Rewarding those who braved the Adelaide cold, Angie McMahon proved that she was a powerhouse worthy of opening for Angus and Julia Stone Friday night. With a fire-engine-red guitar, and vocals dancing between haunting and ethereal reverberating around the intimate setting, there was little wonder why this Melbourne born soloist was chosen for this coveted spot. Sounding like a lovechild of Fleetwood Mac and Alanis Morissette, and setting the scene so that it felt more like stumbling upon the next big thing at your local pub than a sold-out concert, she thrilled the audience and left them crying out for the main event.
With the stage’s dim, blue light shining in the darkness, and a view of Adelaide’s vast cityscape opposite, it was easy to forget that this Australian born brother-sister duo were truly the headliners they’ve become today. Retaining their humble attitudes and thanking the crows for coming, they opened with Draw your Swords, a song which dances gently between old-soul flavour and international success. They are a band whom gently balance full bodied ballads with whimsy and storytelling, a remarkable feat after the success of albums A Book Like This and Down the Way.
With a roar from the crowd as they moved into Snow, it became immediately obvious that the pair were clearly here for the fans- the favourites continuing into well into the night with Big Jet Plane and Wasted. With Julia echoing in harmony to Angus’ booming basal range, it was easy to forget that you were watching alongside thousands of others, and not from the comfort of a friend’s lounge room.
Their instrumental versatility was not only obvious between their vast discography, but even through their use of guitar tapping, loop pedals, and the exchange between who would take lead vocals- as they intermittently switched between each other. It was difficult to say who holds the position of supporting vocals, with both voices incredibly distinctive and instantly recognisable from only a few bars of melody.
It was a remarkably mellow crowd for a Friday night, and there was a real feeling that the Flinders University Plaza wasn’t one hundred percent prepared for the sheer numbers of fans coalescing around food trucks and coffee stalls. Nonetheless, Angus and Julia Stone knew how to put on a show, and are a folk/rock/indie/pop duo who will continue to withstand the test of time, beckoning in their twelfth year on the international music stage.
Live Review by Robyn Clifford