words and photos: Nathan Goldsworthy @odin.imaging
“…what follows can only be described as the start of an impressive list of energetic, sophisticated and thought provoking pop lead by a celestial voice.”
Groovin the Moo has graced us with some serious international and home grown talent this year. However, no one artist had me more intrigued than twenty two year old, Norwegian singer song writer, Aurora. Despite having several tough choices in shows to see this evening, the eclectic crowd of music lovers made the right choice to witness Aurora take stage at one of Melbourne’s most iconic and picturesque venues, The Forum. With a show to be remembered, here is what went down.
Opening the evening was Tones And I, coming from the busking on the streets of Melbourne to standing on The Forums historic stage. Enchanting the growing crowd with her looped keyboards and soulful voice, Toni Watson’s music tackles some pretty hard hitting subjects. Despite the catchy tunes that had even the most stubborn of dancers tapping their feet, Toni sings of following your dreams in spite of the pressures of societal norms.
”Jonny Run Away” is Tones And I debut and only official release, we learned of the inspiration behind the song when Toni invited her best friend Kurt onto the stage. They share a loving moment, with Toni joking that this would be his only chance to be on stage due to his lack of talent.
The moving and powerful song with bouncy catchy beat had the crowd dancing and singing along to the chorus. This is no doubt just the beginning of a bright future for Tones And I
The beautiful stage at The Forum, adorned with giant paper jellyfish and deep aquatic lighting provided the perfect backdrop for Aurora.
Churchyard begins and what follows can only be described as the start of an impressive list of energetic, sophisticated and thought provoking pop lead by a celestial voice.
Greeted with a deafening applause, Aurora welcomes the crowd with a meek and unassuming voice, do not let this soft spoken, bright eyed wonder deceive you! When Aurora takes the stage, she commands attention with a stage presence that would make even the most seasoned artist re-evaluate their career choice. Aurora goes on to inform the audience that she and the band are quite unwell, but that the only way she was going to miss singing for us was “if I were dead”.
I am still in shock now writing this, a day later at her vocal performance.
A standout of the night was the performance of The Seed. Showcasing an incredible vocal range, effortlessly sweeping from delicate and vulnerable to tense and harrowing, all whilst delivering a powerful message about the state of the world;
“When the last tree has fallen
And the rivers are poisoned
You can not eat money”
With unyielding energy Aurora belts out hit after hit, dancing across the stage. However it’s not all high energy dance anthems with the singer captivating the audience with an acoustic performance of Murder Song, the crowd so quiet you could hear a pin drop. All night, the entire crowd danced and laughed. As it turns out, when you buy a ticket to an Aurora show you’re also getting a comedy show as the singer had the everyone chuckling at her one liners all night.
It wasn’t til near the end of the night when I first heard a slight falter in Aurora’s voice, sounding slightly strained in the oscillation of the chorus in Running With Wolves.
Demanded back on stage by a thunderous, feet stomping encore. Aurora finished the night with Queendom. Belting out the songs chorus;
“You have a home a home in my Queendom,
you have a place in my Queendom,
you have a home….”
Aurora pulls an LBGTQ+ flag from her Lumpy Space Princess bag. The message is clear and met with applause by a visibly moved crowd. Even I, an emotionless metal-head, shed a tear over the heartfelt moment.
The overall take home message of the night being “I hope you find a friend in my music”.
I know I did. Thank you Aurora for an absolutely incredible show.