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