Vera Blue is one of Australia’s most exciting newcomers. Her unique fusion of folk, electronic and pop has come to life over the past couple of years which saw her cement a bold sound on her debut album “Perennial”. She impressed with it’s emotional vulnerability and electrifying production. The album was split into 3 chapters which detailed the different stages of a break up; the initial heartbreak, the empowering emotion of deciding it’s time to move on and the reflection process. While the album has only been out for a month it has already connected with so many people on many different levels. She has gone from wowing crowds at Splendour In The Grass to selling out the majority of the tour. The Brisbane show was one of the sold out shows and it didn’t disappoint.
Before she was officially Vera Blue she was a finalist on The Voice under her real name Celia Pavey in 2013. For this tour she has invited fellow The Voice alum Lakyn to open for her. Over the years Lakyn’s music has dramatically evolved from an acoustic folk meets pop crossover to a new hip-hop inspired sound. His acoustic guitar roots are still prominent but now he’s traded in for an electric guitar and loops over beats to his music to give a more fulfilled sound. It was just him onstage and he commanded the crowd with his powerful vocals and unique storytelling. From the opening track “View Looks So Good” to a bunch of unreleased material he showcased just how important this new direction was for him. “Soldier” was one of the main highlights because of the raw emotion he conveyed. The song was dedicated to his grandfather who had a heart attack and it was a reflection of all the things he didn’t get to say to him leading up to that moment. The hip-hop beats layered over the electric guitar gives him a new texture to the sound and makes him stand out more as an artist. He finished his set with his new single “West” which had the audience singing along instantly. His live shows have always being strong but this set took it to a new level.
Thandi Phoenix is an artist who has been floating around the Australian music industry for a couple of years. She has opened for the likes of Jhene Aiko and Rudimental and once you see her set then you will understand why she has been so sought after. Accompanied by a drummer and keyboardist Thandi took to the stage for an energetic 40 minute set. The songstress delivered soulful vocals with rhythmic beats that will have you dancing and wanting to move you’re whole body. She performed her catchy singles “Come Around”, “Tell Me Where The Lovers Have Gone” and “Standing Too Close” but they weren’t the only strong points. A lot of the unreleased material were potential future hits and the African influenced “Oh My My” was definitely one of those moments. She also showcased a raw vulnerability when she stripped the set down to perform solely on the keyboard. She delivered a song called “Hold On” that was dedicated to anyone going through a break up and suffering a broken heart which was beautiful and intimate moment. She has a lot of attitude and had you captivated from start to finish. She is definitely someone you need to keep an eye on because she is easily one of Australia’s best live performers.
Whilst the support acts were amazing the sold out crowd was there to see one girl and one girl only. Vera Blue took to the stage to the opening bars of “First Week”. She instantly gave the crowd her raw vulnerability with one of the albums most emotional and hardest songs. One thing that was instantly impressive was her production. During the chorus she had these stand up drums that she would hit and they would light up to become a part of the crazy light show that followed. The lighting was moody but perfect. The strobe lights fitted perfectly with the electronic sound that this album embodied and during early favourites like “Give In”, “Regular Touch” and “Magazine” you were instantly hypnotised. Throughout the set she gave the crowd a couple of early EP favourites like “Fingertips” and “Patterns” which had the crowd screaming with excitement. During “Settle” she ran around the stage throwing some white roses into the crowd and then switched the song up by mashing in her Slumberjack collaboration “Fractures”. For songs like “We Used To” and “Pedestal/Cover Me” she stripped it completely back to give an intimate moment of mind blowing pure vocals and vulnerability. One of the most fun songs in the set was the empowering “Lady Powers” which she dedicated to all the strong women in the crowd as well as the guys standing beside them supporting them. “Hold” and “Private” finished the set before she returned to the stage for a final encore of her Triple J Like A Version “Breathe Life” and the fitting show closer “Mended”.
She had the crowd in awe for the entire show. From her breathtaking vocals to her quirky dance moves to the emotional storylines, the whole show was perfect. For an artist who has only just released her debut album tour you would’ve been convinced otherwise. “Perennial” is arguably one of the best albums of the year and this show has just joined the list as one of the best gigs of the year.