Sometimes it’s important to just be honest and a little vulnerable. It’s okay to admit when things go wrong even when you’re worried of coming across unprofessional. Because in the end, in this industry and this confusing world it’s important to be authentic at all times. So when I began writing this review I had a decision to make; do I be completely honest and raw or do I sugar coat it and creatively write my way through it. I chose to be honest.
The life of a music reviewer is a very rewarding one. I started writing for a magazine when I was 15 years old (I was obviously really inspired by the movie Almost Famous) and from there I launched my own website a couple of years ago and have independently worked along with some photographers to continually grow it and now see a wide and big readership all over the world, which to me is still crazy. (Shoutout to all the people from Australia, United Kingdom, United States, Germany and Brazil who regularly read these reviews). The hours and effort it goes to keep this website running is a little exhausting at times and I regularly push myself to the core which can be a little overwhelming and confusing for the people around me. But it’s not only work to me, it’s also my passion. So along with this territory comes a lot of perks like attending and reviewing live shows which I spend most of my nights a week at. I’m still human so I still try to balance relationships, my mental health and social lives in between working full time and running a website full time. This also means that sometimes shit hits the fan and the probability that I have to fake being happy whilst at a show is very high.
Music and live shows have become the soundtrack to some of my favourite memories as well as some of my saddest ones. But I love it because you find yourself spiritually connecting to songs or artists in a different way. I decided to reach out to my ex to come to a show with me so we could catch up as we were trying to rekindle our friendship. But over dinner the conversation got a little heated and honest and my mood was affected by some of the things he said. It was apparent that the rekindling of what we had was probably not going to happen and I was obviously a little upset. But the show had to go on I told myself as I knew I still had to review a gig. So as we got into the packed venue and I tried to calm my nerves with a few ciders, the night took a bit of a emotional turn.
Stepping onto the stage in matching navy jumpsuits, Total Giovanni firstly addressed the excited Brisbane crowd by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land. Kicking off their electric and groovy show with the slick stylings of ‘Your Light’ they delivered this smooth stage presence which aesthetically matched the accompanying bright neon lighting. As they grooved through early favourites ‘When We Break’ and ‘Falling Away’ they transformed the humble stylings of The Foundry into a nostalgic 80’s disco. The crowd was dressed accordingly as they danced under the giant disco ball with drinks being spilt left, right and centre. But as the crowd sang along to the songs, I was dancing with tears in my eyes. From there the night turned into a blur as I tried to hold it all together and focused on not breaking down in the middle of the venue. I was exhausted, heart broken and suffering a little bit of social anxiety. And on top of all that I was embarrassed. But the smooth stylings of Total Giovanni carried me through the rest of their hour set. They impressed the crowd with a setlist of mostly songs from their debut album and had everyone dancing until the very end. Their stage presence was very suave and captivating as they lead singer drank straight from a bottle in between songs. As I moved myself to the back of the crowd I continued to watch them and felt a little better even though I also wanted to break down and cry at the same time. My ex stood next to me in silence and could feel the emotions I was feeling as we watched the band. Whilst this could have been a really awkward and painful experience there was something also quite calming about it. We could put our issues aside and both appreciate the cool and funky vibes of a band in a moment which was a little raw for the both of us. Because of my emotional and vulnerable state, the rest of the night was a little blurry and the details are a little hazed but the live soundtrack of Total Giovanni created a nice nostalgic tone.
In a heightened emotional experience we could immediately turn it into a negative moment and decide to run or we could decide to turn it into something positive and live through it. And that is what both myself and my ex did. For an hour we were caught in the groovy musical world of Total Giovanni and whilst the situation could have been better we made the most of it. I could have lied my way through the review and creatively spun a review but that would be in-geunine of me. So I wanted to be honest to you, the reader. I’m human and sometimes things are a little much but music is a massive emotional therapy for a lot of people and it’s nights like this that prove that. So don’t be afraid to live in the moment and embrace all aspects of your emotional soul at all times.
Check out the full live gallery captured by Lyndon James HERE;
Photos by Lyndon James