Mother Nature was particularly kind last Sunday as the weather was perfectly warm with the lightest of cool breezes. With a chilled out, relaxed vibe at The Unibar it seemed everything was cosmically aligned for tonight’s Husky gig. Pity that the crowd was appallingly lazy and showed a serious disregard to gig etiquette, but I’ll get to that.
Walking in and 16 year old local artist Jesse Davidson was first up with his band. Described as Grizzly Bear with Jeff Buckley (yeah, take it easy) he has shown amazing talent, managing to be one of six finalists in Triple J’s Unearthed High Competition which is not to be sniffed at. Song ‘Flaws’ and ‘Winter’ are ethereal, moody and dream-hazy songs which sound amazing recorded but live, the band doesn’t stand out or disappear into the background enough to allow full focus on Jesse. I can’t help but be distracted by the female back-up vocalist who seems lost and wayward with minimal confidence onstage and no coordination with a tambourine. I would love to see him again with a more confident set of players that compliment his talented vocals and whimsical guitar play.
Elana Stone’s background in performing is very evident from the first moment we see her take the stage, small in stature but very confident in black rimmed glasses, houndstooth jacket with matching tights, pink leg warmers and bright yellow and pink swimsuit with smiling banana on the front. By this point I’m following everyone’s lead as the crowd has decided this to be a sit-down gig and found a spot on the floor. Her performance is filled with hilarious banter between the crowd and the sound guys. Songs with funny meanings and bizarre lyrics like ‘Steely Dan’ are sung with an amazing voice. She also recounted her last memory of being in Adelaide which was pretty funny involving Whitney Houston and Chinese food.
The small crowd of no more than 50 people stayed seated for Husky’s entire performance which kept the mood intimate. ‘Tidal Wave’, ‘Hundred Dollar Suit’, ‘Dark Sea’, a cover of INXS’s ‘Need You Tonight’ and my favourite ‘History’s Door’ was just what the doctor ordered. Honestly the only thing that would have made me more comfortable would have been a few pillows and a joint. The band were extremely humble and I’m not sure if having us sitting down was slightly uncomfortable for them, as it would be a bit too intense for me. Funny how that works; having everyone’s complete and utter attention as averse to a dancing, drinking crowd. A set filled with amazing vocal harmonies and true musical craftsmanship they joined together barbershop-style and sung a cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Lover Lover Lover’ and keys player Gideon Preiss performed one of his infamous jaw-dropping solo’s.
So when they left the stage for their encore I was confused when people started to get up and leave or just sit there staring, it was mortifying to realise that no-one was going to do anything and the sound booth guys actually had to start the encore, clapping and cheering away. Eventually the sheep - sorry “crowd”- of Adelaide joined in and Husky returned to the stage. Vocalist Husky Gawenda made a joke of it all saying he had already started taking off his boots but I was ashamed. My friend and I went and stood at the front in solidarity and to the irritation of two fat old ladies who couldn’t be bothered to stand for one song, pestering us to sit down. When they finished no-body joined us on their feet and just stayed clapping on the floor, it was incredibly awkward and they deserved better. It was a beautiful, soul awakening performance from Husky and they were not treated in kind – Adelaide, get your sh*t together.