The Australian music industry has never been so bright, colourful and promising. More than ever before we have world-class acts who are not only topping the charts and selling out multiple shows across the country but are reaching a global audience. Acts like Tame Impala, Troye Sivan, Tash Sultana, Matt Corby, Rufus Du Sol, Amy Shark, RUEL and Last Dinosaurs are playing massive shows overseas and waving the Australian flag proudly. Another artist who has dominated the international market recently is Dean Lewis. His breakthrough single ‘Waves’ catapulted him into the spotlight after it featured on massive TV shows like ‘Riverdale’ and ‘Suits’. To celebrate the release of his debut album ‘A Place We Knew’, the singer-songwriter has hit the road for his biggest run of headline shows yet. Joining him for these mostly sold out shows are label mates and impressive newcomers Eliott and Winterbourne, who are already sitting pretty high on people’s “artists to watch” lists.
With the sold out Brisbane crowd arriving early to secure a good vantage point inside The Tivoli, Eliott walked out to an empty stage where she sat in front of her keyboard for opener ‘Figure It Out’. Usually accompanied with a jazz inspired band, the Melbourne singer-songwriter played this show completely solo and impressed with her powerhouse vocals. ‘All The Things I Could Do Instead’, ‘Calling’ and the bold ‘Over & Over’ heard her easing her way into the set before she admitted “I’m going to sing another sad one for you now” before a cover of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now’. Switching things up momentarily she picked up a guitar for the unreleased ‘Circles’ which has been a fan favourite in her live set for a while now. Her brief set was full of vulnerability and pure emotion with a side of intimacy. Closing with ‘Shaking my Hips’, she showcased a different soulful side to her with a bold delivery and catchy hook that deserves some radio love.
“We hate coming out after Eliott, because with a voice like that how are we meant to follow that up? We will just play some guitar now really loud” Winterbourne joked as they took to the stage for the vibey opener ‘Better’. The Central Coast duo have just announced that their debut album ‘Echo Of Youth’ which will be released on August 24 and they are confidently using this set to showcase the evolution their music has had since their early releases. ‘To Get To Know You’, ‘Too Many’ and ‘Puzzle’ offer a diverse collection of feelings before they closed their set with the festival ready ‘Take The Golden’ which really embodies the sonical change this band have undergone. Their confidence and wit on stage is captivating and they instantly won the whole crowd over with their slick production.
With the amount of chart topping singles and commercial radio play Dean Lewis has had over the past two years, this sold out show almost felt like a greatest hits affair. Opening with the festival inclined ‘Hold On’ he instantly raised the energy and had the excited crowd singing along to every word. Keeping the momentum going, ‘Need You Now’, ‘A Place With You’, ‘Stay Awake, ‘Chemicals’ and ‘Lose My Mind’ were these euphoric moments full of vulnerability which the crowd unsurprisingly knew every word to. Being the biggest shows of his career, I did expect the production on this tour to be a little bigger than it was. The set was quite basic with just his band behind him and a couple of lighting rigs to brighten the space. But with the majority of these shows in sold out status, it would’ve been cool to have seen him visually give something a little different to what he’s done in the past. In saying that, this also offered a very intimate approach that allowed his fans to feel like they were still getting up close and personal with him like they did two years ago when he played The Zoo.
Introducing his band during ‘Time To Go’ he continued the mellow vibes with ‘Half A Man’ and ‘Don’t Hold Me’ before sitting down at the keyboard for the massive anthem ‘Be Alright’. Picking up the pace again, he had everyone jumping up and down during ‘7 Minutes’ and a energetic cover of The Killers ‘When You Were Young’. “Instead of running off and doing an encore, we are just going to play the last three songs for you, is that okay?” he asked the crowd. ‘Last Time’ and ‘Straight Back Down’ seemed like odd choices for an encore but the breakthrough hit ‘Waves’ tied it all together with one final singalong. Throughout the show Dean proved to everyone why he’s an artist who has consecutively sold out multiple shows in each city and is only getting bigger. His live show has grown a lot over the past couple of years and he’s only getting stronger with this bold show full of good pop-rock singalongs.
Check out the full gallery captured by Claudia Bill Photography HERE;
Photos by Claudia Bill
‘A Place We Knew’ Australian Tour
Tue May 14 – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide
Wed May 15 – HBF Stadium, Perth
Fri May 17 – The Forum, Melbourne *SOLD OUT*
Sat May 18 – The Forum, Melbourne