It’s been about six months since Alex Lahey headlined a hometown show and she was apparently missed. Two sold-out nights in a row at 170 Russell confirms that. Enjoying the release of her debut record from last year, I Love You Like A Brother; the crowds had more than enough time to become familiar with the songs ready for these shows.
Opening act Eilish Gilligan had the tricky task of filling the large stage alone with a DJ tucked off in the corner, and to her credit, she did just that. Her voice channels Florence and the Machine set to summer-pop production. The subject matter is a little weirder with the highlight of the set, a song about being too scared to express admiration for someone, so you instead compare their horoscope with your own. We’ve all been in that situation, right? Stalk factor aside, the four-to-the-floor beats and eccentric dance moves were a delight to warm up the crowd.
Next up was Sydney’s Bloods. Their energetic indie-punk has throwbacks that are hard to define. Sometimes it’s Happy Days soda rock, and on the other side there is a Blink 182 vibe, whatever it is, it’s a lot of fun. The set highlight was the latest single “Feelings”, a song that shows off some beautiful vocal harmonies akin to Veruca Salt.
Considering this was night two of Lahey’s doubleheader, it may be safe to assume that there were some repeat offenders in the crowd. If that was the case, the energy and air of anticipation were in no way dulled by round two. The packed house erupted when Lahey and company took the stage opening with the new record’s title track. If it seemed like the crowd excitement started at its peak, “B-Grade University” disproved that thought. Sing-along number one of the evening nearly negated the need for Lahey vocals, which were faultless all evening. “It’s so great to be home in Melbourne,” shouted Lahey during the first break, “So here is a song about Perth.”
The set chilled out briefly for a soulful rendition of “L-L-L-Leave Me Alone “, before the energy picked up for a brand new, as yet untitled song, which was a driving, exciting glimpse of what is to come. The next two biggest sing-alongs came back to back with Lahey’s “Lotto In Reverse” and a cover of Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated”.
Lahey was relaxed but energetic, settling in to round two nicely and obviously stoked by the audience. The main set closed with “Every Day’s The Weekend” before an encore of “You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me” and “Blood”. After two sold-out nights in a row and a set packed with fan favourites, the crowd still seemed like they wanted more from Lahey. It’s a great position to be in, and if her new track was anything to go by, the venues will be even bigger next time.
Maybe just try playing some more shows in your hometown ,Alex Lahey?
The reviewer attended this show on April 18th.