The future of pop is really exciting and that’s the honest truth. There’s no clear direction where the sound is evolving towards, nor is it easy to pinpoint a singular creative force but it’s safe to say that pop music is going to forever be diverse and powerful. Dean Lewis is an Australian singer-songwriter who has successfully gained himself worldwide acclaim with his singles ‘Waves’ and ‘Be Alright’. And with a rapidly growing fanbase his debut album is shaping up to be one massive release. After a year of touring around the world he has returned home for a big run of sold out shows that sees him also showcasing two incredible and diverse future pop acts.
Walking onto the empty Triffid stage under a prominent blue spotlight, Jack Gray sat in front of the keyboard for his intimate opening tracks ‘Truth Or Dare’ and ‘Take Our Time’. Explaining how he’s usually joined by a live band, he admitted he would be performing acoustically tonight as one of his band mates is graduating from high school and the other one was driving race cars. But the crowd didn’t seem to mind as he crooned his way through a setlist of unreleased tracks from his forthcoming debut EP. Standing up to play his acoustic guitar he dedicated a song to the shitty friends in his life which was accurately titled ‘Friends Like This’ before playing a stripped down version of his new single ‘My Hands’. The usually upbeat banger had a unique acoustic twist that gave the song a new light. He got a little serious on the suicide awareness track ‘Bullet’ before wrapping up his set with the soothing ‘Fools’ which is a clear standout in his life set. Confessing that he hadn’t done a solo acoustic show in ages, he surprisingly seemed very confident and comfortable on stage as he candidly got up close and personal with the sold out Brisbane crowd.
Switching up the pace, New Zealand singer-songwriter Robinson ran onstage yelling “Brisbane, how are you feeling” as she launched into the rhythmic ‘Crave You’. Throwing it back to her debut single ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’ she showed her massive growth as a songwriter with her recent single ‘Medicine’ which followed with it’s anthemic hook. Creating some early singalongs, she quickly got the crowd moving with her upcoming new single ‘Karma’ which she announced would be released “soon”. Her smile was contagious and she looked around the room and graciously thanked everyone for coming early and dancing along. She stripped it back momentarily for a cover of Bruce Springsteen ‘I’m On Fire’ before the heartbreaking piano ballads ‘A Lot Like Love’ and the honest ‘Don’t Trust Myself’. As her 40 minute set came to a sudden finish, she wrapped it all up with the epic single ‘Nothing To Regret’ which catapulted her into the spotlight at the beginning of the year. This euphoric and emotionally contrasting moment was the perfect end to her set which guaranteed her future as one of New Zealands new biggest exports.
After an impressive warm up, the all ages crowd roared with excitement as the silhouette of Dean Lewis appeared in the spotlight for the opening number ‘Lose My Mind’. “Wow Brisbane” he exclaimed at the early enthusiasm that didn’t seem to die throughout the night. With the diversity of ‘Stay Awake’, ‘A Place We Knew’ and ‘Need You Now’ showcasing the raw emotion and powerful sonical moments he’s been working on, this show played as a intimate and exciting taste-tester to his forthcoming debut album. Confessing that he woke up with a sore eye, he was told by his doctor to cancel the show and wear an eye patch but tonight was defying all the rules and playing patchless. Confirming that his new single ‘7 Minutes’ was approximately only 5 weeks away, he debuted the powerful track which details the immediate thought process after breaking up with someone and questioning whether he should turn around or not. He continued these captivating unreleased tracks with the calming ‘Half A Man’ and the festival ready hooks of ‘Tumble’ and ‘Hold Of Me’. With only one EP released this sort of setlist structure was expected but when he did play released songs like ‘Chemicals’ and ‘Let Go’, the audience sang along passionately. Creeping towards the end of the set he took to the keyboard to celebrate ‘Be Alright’ which saw him win an Aria Award 2 weeks earlier. Thanking the crowd for selling out a show on a Tuesday night he announced that there was going to be no encore because he found them awkward. So instead he perfectly closed the show with the massive ‘Waves’ which was the song that really started it all for him. Smiling at the adoring crowd, he thanked them for their support and walked off stage having just won over even more supporters to his forever growing fanbase.
Check out the full gallery captured by Claudia Bill Photography HERE;
Photos By Claudia Bill