This is the fourth time we’ve seen Montaigne and she never ceases to amaze!
Before we get into the show, I want to quickly talk about IME (Insight Mindfulness Education). IME is a registered not for profit organisation that supports teens suffering from unnecessary levels of stress, anxiety and depression. With support from Hobart Brewing Company, Montaigne, and a slew of Hobart artists, they are raising funds for their January retreat in Tasmania. On a retreat, teens (aged 15-19) have the opportunity to learn mindfulness meditation, explore their values and who they are (or the person they would like to become), connect with peers, and participate in creative workshops and daily yoga sessions. They aim to never turn a teen away from coming on retreat due to financial circumstances.
If you are one or know a young person who is suffering from unnecessary levels of stress, worry or depression, or want to learn more about themselves, you can check out IME here. If you want to donate or sponsor a teen to attend a retreat, get in touch with Grant at Grant@ime.org.au or complete the ‘sponsor a teen’ form here.
With six local acts in support, this show was more like a festival than a typical gig. The atmosphere was well and truly buzzing and the dancefloor was packed and sticky by the time Montaigne made her appearance. She graced the stage as only Montaigne can, looking almost drunk as she lost control of her body – of course, this is the only appropriate way to perform ‘I’m A Fantastic Wreck’. She was right up and personal with the crowd, touching outreaching hands and whispering “you look beautiful” to one overwhelmed woman at the front. That’s just how Montaigne performs, with her whole body moving and with constant crowd adoration.
Early technical difficulties gave Montaigne a chance to engage with the crowd. “I’m gonna have to fill this place with awkward banter because we’re having technical difficulties. What’s everyone doing tomorrow? Someone’s playing chess. Someone’s walking their dog.” Question time with the crowd had a woman at the front ask Montaigne to marry her. “I don’t actually believe in the constitution of marriage but, hypothetically, if I got to know you…” The crowd started some chants of “a capella” to which Montaigne responded “that’s actually a good idea”. She sang her track ‘The Debt’, a hidden track from her album Glorious Heights and the crowd loved it.
With everything up and working, Montaigne injected energy into the building with ‘What You Mean To Me’, leading to the first big clap along and dance. Losing no momentum, she played ‘Lonely’ to even more dancing, especially up on stage, before bringing a whole lot of emotion with ‘Glorious Heights’. Each song is performed in its own unique way and ‘Come Back To Me’ was an interesting one. Montaigne acted out key words, flexing her biceps for “weaponry”, reading for “book”, and using her thumbs for “right and wrong”, providing an extra layer of entertainment.
Although it’s probably my least favourite song of the LP (sorry), ‘In The Dark’ remains the best to see live as Montaigne went absolutely nuts up on stage and the smoke from the smoke machine engulfed her. ‘Till It Kills Me’ got a big sing along for “we can try, we can try” and continued that fast-flowing energy. Finally, she finished with a bang, playing ‘Because I Love You’, getting down to the crowd again, and having everyone in attendance dancing their hearts out.
“Guys, I just went to tune my guitar. Jesus.” Montaigne graced the stage solo for her encore and opened with ‘I Am Not An End’. It started as an acoustic version before the band walked on and it built up to a big show stopper by the second verse. Finishing for real this time, she played ‘Clip My Wings’. The adoring crowd gave her one last scream as she left the stage. The diehard fan in me was a bit sad not to get ‘Pontius Of The Past’ or ‘Chandelier’ but if your only criticisms are wanting more, it was probably a pretty solid set.
Hometown: Sydney, NSW
Latest Album: Life of Montaigne, released 21 November 2014
Sounds like: Florence + The Machine, Bjork, Sia
Say what? Remember that big thing about ‘I’m A Fantastic Wreck’ sounding like ‘I’m A Fantastic Greg’? Montaigne was seeling limited edition ‘I’m A Fantastic Greg’ t-shirts. No, I didn’t get one. Yes, I’m regretting it already.