Smoke – lots of smoke on stage – maybe to match the current state of the Sydney air. A little bit of a wait; but then Adalita strolls out on stage – owning it, but humbly.
It’s just her, a guitar, a kick ass amp and her powerhouse of a voice. The stage looks empty as she quietly speaks and introduces her set. But as soon as she cranks up, the stage is full of sound. Beautiful, dirty, grungy guitar and vocals that just fit.
Her songs are stories that she has invited us in to share with her. With a Patty Smith like air, there is a space to her arrangements that let every note and syllable ring out.
All too quickly, she wraps up her set with an epic performance of Goin Down, built like a layer cake, full of guitar loops, an almost rapping vocal track that turns into a tribal chant.
Check out her solo work here.
A little more waiting and even more smoke fills the stage. But finally, as if emerging out of the smoky, red, fiery pit of hell, The Beasts hit the stage and stumble straight into Low Road – a lament that was delivered like it was fresh off the press.
The band sauntered like shadowy figures on the stage, playing with what looked like a new found energy. Tex Perkins prowled the stage like a tiger on the hunt, spitting out each vocal; Kim Salmon was switched fully into guitar hero mode; Boris was hunched over like a mad professor; Tony Pola keeping it all on track and Charlie Owen was quietly weaving his own brand of magic in the shadows.
The energy in the room had the front of stage bouncing, not so much the mosh of old, but a mass of bodies, shimmering and shaking booty. There was the usual commentary between songs as a bit of a breather, but this time Tex turning it up with an opportunity for a little social and political commentary; even weaving it into a couple of songs; which went down a treat. The Beasts threw in a cracking version of Strychnine, by the Sonics, just because they could. There was even a special guest appearance by Adalita to help Tex out on a rather touchy feely version of Dropout towards the end of the set.
As the night finally wrapped up, the band was exhausted, the crowd was exhausted, but everyone was beaming.
Tonight the Brown Note was definitely lurking in that thick, thick smoke – both inside and outside the venue.