Ziggy Alberts has had a whirlwind year full of crazy highs which has seen him touring the world with his biggest run of dates yet including a coveted spot on the Splendour In The Grass line up.
Wrapping up his world tour in the city where it all began, he played his biggest headline show yet with a sold out date at The Riverstage in Brisbane.
With an angry storm clouding over the city in the late afternoon, it wasn’t looking great for the outdoor spectacular that was planned for later that evening. But after an hour of intense rain, the clouds cleared up and the ground started to dry just in time for the all-ages crowd to enter the hillside venue.
As you entered the venue you were quickly made aware of the incredible environmentally friendly initiatives that were on display and in action to help create a change in this current state of crisis.
Tonight’s show marked the first time The Riverstage had ever not sold plastic bottles or handed out plastic cups, as well as the first time they’ve allowed reusable bottles into the venue which is a huge and exciting concept. Instead of using plastic cups through out the evening, they used a new biodegradable solution that acted and looked like plastic but could be environmentally friendly broken down.
They also had Great Barrier Reef Legacy, Sea Sheppard and Stop Adani stalls there to help create awareness and educate punters who wanted to get more educated about the issues affecting all of us.
With the stage lights dimming, a video introduction played that saw Ziggy explaining the early shows he had in Brisbane and how he went from playing in someone’s backyard in Toowong to playing Black Bear Lodge, The Tivoli and now to 9000 people at The Riverstage as an independent artist. As the video finished he walked out onto the stage to huge screams from the very excited sold out crowd.
“Good evening Brisbane” he exclaimed as he looked out to the packed hillside. Launching straight into ‘Bright Lights’, ‘On Hold’ and ‘Day In The Sun’ he had the singalong’s starting quite strong and they only got louder and stronger throughout the night.
Taking a moment to ask the crowd to take care of each other because of the muddy hill thanks to the hectic and brief storm that invaded the grounds beforehand, he immediately created a sense of community within the fans.
Starting the show off on guitar, he was instantly looping and playing in different ways to show the crowd the different creative processes that take over him. Taking a moment to get sad and intimate he took to the keyboard for ‘Best Friend’ before inviting Kim Churchill and Horrowshow onto the stage for a unique version of the touching ‘Heaven’. Explaining the importance of speaking up when you’re feeing low and listening to others when they are feeling low, he asked everyone to go away and speak to that one friend you are worried about which was a really beautiful sentiment before continuing the show with ‘Better Off’ and ‘Intentions (22)’.
Escaping the main stage for a moment, he took to a sneaky b-stage at the back of the venue that allowed him to get up-close and personal with everyone and also highlight the beautiful scenery around them with lights shinning on the tree’s behind him.
Acoustically performing ‘Yu (A Song For Koda)’ and ‘Runaway’, the majority of the crowd was super silent as they just listened to him strum away and then sang along with him during the big choruses. At the end of ‘Runaway’ he started to walk through the crowd back to the main stage while still playing the last chorus on the guitar and the crowd took the vocal part for him until he got back to his microphone.
The whole show felt very candid and special as there was a genuine warmth to the atmosphere. He was playing to 9000 people but it didn’t feel like it. Instead it felt like he was just playing to you and your friends in a small intimate venue because of the warm repoor he had built up.
‘Stronger’, ‘Hands I Can Hold’ and the euphoric ‘Love Me Now’ continued the show before he closed out the evening with ‘Laps Around The Sun’. But before he played that song he took a moment to urge a conscious awareness of everything that is happening in the world and everything you could do to help save the environment and make a change. “I’m not addressing any politicians or parties right now, I’m addressing you because we are the ones that can make a change” he explained.
With the crowd chanting for more after he left the stage, he came back for a cute little performance of ‘Warm Coffee’ which is about the first day he met his girlfriend in a supermarket as well as a big singalong version of ‘Gone (The Pocahontas Song’).
This show was really special because of the candid and warm atmosphere he created and the huge green initiative he tackled within the venue. But it was also a huge celebration of how far he’s come as an independent artist and I hope any musicians in the crowd that night felt inspired after walking away, with a confidence in tact that you can have success without a massive machine helping you. It is possible and Ziggy Alberts has successfully proved that.
Check out the full gallery captured by Kirsten Roe Photography BELOW;
Photos by Kirsten Roe