The authenticity of 80’s pop-rock seems to be making a strong comeback in the music industry and I am all here for it. Jack River’s debut album delivered those strong comparisons with her catchy hooks, shiny synths and gritty guitars. Her massive ‘Sugar Mountain Tour’ saw the Sydney singer-songwriter selling out shows all over the country with a massive demand in catching these very intimate and fun live sets.
It’s been a little while since we’ve been acquainted with Jess Kent. After a massive run of stadium dates with Coldplay in late 2016 the singer-songwriter relocated to Los Angeles where she began working on her debut album. She’s been in the studio with one of pop musics most exciting songwriters Justin Tranter but now she’s returned home to celebrate the release of her new single and preview this new musical direction. Kicking off her brief set with ‘Bass Bumps’ she quickly had the crowd warming up to her fresh sound. Her whole set centred around her new unreleased material where she was testing out what the crowd was reacting to and it’s safe to say they were loving it. ‘Too Little Too Late’ had a slick beat while ‘Champagne Dreams’ and ‘Weather’ had the crowd feeling some high-key emotions. The funky ‘Bicycle’ is a future single in waiting whilst ‘For You’ is a reflective tune that I want to have on repeat. She threw in old favourite ‘Get Down’ for good measure which had the whole crowd singing and dancing along before closing her set with her empowering new single ‘Girl’. Jess Kent is a future pop star, that is all.
With the stage draped in neon lights and aesthetically pleasing light bulbs, Jack River gave Brisbane a high energy and appropriately matching visual live show. The sold out crowd gave her a warm welcome as she walked on stage to the opening riff of ‘Ballroom’. After briefly thanking the excited crowd she took them back to her early EP days with fan favourites ‘Palo Alto’ and ‘Talk Like That’. But this show was all about celebrating the release of her recent debut album ‘Sugar Mountain’ and she didn’t let the crowd forget that by delivering all the big singalong favourites that they’ve quickly come to love. ‘Limo Song’, ‘Constellation Ball’, ‘In Infinity’ and ‘Confess’ had the crowd eagerly bopping along as she powered through the tracks. Her small talk was minimal but she was gracious and thankful for the sold out status of the show. In return her synth layered guitar riffs and sweet harmonies offered this really retro 80’s vibe that consistently matched the colourful and aesthetic visuals. You instantly felt like you were transported back to a 80’s dance with a glitter clad pop-rock band giving you the dancing tunes. With her dreamy outfit she gave you all the emotions during ‘Stardust & Rust’ before gliding across the stage with ‘Fault Line’ and ‘Fields’.
She confessed to the crowd that she is really not a fan of encores so instead of going off stage and pretending that it was the end of the show she decided to just continue playing. An amped up cover of Tal Bachman’s ‘She’s So High’ followed which was a missed opportunity to mash it up with her own song ‘So High’ which was notably left off the setlist. Closing the show with the massive hit ‘Fools Gold’ the crowd were jumping up and down screaming the words whilst others jumped on shoulders to sway in the infectious hook.
Jack River’s debut album is one of the most consistent and impressive local debut albums of the year and really cements her strong capabilities as a performer. The short duration of the show had the crowd eager for more but she left on a high and had everyone talking about just how fun and colourful the show was.
Check out the full gallery captured by The Raveyard Photography HERE;
Photos by Blake Lewis