I discovered Angus & Julia Stone at a French festival long time ago in Bourges. It was just after their third album Down The Way was out, and I remember being dazzled by their intimate performance – a hard thing to achieve at a festival – and Julia’s trumpet improvisation. I was already in love.
How could I know that 4 years after I would be lucky enough to see them in their home country? Angus & Julia’s concert was last Friday, at Margaret Court Arena. We first went in the wrong side of the building and ended up next to the horde of Drake’s fans, his concert being at the same time. Following all the feathery hats, we knew we were back on the right tracks, even if Drake’s concert seemed also very appealing. I was already imagining a freaky collaboration between them. But let me first get back on their performance.
9.30pm – burger time.
9.45pm sharp – The arena is full and people are screaming like crazy. We didn’t detect the figures of the siblings appearing on the right end side of the stage. A quick “Hello Melbourne” whispered sensually by Julia and the concert is on. Being all about the old songs, I was scared that the whole concert would only be about the new album. (if you missed their last songs like me, a good review can be found earlier in the blog – here)
After a few new tracks, all the old tunes are reappearing. Plus, with a cover of “You’re the One that I want”, Julia conquered the audience. This version of the Grease soundtrack is so Angus & Julia-ish that the crowd needed a minute to realise what it was from (personally my favourite cover of them, even if they have a lot of good ones).
“How good is it to be back in our country” Julia says. Happiness is translated by a nostalgic tone in her voice. That’s surely how they celebrate being home: playing a lot of their first songs. “Big Jet Plane” or “Yellow Brick Road” (Elton John allusion) are performed with perfection.
The only thing is, I feel like the band finds its forte in the intimate concerts, and Margaret Court Arena is a huge venue. In my head, the siblings are those shy artists keeping the good sound in their family, and their discretion is a part of them. Weird to have hundreds of people screaming their names and saying how hot they are (which is, well, true, but that’s not the point).
Hopefully, they were still Angus and Julia. By that I mean that they kept things real, simple –except for the huge screen behind the scene with cheesy images but we’ll forgive them – especially with the intense acoustic version of “Here I Go”. Just them and Julia’s guitar. Bliss. They almost got all the public quiet and I was amazed at how their voices sounded in live.
Finally, at the end they asked all their supporting acts to go on a dancing fest with the band. Level of cuteness ++.
Blurry group hug. Too much love going on.
They finish with virtuosity on “Santa Monica Dream”, which is to me one of the best songs to represent the band. An eerie atmosphere with blue notes and sweet melodies. Yep, sweet is definitely the word.
Latest Record: Angus & Julia Stone, release aug. 2014
Sounds Like: Lady of the Sunshine (Angus’ project), Ben Howard, James Vincent McMorrow, Damien Rice?
Say What?: In France, they became partially famous thanks to their contribution to the movie Romantic Anonymous (such a good ol’ French comedy) by the “Big Jet Plane” soundtrack.