words & photos: Daniel Hanssen @danthegigman
“…they’re able to expertly weave a more upbeat tone through their work, which translates to an outstanding live performance..”
The home crowd was in for a pumped up homecoming performance on Saturday night, as the first of two shows for Slowly Slowly’s ‘Jellyfish’ tour kicked off. It was a celebration of the band’s more recent single release “Jellyfish”, something all of them can be proud of. Alongside them for the show were Perth’s Sly Withers and Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers hailing from Canberra bringing together an air of vitality to the cold Melbourne night.
The two openers set a lively atmosphere, Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers easily built the crowd in the room, with many punters coming early to see the Canberra crew. Sly Withers doubled down on this feeling with all the hair thrashing and guitar shredding that came along with it, setting the scene for Slowly Slowly’s thrilling set.
The headlining set was something special, as band Slowly Slowly seemed truly appreciative for the turn out for the Melbourne crowd; Ben Stewart himself often mentioned how memorable the night was. Slowly Slowly started with a powered intensity, with the bands ‘Triple J Like A Version’ “Skinny Love”, “PMTWGR”, “Hey You” all coming early in the band’s set. “Sunburnt Shoulders” was a powerhouse track, with guitarist Albert Doan relishing the live stage to expertly thrash through some stellar guitar lines sending the crowd into an excited mess.
Slowly Slowly are a welcome exception to a typical Melbourne rock sound, beautifully crafting their energetic tone with the poetic writing of lead vocalist, Ben Stewart. While the foursome are considered to be an emo outfit, a genre long thought to be more of a modern niche they’re able to expertly weave a more upbeat tone through their work, which translates to an outstanding live performance.
For those who came out expecting a standard one hour set from the growing Melbourne band would have been in for a welcome shock, as Slowly Slowly’s posted end time of 12:20 was only the beginning for them. After a slight pause for Ben to get changed into an Italian themed shirt, (something written into the band’s rider) he returned to the stage with a renewed vigour, “Christmas Lights” followed by Stewart and a pianist, before the tender personal note of Stewart’s “New York, Paris” reintroduced the band for a late chorus breakdown.
Considering the set expanded into an hour and a half marathon of Slowly Slowly’s discography, there were little tracks missing off of a setlist boasting all of the bands fan favourites. “Ten Leaf Clover”, “Alchemy”, “Jellyfish” and “Dinosaurs” closed out the set, the band leaving all of the favourites for last and thrashing out the last couple of high powered songs to leave nothing left in the tank before the Melbourne crowd.