London Grammar | Pic by Toni Wilkinson

Red Hill Auditorium
Thursday, March 5, 2015

Red Hill Auditorium was swarming from the ground up Thursday night, a mass of buzzing people housed under the night sky, watching and waiting to hear the sweet indie-pop tunes by London Grammar.

The sold out event, which would be one of the last times Australian audiences would get to hear the band play their full If You Wait album live, began with long, drawn out guitar cords and echoing through the speakers, from a lone electric guitar. An eerie ringing filled the auditorium before lead singer Hannah Reid cut the air with sensual vocal ‘ooing’ that turned into a hearty Hey Now. Flashing lights like lighting came from behind the singer and her two band members, and a giant LED screen filled with dreamy landscapes lined the stage.

The soft keys played by pianist Dot Major had the crowd swaying, while Hannah’s vocals sent shivers down each person’s spine. Adding to the intense atmosphere was a mini orchestra, sitting above the giant LED screen and looking down onto London Grammar and the audience.

It was great hearing the band interact with the crowd, Hannah thanking everyone for making it down to one of the best venues the trio had ever played at. She even revealed she might have a small case of arachnophobia.

“I’ve only been here for six days but I’m still very jet lagged,” Hannah said. “I keep checking my shoes for spiders, and under the toilet seat for spiders, and I went swimming once but I’m still afraid I’m going to get eaten by a shark.”

She then launched into Shyer, her voice piercing through the air. Streams of light reached out from the stage to the audience, who were no doubt mesmerised by the power and range of Hannah’s incredible sound.

The band continued to chat to the crowd in between songs, sharing stories about how certain tunes came about (like in one of the member’s bedroom), and that Australia was the first place that really embraced them.

“I really want to play a new song, but I don’t think I’m allowed,” Hannah said, teasing the audience, who, although hopeful, didn’t end up getting a taste.

Instead, Stay Awake, Sights and Nightcall made a musical appearance.

Most of the crowd stood baffled, looking at the young blonde thing on the stage, and hearing the deep diction coming out of her small frame, the general consensus being of awe and amazement.

Heavy beats teamed with alluring melodies and powerful choruses had everyone tapping their feet, moving to the beat, swaying and generally enjoying themselves as a top class light show blew all of the stars out of the sky, while deep drumming made the hill shake.

Strong was dubbed the last song of the night, which saw the auditorium turn into a giant chorus line as the people sang along to a fan favourite.

As people dashed out of the venue to beat the onslaught of traffic that would come after a mass exodus of Red Hill, those that chose to wait were graced with an encore, which saw the band play two extra songs before finally turning the lights off and leaving the stage.