– by Leah Vlatko
Angus & Julia Stone, Tuesday 23 September at the Perth Concert Hall
Supported by: Vancouver Sleep Clinic
The exceptional acoustics of the Perth Concert Hall lent themselves to the dreamy sounds of brother/sister folk duo Angus & Julia Stone as they opened the Perth leg of their new self-titled album tour. Alongside a diverse range of outstanding musicians, the pair appeared on stage amidst a sea of lights and colour, flooding the auditorium with an ocean of perfect frequencies.
Not a song went by without an instrument change, allowing the pair to demonstrate their multi-faceted musical ability. This included countless guitars, trumpet solos, banjo, and some truly excellent lap steel guitar. There was an unsurprisingly high proportion of beards, hats, and long hair in the four accompanying musicians, who came from all over the globe and boasted an impressive array of instruments.
The siblings and their band created a rich tapestry of sound that changed as they worked their way through pieces from their impressive repertoire of albums, as well as some unexpected covers. Highlight from the evening was the heartbreakingly chilling (electrifying even) tribute to Grease’s ‘You’re The One that I Want,’ which climaxed when Julia started angrily (yet, to be fair, melodically) growling into the microphone as the audience became increasingly moved by the intense longing for a shaped up man.
Seasoned tourers, the siblings connected effortlessly with the audience, and haven’t lost any down-to-earth friendliness despite their widespread success. Chatting about their day spent in local Perth cafes and sharing stories from their childhood, Angus and Julia managed to transform an enormous auditorium into an intimate musical space. Whilst their new album sound is arguably stronger and more definitive, they have retained their characteristic vulnerability that allows them to easily sing about love, nostalgia, and moments in time.
This was epitomised in the magical encore, which ended with Angus and Julia in a starry scene of lights: a brother and sister, their guitars, and the beautiful simplicity of ‘Santa Monica Dream.’
The opening act, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, began the evening spectacularly in their signature layered sound. Grateful, and indeed worthy, of supporting Angus & Julia Stone for this tour, they described their experience of playing before a silently enamoured crowd in a huge concert hall as ‘much better than trying to play over drunk people throwing things at us.’ Drawing comparisons to the likes of Bon Iver, James Vincent McMorrow, Fleet Foxes, and Ben Howard, this five piece band out of Brisbane captivated audience members with their spine-tinglingly textured sound.
Angus & Julia Stone are playing again tonight, Wednesday 24rd September, at the Perth Concert Hall
Photos by Matthew Picken, more photos of the show are available on the Colosoul Facebook Page.