Brisbane artist Dan Parsons made the trek down to Melbourne this weekend to showcase the tunes from his debut LP Firestarter. First stop was a set with the full band at The Toff In Town, a cozy venue with a lively atmosphere that suited the mood of the music. Parsons is a confident entertainer who looked at home on stage having a grand time playing music with his friends. They are a great live act who had the small crowd up and dancing to their energetic performance. Parsons has a charismatic stage presence and delivered a flawless set of sweet indie pop that was both heartening and fun. The band played a short selection of songs from Firestarter, including brilliant renditions of “Firestarter” and “Rabbit Hole” and ended the night with the gorgeous single “Run With Me”.
Fortunately the music didn’t end there, with Parsons and co. inviting us all to partake in a Sunday session at Pure Pop in St. Kilda. Pure Pop is my version of heaven – a record store with a great vinyl selection that also has a fully licensed beer garden out the back. The relaxed vibe and sunny weather was the perfect backdrop for an acoustic set from the band. Parsons vocals are fantastic live – think the gentility of Jack Johnson with the passionate expression of Justin Vernon. The pop rock sounds of the full band translated well acoustically with some very pretty guitar work from Parsons and fellow independent artist and band mate Steve Grady. Their performance was lovely, with Parsons treating the crowd to some new material and a fantastic cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”. A long with gorgeous stripped back versions of album tracks “This City”, “I Can’t Watch You” and “There Is Something Hiding My Heart”. It was a very special thing to see Dan Parsons launch Firestarter over two incredible nights in such intimate venues. He is a talented young man and engaging performer who writes intelligent, heart-felt pop to fall in love with. Be sure to catch Dan and his band next time they’re in your town. His live show is even better than the album.
[Photo: Ricky Sullivan]