Live Review: Timberwolf + Stonefox + Skies - Adelaide Unibar, Adelaide (28.08.15)

Adelaide is coming up with some cool things right now... The Timberwolf show at the UniBar on Friday night was a good example of this – of the three bands on the lineup, two (including the headliner) were very talented local bands. It's a good thing to see.

Anyway, Friday night. Adelaide UniBar. Final show of Timberwolf's launch tour for the new EP Flux. The night started with SKIES, an indie-rock four-piece from Adelaide. SKIES are pretty new, having formed in 2014, but they're promising. They've got a fairly laid-back, psychedic-indie-pop vibe going and their live performance is enthusiastic. They're not a stand out quite yet (their genre is pretty crowded right now), but they're certainly solid and worth keeping an eye on.

Next up was Stonefox, a three piece from Melbourne. Stonefox had a kind of Lorde (and I'm not just saying that because they have a female lead singer) meets Silversun Pickups meets Vampire Weekend thing going on. Their vibe was good, and they had nice stage energy, but the thing most worth mentioning is their drummer, Monica Spasaro, who was amazing. Her intricate rhythmic work added a lot of purpose to Stonefox's sound, and really pushed my enjoyment of the band up a few notches.

Then, just as the crowd was getting kind of restless, Timberwolf. Timberwolf is ostensibly the stage name of Christopher Panousakis, but it looks like the moniker has expanded, at least onstage, to include a full band. It works, and the songs off the new EP are impressive, but it'd work just as well Panousakis on his own. He strolls onstage, takes a slug from a bottle of Bacardi, and launches into the set. His stage presence is magnetic, and the sheer unbridled emotional reaction he has to performing makes the whole thing electric. There's this really rare vibe of actual rockstar about his performance, and it's no surprise that Timberwolf has gone so far in about two years.

The setlist of the show was, obviously, heavy on songs from Flux, including 'Fallen Sun' and 'Whiskey Jar', both of which are layered and hypnotic in a gorgeously indie-roots kind of way. At one point, though, Panousakis did take a break from his own material to sit on the edge of the stage and play a haunting version of The Arctic Monkey's 'I Wanna Be Yours'.

Timberwolf's first time headlining the UniBar (and headlining his own tour in general) was a really gripping experience. Hometown shows probably always have a touch of magic to them, and this one was no exception. While I don't totally love the venue – the UniBar is always a weird venue and I much prefer it for pub crawls and post-lecture drinking than gigs – the show was fantastic, and Timberwolf is absolutely someone to keep an eye on if you aren't already. The acoustics at the UniBar are completely terrible though. It's fine for music, but when the musicians just spoke I had a really hard time hearing anything.

Also, as an afterthought, there are a lot of indie-esque bands named after North American or foreign animals around at the moment – Stonefox, Timberwolf, Sincerely Grizzly, Tame Impala. That's odd...

You can stay up to date with the bands via their Facebook pages below: