LIVE REVIEW: Tones And I – Riverstage

Tones And I’s global trajectory is something that should truly be celebrated, and the Australian singer-songwriter finally got to do that with the commencement of her huge Australian tour which was originally slated for last year before the world caught a pandemic. Being based in Byron Bay for a long time, Brisbane became a second home to her, so a show at The Riverstage was something that was always on her mood board. Now she’s got to finally live that dream, and to assist the tick off the bucket list she really levelled up her production to give an arena worthy show. 

Riding onto the stage on a pink bicycle to Sofi Tukker’s ‘Purple Hat’ blasting over the sound system, she had the crowd immediately screaming over her arrival. Beginning on the keys she highlighted her raw vocal talent with ‘Can’t Be Happy All The Time’ before segueing into the 5 x Platinum hit ‘Never Seen The Rain’. 

“What’s up Brisbane? Oh my god, this is the biggest thing, wow! This is the exact stage I would say  was the pinnacle” she excitingly exclaimed to the crowd. Explaining that she had been at the venue since 10am laying on the grass and soaking in that she was actually playing the venue, you could tell she was very sincere with her emotions about playing this particular show. 

With only 1 EP currently out in the world, the show was filtered with some covers that she’s been playing for years like ‘Drop the Game’ by Chet Faker, ‘He Ya’ from Outkast, and her triple j Like A Version cover of ‘Forever Young’ by Youth Group. On top of that she also premiered some new material from her highly anticipated debut album which is expected to be released later this year. ‘Won’t Sleep’ had this dark and brooding beat reminiscent of Billie Eilish that transformed into this big pop hook, while ‘Lonely’ was a clear standout and gave a similar lyrical flow to Lizzo’s ‘Cuz I Love You’ during the verses. 

Jimmy’, ‘Johnny Run Away’,’ Ur So F**king cOol’ and ‘The Kids Are Coming’ ignited the singalong’s and had everyone unapologetically dancing on the hill. “This is a song you probably won’t know” she ironically exclaimed before playing ‘Dance Monkey’ which has been one of the biggest songs of the last 2 years globally. Closing the show with ‘Fly Away’, the sky was fittingly filled with fireworks while she thanked the crowd and said goodnight. 

Joined by a choir, this show was all about going big or going home. In the past she’s only ever performed by herself with a looping and keyboard station, where as this time she created a theatrical show with video projections, dance breaks, choir segments, fireworks and was ultimately enhanced with an incredible lighting rig. 

While the nerves were understandably there, this was the most confident and excited that I had seen Tones And I on a stage. The production was impressive, her vocals were strong, the crowd was ecstatic, and the choir was the magical touch that I didn’t know I needed from this show. 

Check out the full gallery captured by Jayden Staines Photography BELOW;

Tones And I Australian Tour

Wednesday May 12 – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide (Early Show)

Wednesday May 12 – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide (Late Show)

Monday May 17 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney (Early Show)

Monday May 17 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney (Late Show)

Tuesday May 18 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney (Early Show)

Tuesday May 18 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney (Late Show)

Photos by Jayden Staines