Live Review: The Preatures & Ali Barter charm at Melbourne Zoo for Twilights season 2018

Melbourne Zoo Twilights has already kicked the 2018 series into high gear, recently hosting The Cat Empire, Sunnyboys and Painters And Dockers. On Friday, the offerings continued with Ali Barter and The Preatures joining the stage to help punters start their weekend the way all weekends should be started- dancing in a park, with a glass of red wine and a ginormous tortoise chilling behind you.

Located at the heart of the Zoo, the stage is surrounded by lush greenery and towering trees providing a calming ambiance. The space quickly started to fill up with picnic rugs and deck chairs as everyone tried to get a good spot for Ali Barter. As the support act of the night, Barter’s fiery rock acted as a sharp contrast to the peaceful surroundings. But rather than being a hindrance, the calming atmosphere complimented Barter’s tight guitar rips and high pitched girly vocals.

Ali Barter (Photo: Ian Laidlaw)

The Melbourne local has been around the music scene for quite some time, but it’s only recently that she’s come into the spotlight. Tracks like, “Girlie Bits”, “Live With You” and “Cigarette” have caught the attention of Aussie audiences and it’s not hard to see why.

There is something compelling about her stage presence, a certain awkward charm. The powerful chords mixed with delicate harmonises make for sweet listening. It’s like biting into a sour lolly- that initial punch is quickly followed by sugary bliss, making your mouth water and plead for more. The set was short, spanning over only 40minutes, but still had a lasting effect on the crowd, some getting up to dance for “Girlie Bits”.

With everyone feeling a little more pumped with energy, and most having consumed their cheese platters, more people started to gather at the edge of the stage….preparing themselves to get their groove on.

Melbourne Zoo Twilights (Photo: Ian Laidlaw)

Opening with “Girlhood”, The Preatures set the tone for a night filled with dancing. Donned in a black dress and cowboy hat, lead singer Izzi Manfredi bounced around the stage, whilst Jack Moffitt, Thomas Champion and Luke Davison boogied along in fashionable shirts.

Fresh from supporting Foo Fighters, playing Party in The Paddock and releasing their second album Girlhood in 2017, it’s been a big start to the year for the band and it’s only going to get bigger. Fridays show officially kicked off the Girlhood tour, which will see the band making their way around Australia from February through to April.

Even with small technical issues, the band managed to keep the crowd distracted with punchy pop-rock made up of eighties guitar chords and Manfredi’s dynamic voice. Playing a selection of their biggest hits, including “Somebody’s Talking”, “Ordinary”, “Better Than it Ever Could Be” and “Is This How You Feel?”, it was one of those moments where you delightfully surprise yourself with how many songs you actually know all the words too.

At one point, the band vacated the stage, leaving Manfriedi to play an emotional solo performance of “Your Fan” on the keyboard. They then all returned to close the set with “Yanada”,  a powerful ballad featuring lyrics in Indigenous Darug language. Finishing on a vulnerable, but moving, foot, the crowd was left with a lingering positivity, cementing what they already knew…The Preatures are one of Australia’s best.

The reviewer attended this show on February 9th.

The Girlhood Tour makes its way to Mountain Sounds Festival in NSW Feb 17, before then heading to Twilight At Taronga in Sydney, Castaway in WA, Golden Plains in Meredith…and the list goes on! For more details, tickets and dates click here.   

Melbourne Zoo Twilights will be running until March 10. Most shows have already sold out, but to see the full line up and get tickets click here.