For Jack River’s Sugar Mountain Ball Tour, she didn’t want it to just be a string of shows, she wanted it to be an experience and that is exactly what she delivered with the opening night in Brisbane. Setting a glamorous prom theme, she made sure every detail was covered to make this show a memorable and unique night of nights. From the formal dress code to the prom photo booth in the foyer to the glittery details of the staging, everything was accounted for. Even a line up of diverse female acts who perfectly catered for the retrospective and nostalgic vibe of the show was fittingly curated.
Gold Coast singer-songwriter San Mei kicked off the nights proceedings with her darker styled indie-rock. Beginning with a full band instrumental they vibed out to the crowd before beginning with old EP favourite ‘Until You Feel Good’. Her newer material has a slight pop polish with songs like ‘Heaven’ and ‘Wonder’ attaining a commercially gravitated approach. Her live set has come a long way over the years and has become slick and more engaging. Her style of music fits in with the theme because it feels like that band you would see in the last half of the prom with the perfect 1 am feels. She’s definitely an artist to keep an eye on as she continues to get added to festivals, support slots and triple J airplays.
Eves Karydas perfectly delivers those prom aesthetics with her indie-pop music that just makes you want to dance and sing loud instantaneously. Opening with the dreamy ‘First Love’ she had the crowd singalong’s beginning early with fan favourite, ‘There For You’. Celebrating the recent release of her debut album ‘summerskin’ she dived deep into ‘Hush’, ‘Balance’ and ‘How Bound’ which a lot of the crowd actually knew the lyrics to. “This is my first time playing The Tivoli and as a Brisbane girl this is so special to me as I’ve been to so many shows here” she excitingly confessed. Performing a dreamy cover of Post Malone’s ‘Sunflower’ she gave the song a whole new synth aesthetic which was so cool to hear. Closing out her set with three of her biggest tracks ‘Couch’, ‘Damn Loyal’ and ‘Further Than The Planes Fly’ she showcased her strong pop songwriting with a confident stage presence that has made her a favourite in the live music scene.
With an epic 80’s playlist basting through the venue, the stage was draped with a glittery sequinned backdrop, white roses were intertwined into the microphone stands and a giant disco ball hanged from the roof. It really did feel like you were at some retro prom and it was so aesthetically trippy. Walking on stage in a really cool suit and a glittery tiara, Jack River didn’t hold back from giving the crowd some big singalong moments straight away with ‘Fields’, ‘Confess’ and ‘Limo Song’. With this being the first night of the tour you could sense the excitement and nerves that were radiating from Jack and her band. “This is so magical seeing all of you sing every word to these songs” she exclaimed. Premiering ‘So High’ live for the first time she explained how even though her debut album has been out for nearly a year that there are still songs that she has never played live from it. ‘Talk like That’ and ‘Fault Line’ followed before she premiered the first live performance of her Triple J Like A Version of Savage Garden’s ‘Truly Madly Deeply’ which only aired earlier that morning. She sat at the edge of the stage and just passionately sang the song with the crowd.
Candidly talking to the crowd about losing her sister in her mid teens she explained how music healed her and helped her express her inner thoughts and feelings. She encouraged the crowd to always follow that magic feeling which became a perfect takeaway from the show. For a beautiful performance of ‘In Infinity’ she brought a fairy floss machine onto the stage and made some fairy floss to hand out to the crowd throughout the song.
Turning the volume up and bringing the singalong’s back ‘Ballroom’, ‘Adolescent’ and her Peking Duk collaboration ‘Sugar’ had the crowd jumping up and down ecstatically. Wrapping things up with an electric performance of ‘Fools Gold’ she returned for an encore performance of fan favourite ‘Palo Alto’. This show was a glittery affair of nostalgia and dreamy vibes. Her album release tour was only at the end of last year but she still made this show feel unique and special which was so cool. Her stage presence has grown a lot over the past year as she further finds her confidence on stage and starts to break away from just standing at the microphone stand the whole show.
Check out the full gallery captured by Ekul Creative Photography HERE;
Photos by Luke Cummins
Sugar Mountain Ball Tour
Friday 7 June – Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Saturday 8 June – Metropolis Fremantle, Perth
Friday 14 June – The Gov, Adelaide