There is a star quality to Amy Shark’s performing that can’t be taught, and to date, she’s had the tunes to match. The diminutive singer has a strong repertoire already and she is only one album in.
Erthlings are a quartet of 16-year-old women from Sydney who have played music together since their primary school days. The four piece didn’t look out of place on the big stage and pulled off a tight set of moderate tempo pop songs that were well beyond their years.
Bass player Taylor is the one who holds the sound together with her thoughtful bass lines, while vocalist Issy was at her best on the song Bridges. With some more gigs under their belt and some stage banter added to their arsenal, they will be one to watch.
Melbourne emo rockers Slowly Slowly upped the ante with their guitar driven rock tunes and boundless energy to match. Ben Stewart was a mass of hair as he bounced around the stage while leading the band through songs from their two albums. With songs like Hey You and Alchemy, Slowly Slowly were familiar to many in attendance. Stewart came up with the best banter of the night when he said “thanks for letting me yell my feelings at you”, and the more succinct “what a fucking venue”.
The band looked they should have been louder than the sound that was coming from the stage with the first half of the set suffering from some unkind work from the mixing desk. Unperturbed, Slowly Slowly gave it their all even when they were unleashing new tunes like the melodic Jellyfish. By the time the band finished with Ten Leaf Clover, Steward’s storytelling and imagery had won them many new fans. Hopefully, a return to Perth isn’t too far away.
Coming to the stage to a backing track of Do You Hear The People Sing from Les Miserables is a grand statement, with its overtures of overcoming adversity. This is something Amy Shark alluded to on a few occasions during the opening night of her biggest national tour to date, where she admitted that naysayers often told her she would never have a career in music. Shark, dressed in white jeans and tracksuit top, quickly jumped into an effervescent take of Blood Brothers, with the characteristic waving of arms and leg raises which have been honed during her regular festival appearances over the past few years.
The band were all placed up high on risers so that Shark was able to move effortlessly around the whole of the stage, with her movement and presence making her a captivating performer. I Got You is a chirpy piece of bubblegum that was given some extra volume thanks to a cracking snare sound. Part of the appeal of Shark is her beat heavy tunes that are the type of ear candy that finds its way from your head to feet with ease, but it is when she donned a guitar that her strength as a songwriter was able to shine. Psycho is is best known as a duet with Mark Hoppus yet was handled expertly when Shark delivered it this evening. The guitar again surfaced for Idiot, which may be understated compared to her other tunes, but is catchy as.
Shark was genuinely happy to be back on home soil after months of overseas tours and was at pains to let the crowd now. Mess Her Up was given a muscular work over as Shark threw down the mic stand emphatically during an impassioned delivery. Delving back to her debut release found Weekend to be an unexpected high point of the night. Same for when Shark stripped back to an acoustic guitar for a solo take on Leave Us Alone.
A faithful rendition of Teenage Dirtbag saw Shark leading the crowd through a singalong, but was a superfluous moment of an otherwise solid set. It was evident that Shark was having as much fun as the audience when she yelled “My god, I love you Perth” during All Loved Up to round out the set, with a song that illustrates just how powerful her voice has become over the journey.
Although predictable, the encore didn’t suffer by being made up of Shark’s two biggest songs Adore and I Said Hi. Both tunes had the crowd singing in unison, with the latter even having a streamer cannon or two to highlight Shark’s status as a stadium worthy act.
Photos by Linda Dunjey