs and quirky vocals. Sandridge’s energy was not dampened by her recent stint as headliner of the Yours and Owls Festival on October 1st and 2nd. Bearing similarities to the likes of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Franz Ferdinand, she tore up the stage with popular hits including ‘You’re a Fucking Joke’, that she claimed, during banter with the crowd, to have written about herself. Sandridge and her band kept good control over their endless layers of synths, guitars, drums, keyboards and vocals despite their erratic, high-energy performance. A highlight of their set was a song that began with Sandridge alone on the stage playing acoustic guitar and singing, before being joined by the rest of her band for a danceable track.

Montaigne took the stage next to cheers and applause from her fans in the crowd, dressed like a true popstar in an extravagant red coat. The classic popstar pulled-puppet-strings dancing was there too, as she twirled around the stage and sang to the crowd. However, the haughtiness often seen in popstars was absent as Montaigne shared personal stories with the audience and clasped hands with fans as she sang, showing herself to be humble and personable. Montaigne’s vocals were incredible, showcasing her agility and strength of voice in every song. Not to be confused with any other pitch-perfect popstar however, Montaigne punctuated her songs with yelps and murmurs, exhibiting her own unique style. Before performing her song ‘Lonely’, Montaigne told the story behind the lyrics before conducting each half of the crowd to sing a part with her, which was a highlight of the night. Montaigne managed to put on a truly professional, polished performance while connecting with the crowd and clearly enjoying herself. She is definitely a musician to watch as she continues gaining popularity and putting on awesome shows.

Oct 11th 2016 | Daisy Loomes

FOR THOSE ABOUT DOS ROCK

LIVE REVIEW: Dos Enos + The Zilzies + Tropical Wax + Colin Jones and the Delta Revue at Rad Bar 23/9/16

Dos Enos headlined a night of fantastic music at Rad Bar on Friday the 23rd of September, supported by The Zilzies, Tropical Wax and Colin Jones and the Delta Revue. Rad Bar is a popular venue located in the heart of Wollongong, within walking distance of Wollongong train station and a variety of clubs, pubs, bars and restaurants. Hosting live music most nights of the week, it’s a popular place to kick back with friends and have a few drinks. A set of stairs at the back of the venue lead to a second floor with vintage arcade machines and a window overlooking the stage, allowing you to relax with a drink and watch the show. If you’ve ever hung out in your mate’s garage listening to the Jimi Hendrix Experience, you’re likely to feel right at home at Rad Bar.

The Zilzies kicked the night off and captured the vibe of Rad perfectly, easing the audience into a psychedelic rock trance with smooth dialogue between the lead guitar and saxophone. Generally, I’m upset with any band that has a sax player and doesn’t at least mess around with Baker Street, but The Zilzies proved to be an exception as they made up for it with a solid set that established an upbeat mood for the evening. Kicking it into gear later in their set, The Zilzies skilfully set the stage with a controlled mess of rhythm and groove.

Tropical Wax were up second with a groovy set. Their frontwoman Grace George danced and sung to the crowd, keeping the vibes going throughout their performances. A highlight was their cover of Gnarl’s Barkley’s ‘Crazy’, which Tropical Wax ramped up to a crowd-pleasing, rocking track. A few songs saw a duet between the drummer and singer which worked perfectly and showed off their vocal skill. Their energy and size worked well with the small venue and the band were well practiced and worked flawlessly together. Tropical Wax are a prime example of the popular South Coast sound seen in a lot of local bands and put on a great show.

I’ve got a sweet spot for Blues music, and growing up on Leadbelly and B.B. King has given me a decent sense of how it should sound. Colin Jones and the Delta Revue obviously have a similar background; it was clear that these musicians knew what they were about. With a sound reminiscent of George Thorogood with a raspier voice, Colin Jones flicked the switch from a sweet groove to a hard rock, ramping up the crowd for Dos Enos’s set. They played the crowd like an instrument and got every single person up on their feet with minimal and effective blues riffs, a feat that only the best musicians can pull off.

Dos Enos started their set with an acknowledgement of country of the local Aboriginal people and proceeded to pump up the audience, even after a previous three hours of exhaustingly great music and non-stop dancing. I noticed a lot of people in the crowd wearing their shirts, and it was easy to see why they had so many fans. Dos Enos put on a high-energy performance and it was clear that they truly enjoyed playing music and entertaining a crowd. Their high-energy got a similar response from the crowd as they danced alongside the band – one of the highlights of Rad Bar is the lack of a raised stage, allowing the crowd to mingle with the band mid-performance, resulting in high-fives, tambourine playing and drink sharing. Dos Enos’s mix of hypnotic grooves and upbeat funk meant that even their slower songs captured the interest of the crowd. Their song ‘Unicorns’ encouraged the crowd to ‘take off all of their clothes and run until they find unicorns and rainbows’, which truly sums up Don Enos – trippy, fun music delivered by talented musicians.

Sept 23rd 2016 | Daisy Loomes

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