Live Review: San Cisco + APES + Stella Donnelly-Village Green Hotel, Melbourne (10.06.2017)

San Cisco have captured Australian audiences with their quirky, bright hooks and unique bouncy sound. Their carefree energy and irresistible charm make them one hell of a fun band to see live, and their set on Saturday night at The Village Green Hotel in Mulgrave was no exception.

The night began with Perth based artist Stella Donnelly. Let me preface by saying before this gig I didn’t know who Stella Donnelly was. Since this gig I have had her music on repeat. She opened with “Perfect Storm” and her voice politely rolled out into the room with a sweet feminine ring. It washed over the unsettled audience like a siren, capturing the attention of a few and luring them in. Donnelly continued with gorgeous tracks like “Grey” and “Mean to Me” strumming away at her guitar radiating calming riffs. She gave brief backstories and witty one liners, showing a down-to-earth, girlish charm that made her very endearing. Even when two drunk hecklers tried to take the stage, she held her poise and elegantly handle the situation. Ending with “Boys Will Be Boys”, Donnelly closed the set just as beautifully as she had opened it, and left me feeling excited to see where her music goes next.

APES were second on the line up, and kept the ball rolling with a slight change in tune. Unlike Donnelly, APES are more punk rock then elegant. Playing a few popular tunes, the audience sung and bopped along, making them ripe for the main attraction.

With a digital Palm tree and colourful party lights, the stage was transformed into a pastel paradise reflecting San Cisco’s poppy vibe. The youthful crowd was yet again reaffirmed as they squealed with joy when the band enter the stage. The four-piece kicked things off with “Did You Get What You Came For”, and then launched straight into “Slowmo”, making everyone dance and sing. The euphoric atmosphere continued as they jumped from new tracks to old favourites like “Magic”.  Drummer Scarlett Stevens‘, ‘Chicky, chick ah, chicky, ooh ooh’s,’ stirring the crowd with excitement. The mood was then brought back down a notch with front man Jordi Davieson’s dedicating “Wash It All Away”, to shitty relationships, making everyone cool it for a bit and let the lyrics soak in.

As mentioned, the crowd was filled with a few too many drunken hecklers who for some reason were making it their provocative to be the centre of attention. The band were having none of that, with Davieson putting them in their place. Despite the idiots in the crowd, everyone was still enjoying themselves, with the band engaging in banter and cheeky glances. It just so happened to be guitarist Josh Biondillo Birthday, and so Daveison led a chorus in singing “Happy Birthday”. The set drew to a close with another crowd favourite, “Fred Astaire”, ending with the band running off the stage and the audience begging for more.

Davieson came back on stage by himself for an encore, asking the crowd if they wanted a new or old song. The crowd yelled for an old, so he followed plunging into a falsetto of “Molly”. The rest of the band then joined the stage to play a new song called “Sunrise”, which lived true to its name delivering a warm, sunshine-y feel, before closing with crowd favourite, “RUN”.

San Cisco is the type of band that makes you feel light and happy. Their chemistry as a group rings through their music creating beats that are made to make you dance and feel good. Walking away from one of their live sets it’s hard not to feel just that; happy, bright and warm.

Photo by Ebony-Talijancich.