SAFIA is one of Australia’s leading live acts. They’ve built a live show which is now apart of their legacy. With an innovative production full of moody aesthetics, big blocks of colour, intense lasers and fulfilled live arrangements, they’ve really honed who they are as a band.
With their ‘Story’s Start Or End Tour’ showcasing their biggest headline shows to date, it was no surprise that these sold out shows were a theatrical and immersive experience. Wrapping up the run of dates in Brisbane, they gave their all one last time at The Tivoli for a epic Saturday night gig.
With a countdown intertwined by flashing lights signalling the start of the show, the band took to the stage for opener ‘Ivory Lullaby’. With the moody aesthetic setting a unique tone for the start of the show, they then launched into the anthemic ‘Starlight’, ‘Think We’re Not Alone’ and ‘Make Them Wheels Roll’.
“Brisbane, how are we doing? You ready to have a party tonight?” lead singer Ben Woolner questioned the excited and engaged crowd. With ‘Cellophane Rainbow’, ‘Listen To Soul, Listen To Blues’ and ‘Over You’ creating some big singalongs, new fan favourite ‘Think About You’ really highlighted their growth as a band. Turning this moody synth electronic ballad into a ballsy elevated track, they added an epic guitar solo to enhance the vision and take it to another sonical place.
Experimenting with the different formats of the songs, they turned ‘White Lies’ into a slick reggae track that complimented the experimental flavours of ‘Resolution’, ‘Animal At Most’ and ‘Better Off Alone’.
As the set creeped towards the end, they added a cheeky little cover of Britney Spears ‘Oops I Did It Again’ before doing ‘Counting Sheep’ and wrapped up their set with ‘My Love Is Gone’ and ‘Vagabonds’.
Emerging back onto the stage for a much needed encore, Woolner picked up a megaphone for ‘Maybe You’ll Love Again’ and had the audience dancing again with ‘Embrace Me’. With the bright visuals, hectic strobe lights and innovative arrangements, the only thing missing from this show’s production was CO’2 cannons and confetti which would’ve added to the theatrical elements. But as a band they’ve delivered a show that is so commanding and impressive and took the crowd into the universe they created within their album.
Opening the show was Eilish Gilligan whose live set has continually grown and evolved over the years. With a lot of touring experience in particular over the last twelve months with tour supports for the likes of Mallrat and Montaigne as well as headline shows and appearances at festivals like Listen Out and BIGSOUND, she’s really found how to create the boldest and strongest set she can. Opening her set with unreleased tracks ‘Dig Me Out’, ‘Again’ and ‘Involve You’, she showcased where her synth driven sound was evolving to before playing recent emotional favourites ‘Someone Else’, ‘Keep Up’ and ‘Patterns’.
With the set really detailed around what the future looks like for her artistry, new track ‘Small Talk’ allowed her to show her vivid storytelling in a different way. Talking about a guy she used to see, she explains when they had to evacuate their houses while they were in high school because of the Victorian Bushfires, he only took two things with them and one was a drawing she did for him of Kurt Cobain. With the importance behind that, now all these years later when they do see each other all they have is small talk, and she questions where that stems from with a dreamy synth production. Closing her set with ’S.M.F.Y’, she really had impressed the audience with her soaring vocals and captivating stage presence.
Next up were Boo Seeka who are bolder sonically in a whole different way. With their energetic performance, they had the crowd immediately jumping to songs like ‘Human’, ‘Millennium Drive’ and ‘Rush’.
Check out the full gallery captured by Kirsten Roe Photography BELOW;
Photos by Kirsten Roe