Live Review: Dope Lemon + Jesse Davidson – The Gov, Adelaide (22.10.16)

Angus Stone‘s latest project Dope Lemon hit The Gov on Saturday night, enveloping a packed-out crowd with laidback psych-folk vibes. The first album, Honey Bones, is the driving force of the tour, with the third single “Coyote” having been released to coincide with the announcement of the national dates.

Adelaide local Jesse Davidson was first up, charming the growing crowd with his smooth indie tones. Catapulting from moody, melancholic jams to dreamy, uplifting pop, Davidson and his band had everything covered. The tracks were smart and sharp as a whole, emphasising the quality of our homegrown talent. Although the set was merely a taste of what Davidson has to offer musically, it’s guaranteed to increase demand for a full-length show of his own.

Dope Lemon hit the stage after a lengthy break, shrouded in prismatic rays courtesy of fairy lights and a multifaceted diamond dangling above. Although a track from the LP was the expected way to kick off the gig, Angus Stone’s track “River Love” played first, setting the tone for the rest of the set – this wouldn’t be the only older track of the night.

Comparing the live sounds of Dope Lemon and Angus & Julia Stone, there are obvious parallels in terms of tone, pacing and instruments while still remaining separate entities – a happy medium. Considering their connectedness, it was only appropriate for A&J’s track “Please You” to appear next, followed by “Crash and Burn” later on.

While the set only ran 11 songs, a variety of harmonica, banjo, guitar, mandolin and percussion was on constant rotation, offering up a unique selection of sounds in bite-sized bits. Switching through Angus originals, A+J numbers and Dope Lemon tracks, the setlist was unexpected but cohesive.

Crowd favourites “Coyote”, “Marinade” and “Uptown Folks” peaked, while slower tracks “How Many Times” and “Fuck Things Up” acted as perfect supports for the bigger numbers. A highlight of the night was Angus Stone’s “End of the World” which offered up a slow-moving psychedelic jam coupled with interstellar keyboard and droning riffs while Stone ensured the lighting matched the vibes by constantly spinning the reflective ornament above, bathing the audience in glimmering beams.

Although Dope Lemon is a new project in age, the live show offers a striking sense of energy that’s organic, natural and representative of the vast experience held by those behind-the-scenes – a fresh take on their second-nature.

Dope Lemon takes the tour to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne; catch them at The Triffid on October 28th, the Metro Theatre on November 11th and at 170 Russell on November 18th.

Photo by Stuart Sevastos in Perth.