LIVE REVIEW: Montaigne – The Brightside 

The truth is, Australia has some incredible homegrown female talent. Like I mean, absolutely INCREDIBLE female acts. And for Montaigne’s ‘For Your Love Australian Tour’ she is showcasing just how incredible and diverse these acts are with an incredible all female billed line up. Joined by Eilish Gilligan and Handsome for a massive run of shows, these three acts give the crowd a unique fusion of indie-pop greatness that showcase the complete diversity of talent in our own backyard. 

With a big crowd already packing into The Brightside nice and early, Sydney singer-songwriter Handsome took to the stage with the bold and catchy banger ‘No Cowards’. Welcoming the Brisbane crowd to the last night of the tour, she dived straight into tracks from her debut EP including  the viral ‘Late Night Ball Game’, the classic love track WILDS’ and the angsty ‘TV Set’ which she even managed to mash a sneaky little cover of King Princess’ ‘1950’ into it. In-between songs she told hilarious little anecdotes about  touring and the creation of the songs which kept the crowd engaged and connected to tracks that most of them had never heard before. And that’s the key to any successful support slot which a lot of performers don’t figure out. Premiering a new track called ‘Delete You’, she had the crowd dancing and singing along to the disco-pop beat which is super polished and a future Triple J favourite ready to be unleashed. Closing off her set with ‘Save Some Love’ she highlighted her strong vocals along with her production abilities with cool distortion effects. It was a very powerful and fun live set that sees her continuing to grow as an artist and performer. 

Walking onstage determined to give Brisbane a whole lot emotions, Eilish Gilligan didn’t hold back throughout her slick thirty minute set. Kicking things off with ‘Patterns’, she pulled the crowd in with a song that some of them were familiar with whilst the other half were drawn into her artistic and theatrical soundscape. Diving into the unreleased material she was road testing, ‘Again’ and ‘Hurt You’ held their own and perfectly rolled into one of her first ever releases, ‘The Feeling’ which has had a synth re-touching since it’s release in 2017. New tracks ‘Wait Up For Me’, ‘Never Met’ and ‘Someone Else’ were each so individually strong that I can imagine them becoming singles on their own terms with their catchy and relatable hooks. In particular the line “Someone else might have the touch I don’t have” lingered on my conscious for a couple of hours with it’s vivid and heartbreaking imagery. Taking to the keyboard for the beautiful ballad ‘The Pull’ she highlighted her insane vocals before adding a slight groove for closing tracks ‘Keep Up’ and ’S.M.F.Y’ which is still one of 2018’s strongest songs.

With the lights dimming over the sold out crowd, Montaigne walked out to the opening song ‘Glorious Heights’ wearing a Bjork inspired white feathered outfit which was both visually stunning and aesthetically pleasing at the same time. Excitingly welcoming the crowd to the show, she thanked them for selling it out and reminisced over playing a DJ set in the same venue with Tkay Maidza a couple of years earlier. Throwing it back to her debut EP, she played ‘I’m A Fantastic Wreck’ whilst grabbing everyones hands in the front row during the heartbreakingly honest lyrics “would you love me?”. Following the high energy beginning, ‘What You Mean To Me’ and ‘Lonely’ continued the theatrical vibes before she grabbed her guitar for the wholesome ‘Lie To Myself’. Stripping things completely down for ‘A Cinematic Please For An End’ she then stood under very moody lighting as the keyboard ballad ‘Consolation Prize’ had you standing in awe of her natural talent. But that apparently wasn’t stripped down enough for her. She decided that she wanted to premiere her new song ‘Is This All I’m Good For’ from her forthcoming sophomore album by performing it completely acapella. This brutally honest and beautiful track about body dysmorphia had you feeling all the emotions as she sung the lyrics “Every day I wake up and measure the skin around my waist, is this all I’m good for”.  Picking up the acoustic guitar again, ‘It’s Not An End’ was another homage to her early EP before she welcomed her band back on stage for the bold ‘Clip My Wings’, ‘Because I Love You’ and ‘For Your Love’. As she announced she wouldn’t be doing an encore she asked the crowd to give all they had for the final songs ‘In The Dark’ and ‘Till It Kills Me’, and they delivered. 

I first saw Montaigne opening for Megan Washington at The Triffid in 2015. In four short years, her live show has evolved so much and has seen her grow into a mesmerising and cinematic-esque performer. These shows played as a special thank you to her fans for continuing to support her and as a little promise that new music was on it’s way very soon, which is always an exciting time.

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