words & photos: Daniel Hanssen @danthegigman
“..the perfect balance of what makes Angie such a special and magical artist, being able to pull off an upbeat rock number while also having the chops to draw tears to the eye with both lyrics and vocals..”
Tuesday night had many acts from around the world focusing in on the Australian music capital, Melbourne. For those in the know the Croxton Bandroom in Thornbury was the place to be., to see one of the most sensational performances of 2019.
Quivers were the lucky openers for the evening, managing to pull the reluctant crowd towards the front of the stage and into the pit throughout their set. They were only on the Croxton stage for what felt like a brief moment but their electric energy was contagious and drove the crowd fiercely into the next set for Haley Heyndrickx.
Hayley Heyndrickx was the perfect fit for an opening spot before Angie McMahon, seemingly oozing the same balladesque folk music that Angie is able to embody so well. Yet, Haley managed the stage without the fusion rock styles that’s made Angie so individual within her industry, as Haley brought only herself and her trusty acoustic guitar to the Croxton, managing to bring a softened tone to the bandroom. Of course, this was more than enough to satisfy with the artists riffing through many a tune during her close to an hour set. Haley’s setlist covered much of her releases, spanning from her debut EP Fish Eyes in 2016 through to her more prolific album I Need To Start A Garden.
Long has been the road to Angie McMahon’s much anticipated debut album Salt, since the initial release and buzz around “Slow Mover” we’ve managed to see Angie grace a number of venues, each time growing both her discography and performing prowess. Angie’s current ‘I Made An Album Tour’ for Salt has seen new her reach heights of success not only giving Angie the opportunity to bring along some of her favourite artists on tour; Quivers and Haley Heyndrickx but manage a wider reach and connection with her audience.
Angie’s set was mesmerising, the burgeoning artist spent ninety minutes on stage to play through nearly her entire discography and a few covers along the way. Angie started the night off strong with "Play The Game", the opening track on Salt kicking the set off with a bang. Sadly the set went quick, but not without Angie running through her three album lead up singles "Keeping Time", "Missing Me" and the single that started it all off, "Slow Mover".
As usual, Angie was able to breathe a little levity into the occasion with her awkward, but fun humour, passionate talks about human rights and anecdotes to build a little context into her album, managing to fit all of this and her rather long set list into ninety minutes.
Not only were Angie’s original’s a special part of the evening, as Angie often likes to add covers into her set list of artists that mean something to her. Not only was Fleetwood Mac and Neil Young’s “Helpless” a part of Angie’s bumper set, but the crowd was also lucky to hear what could have been the first performance outside of the Triple J studios for her ‘Like A Version’ of ABBA’s “Knowing Me, Knowing You”. The charm of all these covers is Angie’s way to combine the timbre of her own voice and backing band made up of Alex O’Gorman and Lachlan O’Kane to create a cover with an entirely new sound while keeping the heritage of the writing.
Thankfully, Angie forgoed the cliche of an encore, using the penultimate song to run through the popular “Pasta”. The full house crowd at the Croxton were eager for this one, with what seemed like everyone in the room singing along with Angie and Co. Simply put, Angie saved the best for last, closing on the soft ballad “If You Call”. While the closing track had a little humour to it through hearing a full room try and whistle a line they only half know alongside Angie, the emotive nature of the track was by no means lost on the crowd.
Between “Pasta” and “If You Call” there was the perfect balance of what makes Angie such a special and magical artist, being able to pull off an upbeat rock number while also having the chops to draw tears to the eye with both lyrics and vocals in a soft ballad like “If You Call”.